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Made in U.S.A is a 1966 French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard that stars Anna Karina, Jean-Pierre Léaud, László Szabó, and Yves Afonso. It was inspired by the Howard Hawks film The Big Sleep—in turn based on the novel of the same name by Raymond Chandler—and unofficially based on the novel The Jugger, by Richard Stark (a.k.a. Donald E. Westlake).

Made in U.S.A.
Made usa.jpg
Movie Poster
Directed byJean-Luc Godard
Produced byGeorges de Beauregard
Screenplay byJean-Luc Godard
Based onThe Big Sleep
by William Faulkner
Leigh Brackett
Jules Furthman
The Big Sleep
by Raymond Chandler
The Jugger
by Donald E. Westlake
StarringAnna Karina
Jean-Pierre Léaud
Music byRobert Schumann
Ludwig van Beethoven
CinematographyRaoul Coutard
Release date
Running time
85 minutes
Box office$95,209[2]

Because neither Godard nor the producer paid the book's adaptation rights and following legal action by Westlake, the film was long unavailable in the United States. The film had its U.S. premiere on April 1, 2009 (three months after Westlake's death) at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco in a newly restored print distributed by Rialto Pictures.[3] Criterion released the film on DVD in July 2009.[4]


Paula Nelson (Anna Karina) goes to "Atlantic-Cite'" to meet her lover, Richard Politzer, at an unknown point in the future (maybe 1969). Once there, she learns that Richard is dead and decides to investigate. In her hotel room she meets Typhus, whom she ends up knocking out. His corpse is later found in the apartment of writer David Goodis (Yves Afonso). Paula is arrested and interrogated. From then on, she encounters many gangsters.



The movie was shot at the same time as Two or Three Things I Know About Her. Godard did it to help his friend and producer, Georges de Beauregard, through difficulties after the censorship of The Nun, a movie by Jacques Rivette, that he produced.[citation needed]

This is the last full-length movie on which Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard collaborated. He again directed her in a segment (called "Anticipation, ou: l'amour en l'an 2000" (Anticipation: or Love in the Year 2000)) of the movie Le plus vieux métier du monde (1967).

Marianne Faithfull has a cameo in a cafe scene where she sings "As Tears Go By".

Characters in the film are named for such real-life personages as Don Siegel, Kenji Mizoguchi, Richard Widmark, Robert McNamara, David Goodis, and Richard Nixon. Paula Nelson is probably named for Baby Face Nelson, about whom Siegel had made a film starring Mickey Rooney.

The film is dedicated to "Nick and Sam," referring to Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller, "Hollywood mavericks who were objects of filial awe and Oedipal aggression" for Godard.[5]


Made in U.S.A "has rarely been seen in the U.S.A.";[5] it was shown at the 1967 New York Film Festival, prompting The New York Times to call it an "often bewildering potpourri of film narration, imagery and message" and point out that "Anna Karina, as the questing girl friend, supplies not only a luminous beauty but also a unifying thread of humanity."[6] Over forty years later, A.O. Scott saw it at Film Forum and said while it is "far from a lost masterpiece, it is nonetheless a bright and jagged piece of the jigsaw puzzle of Mr. Godard’s career"; he suggested a number of "reasons for non-Godardians" to see the film:[5]

There is, for one thing, a pouting and lovely Marianne Faithfull singing an a capella version of 'As Tears Go By.' There are skinny young men smoking and arguing. There are the bright Pop colors of modernity juxtaposed with the weathered, handsome ordinariness of Old France, all of it beautifully photographed by Raoul Coutard. There are political speeches delivered via squawk box. And of course there is a maddening, liberating indifference to conventions of narrative coherence, psychological verisimilitude or emotional accessibility.

The film holds a rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.


  1. ^ Box Office Information for Made in U.S.A. IMDb. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  2. ^ "Made in U.S.A, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  3. ^ Made in U.S.A. Archived 2011-06-13 at the Wayback Machine from Rialto Pictures
  4. ^ Made in U.S.A from The Criterion Collection
  5. ^ a b c Scott, A. O. (January 8, 2009). "Godard's '60s Policier, Set in Atlantic City, France". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  6. ^ "Movie Review: Made in U.S.A.". The New York Times. September 28, 1967. Retrieved 2011-05-23.

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