Last Tango in Paris

Last Tango in Paris

3.7 4
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Cast: Bernardo Bertolucci, Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi

     
 

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In Bernardo Bertolucci's art-house classic, Marlon Brando delivers one of his characteristically idiosyncratic performances as Paul, a middle-aged American in "emotional exile" who comes to Paris when his estranged wife commits suicide. Chancing to meet young Frenchwoman Jeanne (Maria Schneider), Paul enters into a sadomasochistic, carnal relationship with her,… See more details below

Overview

In Bernardo Bertolucci's art-house classic, Marlon Brando delivers one of his characteristically idiosyncratic performances as Paul, a middle-aged American in "emotional exile" who comes to Paris when his estranged wife commits suicide. Chancing to meet young Frenchwoman Jeanne (Maria Schneider), Paul enters into a sadomasochistic, carnal relationship with her, indirectly attacking the hypocrisy all around him through his raw, outrageous sexual behavior. Paul also hopes to purge himself of his own feelings of guilt, brilliantly (and profanely) articulated in a largely ad-libbed monologue at his wife's coffin. If the sexual content in Last Tango is uncomfortably explicit (once seen, the infamous "butter scene" is never forgotten), the combination of Brando's acting, Bertolucci's direction, Vittorio Storaro's cinematography, and Gato Barbieri's music is unbeatable, creating one of the classic European art movies of the 1970s, albeit one that is not for all viewers.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Ironically, the film that heralded the arrival of a mainstream adult cinema, with its frank and often brutal depiction of impersonal (and often nearly fully clothed) sex, was actually one of the last films to give such raw and uncompromising treatment to the subject matter. Last Tango in Paris certainly ranks among Marlon Brando's greatest acting achievements (he improvised a significant portion of his part), as he makes us care about his distraught, damaged, misogynistic character. Director Bernardo Bertolucci's favorite cameraman, Vittorio Storaro, provides cadaverous color that moves through a half-lit space as evocatively as it travels through the character's emotions. The characters of Paul and Jeanne (Maria Schneider, in an often overlooked but remarkably vulnerable performance) spend the film enveloped in a sexual cocoon, engaging in animalistic acts of passion in order to escape or ignore their lives on the "outside." Such subject matter has rarely (if ever) been treated with such emotional and intellectual seriousness; while one may question the film's conclusions (Paul's declaration of love leads to his death), it is an inescapably bold film, untempered by a fear of public disgust or outrage -- much of which it in fact received at the time, despite (and partly because of) the equally strong favorable views of such critics as Pauline Kael, who called it "a landmark in movie history" comparable to Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in music.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/27/1993
UPC:
0027616179135
Original Release:
1972
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marlon Brando Paul
Maria Schneider Jeanne
Maria Michi Rose's Mother
Jean-Pierre Léaud Tom
Massimo Girotti Marcel
Catherine Allegret Catherine
Michel Delahaye Bible Salesman
Gitt Magrini Jeanne's mother
Giovanna Galletti Prostitute
Veronica Lazar Rosa
Dan Diament TV Sound Engineer
Catherine Breillat Mouchette
Laura Betti Miss Blandish
Darling Legitimus Concierge
Catherine Sola TV Script Girl
Mauro Marchetti TV Cameraman
Marie-Helene Breillat Monique
Jean-Luc Bideau Barge Captain
Peter Schommer TV Assistant Cameraman

Technical Credits
Bernardo Bertolucci Director,Screenwriter
Franco Arcalli Editor,Screenwriter
Gato Barbieri Score Composer
Antoine Bonfanti Sound/Sound Designer
Alberto Grimaldi Producer
Gitt Magrini Costumes/Costume Designer
Dory Previn Score Composer
Ferdinando Scarfiotti Production Designer
Vittorio Storaro Cinematographer

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