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Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Ultimo tango a Parigi (original title)
NC-17 | | Drama, Romance | 7 February 1973 (USA)
A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,141 ( 51)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Liv Tyler, Carlo Cecchi
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rosa's Mother / La mère de Rosa
Giovanna Galletti ...
Prostitute / La prostituée
Gitt Magrini ...
Jeanne's Mother / La mère de Jeanne
...
Catherine (as Catherine Allegret)
Luce Marquand ...
Olympia
Marie-Hélène Breillat ...
Monique (as Marie-Helene Breillat)
...
Mouchette
Dan Diament ...
TV Sound Engineer / L'ingénieur du son
Catherine Sola ...
TV Script Girl / La script-girl
Mauro Marchetti ...
TV Cameraman / Le cameraman
...
...
Peter Schommer ...
TV Assistant Cameraman / L'assistant-opérateur
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Storyline

While looking for an apartment, Jeanne, a beautiful young Parisienne, encounters Paul, a mysterious American expatriate mourning his wife's recent suicide. Instantly drawn to each other, they have a stormy, passionate affair, in which they do not reveal their names to each other. Their relationship deeply affects their lives, as Paul struggles with his wife's death and Jeanne prepares to marry her fiance, Tom, a film director making a cinema-verite documentary about her. Written by Erich Schneider <erich@bush.cs.tamu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You will never see the most highly acclaimed film of our time on television. This may be your last chance to see it in a theater. (1975)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Last Tango in Paris  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$36,144,824 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Paul puts on the Colonel's kepi (the French military hat that had belonged to Jeanne's father) and says to Jeanne, "How do you like your hero? Over easy or sunny side up?" Marlon Brando, the author of most of the film's English dialogue, is using egg imagery because the gold braid on an officer's hat is referred to as "scrambled eggs" in the U.S. military. Brando attended Shattuck Military Academy (from which he was booted out) and failed his physical for the U.S. Army during World War II, due to a bum knee hurt playing high school football. See more »

Goofs

When Paul monologues with the Rosa, as he leans on her to say "Rosa, I'm sorry.", she blinks. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paul: [with his hands over his ears at the overwhelming sound of a passing train] Fucking GOD!
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Connections

Referenced in Sleepers (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Shenandoah
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Marlon Brando
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User Reviews

There are those who see ...
24 June 2003 | by (Saint Louis, MO) – See all my reviews

Okay, so I am not supposed to say anything about other user's comments, but I should mention that reading those comments is what lead me to write this...I don't know if this is an enjoyable movie experience, but it is nonetheless a triumph of cinema.

This film has very little to do with sex. It also has very little to do with the tango, and we might want to add it has little to do with Paris. Someone once told me this movie is about an American businessman. Out of curiosity, are all American's traveling in Europe businessmen? I think not. First of all, he was a boxer, a bongo player, he married a wealthy woman, but nowhere did I see this man as working for some corporation. This man had little money, and he didn't need a 'serious' career.

This film is about abuse; a parable about the overly masculine father who sexually abuses his own son; a child abused by his alcoholic parents; a widower who is abused by his animalistic but deadly honest wife. This movie is about a religious zealot for a mother-in-law in constant denial who shows more interest in her daughter's corpse than in her life. This movie is about an idealistic no-longer teenager who perhaps finds true love the only time in her life, but pays a terrible price. It is as though she has bitten from the forbidden fruit and found that love is an illusion.

To say Brando is superb misses the point. I simply know no other actor that could have pulled this off. His facial expressions are uncanny. It is a most fitting bookend to Street Car Named Desire. One simply cannot deny the final elevator scene. But unlike Streetcar, Brando portrays a vivid understanding of the sensitivity towards women and towards human existence that few men are capable of grasping, and few women could probably appreciate. Brando is himself. But Brando is himself because he understands his character, not because he plays himself.

This movie is an existential parody of the nature of society. It is a bitter reflection of human frailty and vanity. It is a tragedy of a man who has actually found a way to transcend his own suffering, who has somehow managed to cut through the illusions that all of us carry day-to-day. But with that knowledge, he finds himself utterly alone (as so many users here seem testament.)


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