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 <email@example.com>
In protest against the film only receiving a minor cinema cut in the U.K., a private prosecution was brought against United Artists in January 1974 by 69-year-old Edward Shackleton, a Salvation Army member and leading member of the executive committee of the pro-censorship Festival of Light party. Although the case went as far as the Old Bailey, it collapsed when it was ruled that the Obscene Publications Act did not, at that time, apply to films. See more »
When Paul monologues with the Rosa, as he leans on her to say "Rosa, I'm sorry.", she blinks. See more »
[with his hands over his ears at the overwhelming sound of a passing train]
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Bernardo Bertoluci's "Last Tango in Paris" is a beautiful art-house movie that features one of Marlon Brando's finest performances. He plays Paul, an enigmatic American drawn to France after the recent suicide of his wife. While there, he encounters Jeanne, whom he soon begins to have an affair with. However, they do not reveal anything about themselves and the relationship is based solely on sex.
Jeanne is engaged to Tom, a film director making a documentary of sorts about her. She questions her own love for Tom as she finds herself more and more drawn to Paul.
"Last Tango in Paris" or "Ultimo tango a Parigi" was released in 1972 to much hoopla. Critics loved it but the American censors despised it and it somehow gained a reputation of being a "smut film." It's actually a deep and provocative statement about two people from different backgrounds who fall in love despite trying not to. Their anonymity with each other only makes it all the more difficult.
Brando delivers a stunning performance and Maria Schneider is quite convincing in what must have been a very demanding role.
This isn't a flawless film but it is very good and offers more than just the average "t&a" the genre has come to be known for.
"Last Tango in Paris" has been copied a few times over the years - most noticeably with films such as "9 1/2 Weeks" and "Intimacy." However, this is still one of the best "erotic" dramas out there.
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