7.0/10
49,318
204 user 118 critic

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Ultimo tango a Parigi (original title)
NC-17 | | Drama, Romance | 7 February 1973 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Writers:

Bernardo Bertolucci (story), Bernardo Bertolucci (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,781 ( 510)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Paul
Maria Schneider ... Jeanne
Maria Michi ... Rosa's Mother / La mère de Rosa
Giovanna Galletti ... Prostitute / La prostituée
Gitt Magrini Gitt Magrini ... Jeanne's Mother / La mère de Jeanne
Catherine Allégret ... Catherine (as Catherine Allegret)
Luce Marquand Luce Marquand ... Olympia
Marie-Hélène Breillat Marie-Hélène Breillat ... Monique (as Marie-Helene Breillat)
Catherine Breillat ... Mouchette
Dan Diament Dan Diament ... TV Sound Engineer / L'ingénieur du son
Catherine Sola Catherine Sola ... TV Script Girl / La script-girl
Mauro Marchetti Mauro Marchetti ... TV Cameraman / Le cameraman
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Tom - un cinéaste, le fiancé de Jeanne (as Jean-Pierre Leaud)
Massimo Girotti ... Marcel
Peter Schommer 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

During the Tango contest scene, Paul's clapping doesn't match the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Available on video in both R-rated and uncut X-rated versions. One of the main difference between the two cuts involves a scene of anal sex between Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. In the R-rated version, the scene isn't cut, but rather a lamp is superimposed over the scene, covering most of their bodies. The censored R-rated version is cut by two minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Shenandoah
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Marlon Brando
See more »

User Reviews

 
A milestone in cinema, but cold and alienating
8 May 2003 | by Pedro_HSee all my reviews

A tired middle aged American businessman encounters a young woman while flat hunting in Paris; and starts a torrid affair with her.

One of the those movies that more people have heard about than seen and probably works better that way. While certainly sexually frank, even today, it is far too European art house for most tastes.

The plot idles, stops and jerks like a country milk train, leaving so many questions unanswered that you have to write half the script in your own head to get through it.

Brando's portrait of a man that seems torn between falling in love and falling under a bus is certainly unique. Especially as most viewers and critics had concluded that he had already shown his full hand of cards. In contrast co-star Schnieder is amazing in being able to put together a performance from so little. Indeed she is just an inflated muse, who the film seems little interested in.

My problem with the film is that it is about emptiness, depression and alienation; but there is so much of it about anyway (and always has been, just turn on the news!) that going looking for in cinema seems pointless. The sex is not really sexy, merely people trying to enliven their dull lives not unlike people who take drugs to achieve the same. If there is romance here, it can only be seen as a sadomasochistic romance played out among damaged people.

LTIP is certainly a milestone picture, if only for Brando's totally open and no holds barred performance, but it leaves far too many question unanswered to be anything like a classic. Indeed this is merely an exercise in mood, tempo and design and was a box office hit because people had not seen frank sexuality on the screen like this before.

The world of sex-on-film has moved on so much since this was released that today's audience will not have a clue what caused the press headlines. Indeed many will be yawning through the famous scenes that once shocked a generation...


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

7 February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Last Tango in Paris See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$36,144,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,182,181
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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