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Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Ultimo tango a Parigi (original title)
NC-17 | | Drama, Romance | 7 February 1973 (USA)
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1:31 | Trailer

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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 »
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Popularity
738 ( 667)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 7 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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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 »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Banned in Spain, the town of Perpignan on the French-Spanish border was besieged with visitors crossing the border to see the film. See more »

Goofs

When Paul and Jeanne are at the sinks together, she says, "I prefer to be a whore." Her lips do not move during that line. 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

For its original UK cinema release the BBFC suggested cuts to dialogue during the scissors scene and a heavy reduction of the infamous sodomy scene, though the former was rescinded when it was decided that the cuts would be difficult to make without ruining the scene. Instead a proposed cut of 20 secs was required to the sodomy scene to remove shots of Paul smearing butter on Jeanne's buttocks and some overhead shots of sexual thrusting. The latter was also waived following an appeal from the director and instead a mere 10 sec cut was made to the butter smearing. When the OPA (Obscene Publications Act) was extended to cover films a few years later BBFC censor James Ferman waived the cinema cut, and all post-1978 releases (including TV showings) have been the fully uncut version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Il était une fois...: Le dernier tango à Paris (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

There are those who see ...
24 June 2003 | by hadleyaSee 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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