Last Tango In Paris

1972, Movie, NC-17, 129 mins


Shattering social and sexual conventions, LAST TANGO IN PARIS stands as one of Bernardo Bertolucci's finer achievements. Marlon Brando plays Paul, a confused middle-aged American living in Paris whose wife has just, inexplicably, committed suicide. Paul is obsessed with the thought that his wife's death, and her whole life, is a mystery to him. He knew nothing about her, and nothing of the secret affair she carried on for years with Marcel (Massimo Girotti).

Maria Schneider plays Jeanne, a 20-year-old from a wealthy Parisian family who is engaged to Tom (Jean-Pierre Leaud), a New Wave filmmaker who documents his fiancee's life in an attempt to discover the truth about her. While hunting for an apartment, Jeanne meets Paul. Moments later, the two strangers are making passionate love on the floor of the empty apartment. When they meet again, it is under Paul's ground rules: "You and I are going to meet here without knowing anything that goes on outside here. We are going to forget everything we knew--everything." If the psychosexual dynamics and existential maunderings of the screenplay are sometimes less than plausible, the remaining elements are perfectly synthesized in this landmark erotic film--Bertolucci's direction; the raw, brave performances of Brando and Schneider; Storaro's lush camerawork. Not to be missed. leave a comment

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