in about 100 words or less
France, Italy 128m, Colour
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci; Cast: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Jean-Pierre Léaud
Last Tango in Paris is a tragic story of love and obsession as played out in an anonymous sexually explicit relationship between a grieving American widower and an otherwise engaged young Parisian woman and her physically abusive fiancée. Widely censored and the subject of considerable controversy, Last Tango in Paris manipulates the bleak, raw and sexually charged emotions of its characters in ways which are lustful, erotic and realistically frightening. As an American in Paris, Brando’s improvisation as a coarse and callous lover bathed in self-pity is as often uncomfortable to watch as are Schneider’s naked emotions as a young actress whose character’s lust is complicit in feeding her own destructive relationships (Klaus Ming November 2013).