Last Tango In Paris [DVD]  
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In Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial adult drama, a middle-aged American (Marlon Brando), whose wife has just committed suicide, meets a young French girl (Maria Schneider) when they both view an apartment in Paris at the same time. They begin a strange, anonymous sexual relationship in the empty apartment, agreeing not to divulge any personal information to each other. Bertolucci and Brando were both nominated for Academy Awards.
A film whose infamy precedes it, Last Tango in Paris has always been sold heavily off the back of its graphical content as much as anything else. But that’s always sold the film short. Bernardo Bertolucci’s film is an intelligent, exceptionally well-acted story of two people who are drawn together. It’s a cold, physical relationship they have, testament to the darkness in their respective lives, and the production makes no attempt to present it as anything other than that.
It’s haunting cinema, in a film that’s very much stood the test of time. What’s particularly impressive about its Blu-ray presentation is how it complements Last Tango in Paris so strongly. The stark framing of the film is only enhanced here by the quality and clarity of the 1080p upgrade. The audio, too, has been cleaned up, albeit in a respectful way that doesn’t seek to force an overly-zealous surround sound mix on a film that doesn’t need, or was intended to have, one.
Sadly, there’s not much in the way of supplementary material to beef the disc out. The original theatrical trailer is of interest, but there’s a deeper look at the film waiting to be made. Yet the excellent, natural video transfer in particular makes the upgrade worth the investment. A cliché, perhaps, but it’s a classic film that really hasn’t look better. --Jon Foster--This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
So it took me 33 years to finally get around to watching "Last Tango..." and that is all to the good because if I had watched it when I was young, the barbarous sexuality would have sorely distracted me. Well, Maria Schneider (Jeanne) would have. She is very sexy and is shown complete ("she comes complete"!) in a number of scenes. Her acting ability has been challenged by some, but I thought she did a nice job in a difficult role.
Problem was she was paired opposite Marlon Brando (Paul) who was busy giving one of his greatest performances. Brando said some time afterwards that he never wanted to do anything like this again. Presumably he was referring to the depressing nature of human sexuality portrayed in the film. This is ironic since most of the raunchy and degrading lines are spoken by Brando who improvised them himself! He later commented that some of the lines written by director Bernado Bertolucci were not to his liking. What I think happened is Bertolucci wanted to live out as a director one of his youthful fantasies (raw, anonymous sex with a young beauty) and Brando, with his ultra sophistication about such matters, played his part with a brutal satirical edge, perhaps making fun of Bertolucci's fantasy, turning it into an unpleasant, hard reality.
But the "reality" was a bit over the top for everybody.Read more ›
Marlon Brando appears as a middle-aged American--but not the kind of American in Paris glorified by either George Gershwin or Ernest Hemingway... This is a man tormented by inner conflict... Brando's Paul between self-hatred over his wife's suicide and his feelings for Maria Schneider's Jeanne, she between her adoring documentary filmmaker fiancé (based wittily on Godard) and the taboo-breaking Paul...
The stark, empty flat that is the lovers' retreat from conventional society, and the cold, windy pavement where Paul screams his loathing for the world against the din of a passing train--connects us with the mood of the film...
Eager to escape the oppressive walls of his dark life, Paul embarks on a very complete sexual experience with a willing young woman in which there is no history spoken, no promises of future liaisons, no ties of any kind with the outside...
The two lovers know nothing of each other, not even their names... Their affair is purely physical, and the barren apartment becomes, as Bertolucci intended, a world of debauchery on which is explored a catalog of behavior that seems more childish than kinky...
Jeanne is a child-woman... She asks what she should call Paul, and they proceed to give themselves names brought only out of grunts, growls and screeches... Paul's cruelty is not justified and perhaps this is what attracts the modish girl...Read more ›
I always felt that Maria Schneider, who tragically died very recently, never got enough credit. Here she was, 19/20 years old in her first film, opposite the greatest actor in history, a world-famous director and what was obviously going to be a controversial film, and she puts in a great performance. Looks pretty great too. Unfortunately for her she's still best remembered for the "butter" scene but that does her a disservice. As regards the Blu-ray version I couldn't resist it when I saw it had been released. It was always a beautiful looking film and looks even better now. I've no idea how many times I've watched Last Tango but I think it's one of those films, like the first two Godfather movies, that I'll continue to watch until it's time to go to the big sleep.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
DELIGHTED TO FINALLY HAVE THIS MOVIE, AM WAITING FOR A ROMANTIC WEEKEND SO MY HUSBAND AND I CAN WATCH ITPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
1973 it came out. I didn't see it. I was working and there weren't the cinemas then that we are used to now. So it is just now that I have bought it on DVD. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S.M. Johnson
Brando gives a performance that will probably never be equalled. A film about isolation and the need to find love in a cold world. The soundtrackPublished 4 months ago by C. Williams