Last Tango in Paris

1972

Last Tango in Paris

Critics Consensus

Naturalistic but evocative, Last Tango in Paris is a vivid exploration of pain, love, and sex featuring a typically towering Marlon Brando performance.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36
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Movie Info

In Bernardo Bertolucci's art-house classic, Marlon Brando delivers one of his characteristically idiosyncratic performances as Paul, a middle-aged American in "emotional exile" who comes to Paris when his estranged wife commits suicide. Chancing to meet young Frenchwoman Jeanne (Maria Schneider), Paul enters into a sadomasochistic, carnal relationship with her, indirectly attacking the hypocrisy all around him through his raw, outrageous sexual behavior. Paul also hopes to purge himself of his own feelings of guilt, brilliantly (and profanely) articulated in a largely ad-libbed monologue at his wife's coffin. If the sexual content in Last Tango is uncomfortably explicit (once seen, the infamous "butter scene" is never forgotten), the combination of Brando's acting, Bertolucci's direction, Vittorio Storaro's cinematography, and Gato Barbieri's music is unbeatable, creating one of the classic European art movies of the 1970s, albeit one that is not for all viewers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Darling Legitimus
as The Concierge
Maria Michi
as Rosa's Mother
Gitt Magrini
as Jeanne's mother
Catherine Sola
as TV Script Girl
Mauro Marchetti
as TV Cameraman
Dan Diament
as TV Sound Engineer
Peter Schommer
as TV Assistant Cameraman
Stephane Kosiak
as Small Mover
Gerard Lepennec
as Tall Mover
Michel Delahaye
as Bible Salesman
Laura Betti
as Miss Blandish
Armand Ablanalp
as Prostitute's Customer
Jean-Luc Bideau
as Barge Captain
Mimi Pinson
as President of Tango Jury
Ramon Mendizabal
as Tango Orchestra Leader
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Critic Reviews for Last Tango in Paris

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (8)

  • When Brando improvises within Bertolucci's structure, his full art is realized; his performance is intuitive, rapt, princely. Working with Brando, Bertolucci achieves realism with the terror of actual experience still alive on the screen.

    Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • An uneven, convoluted, certainly dispute-provoking study of sexual passion in which Marlon Brando gives a truly remarkable performance.

    Dec 7, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The operatic extravagance of Bernardo Bertolucci's style has emerged more clearly since this 1972 drama, which still managed to seem vaguely naturalistic in the midst of its extravagant camera moves and eccentric construction.

    Dec 7, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial drama is actually a dark, torrid masterpiece about love and grief.

    Jul 17, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Nobody makes sex films like this any more.

    Jul 14, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's Brando's film: his monologues devastate.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic

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