Last Tango in Paris (Italian: Ultimo tango a Parigi) is a 1972 Italian romantic drama art film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci which portrays a recent American widower who takes up an anonymous sexual relationship with a young, soon-to-be-married Parisian woman. It stars Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Léaud.
The film's raw portrayal of sexual violence and emotional turmoil led to international controversy and drew various levels of government censorship. The MPAA gave the film an X rating upon release in the United States. After revisions were made to the MPAA ratings code, it was classified as an NC-17 in 1997. MGM released a censored R-rated cut in 1981. The film has its NC-17 rating for "some explicit sexual content."
Paul (Marlon Brando), a middle-aged American hotel owner mourning the suicide of his wife, meets a young engaged Parisian woman named Jeanne (Maria Schneider) in an apartment both are interested in renting. Paul and Jeanne proceed to have an anonymous sexual relationship in the apartment, and Paul demands that neither of them share any personal information, not even their names. The affair goes on until one day Jeanne comes to the apartment to find that Paul has, without warning, packed up and left.
The music for the film was composed by Gato Barbieri. Some instances of music appearing in the film however are not listed in the credits. For instance in the scene where Jeanne wants to play a record, and asks Paul to take a look at the record player because it does not seem to work: Jeanne: "I've got a surprise for you!" Paul: "That's good. I like surprises. What is it?" Jeanne: "Music. But I don't know how to work it." While getting the player to work Paul gets an electric shock. Paul: "Do you enjoy that?" Then the uncredited song is played.
Brutally honest as life itself.
Erotic Love sweeps the lovers away like "an usual destiny in the blue sea of August..." [Nods to Lina Wertmüller.]
Love is a fine Madness.
The Death of Love comes to the unworthy; those who fall from its grace by being inauthentic, by denying Love's wildness & unreason.
The music & the City of Light are also characters.
My dear? Go get the butter...
From the UA soundtrack, rereleased by Rykodisc in 1999.
Orchestrated by Oliver Nelson.
Copyrighted by United Artists Records and MGM films