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Last Tango in Paris [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi, Giovanna Galletti, Gitt Magrini
  • Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Writers: Bernardo Bertolucci, Franco Arcalli, Agnès Varda, Jean-Louis Trintignant
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Rated: X (Mature Audiences Only)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: November 3, 1998
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792838335
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,086 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial 1973 film stars MarlonBrando as an expatriate American in Paris reeling from his wife's suicide and entering into a nihilistic sexual relationship with a young woman (Maria Schneider). The film is still shocking, not simply because of its (sometime unconventional) sexual sequences, but because Brando's protagonist needs his liaison with Schneider's character to remain anonymous, an experience not to be shared but indulged on either end. Bertolucci is also operating on subtext here: in a way, Brando's nonengaging engagement is a metaphor for a certain attitude toward directing movies. Jean-Pierre Léaud costars, but the film is more than anything a vehicle for a great performance by Brando. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

The sex made the film controversial, Bertulucci, Brando and Storaro made the film a work of cinematic art.
He wound these memories into the fictional life of Paul, who at middle age finds himself in a time of madness following his wife's suicide.
carol irvin
I thought that this movie wasn't as bold as I thought it was going to be, and I think most people will not like it.
Michael Demarco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

231 of 239 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 17, 2004
Format: DVD
Marlon Brando's recent death affected me deeply. He has always been one of my favorite actors and I truly admire him for his extraordinary talent. During the last few weeks I have rented many of Brando's films and am still amazed, after all these years, at the force of his acting in "Last Tango In Paris." I believe that some of his best work was done in this film.

Paul, (Brando), an aging American expatriate in Paris, comes home to discover that his marriage has ended. His French wife, Rosa, had slit her veins, leaving bloody bath water and spattered walls behind. She didn't leave much else - no good-bye note or explanation for her husband, parents or lover, a guest in the fleabag hotel she owned and managed. She did bequeath the hotel, and it's seedy occupants, to Paul. Overwhelmed with grief, Paul walks the streets and finds himself looking at an apartment for rent. He finds Jeanne, (Maria Schneider), a girl-woman, barely out of her teens, looking at the same apartment. She is to be married in a few weeks to her bourgeois, filmmaker fiancee. Paul and Jeanne circle each other warily in the empty flat, each contemplating the rental, (and each other), and wondering who will take it. Suddenly, they grab each other and have hard, fast sex against the apartment wall. Thus begins a most bizarre relationship.

Paul makes the rules. Jeanne must follow them or she will not see him again. Their purely carnal relationship must remain anonymous, emotionless, and exist only within the walls of the apartment, which Paul rents for this purpose. There are to be no sexual taboos between them. He does not want to know her name or anything about her and refuses to give her any information about himself. They are not to see each other outside the apartment confines, nor even leave together.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Davis on December 14, 2001
Format: DVD
If there is anyone out there that wonders why Marlon Brando has
been called the greatest film actor of all time, one need only to
see this film to get their answer. Although it is somewhat dated and certainly not for everyone, Last Tango in Paris is a true
masterpiece of filmmaking.
Tame by today's standards, it is easy to see why 1972 audiences were shocked by its brutal frankness and full frontal nudity. It is a film about isolation, betrayal and confronting
one's own insecurities.
I found the beginning most difficult to believe- middle aged man begins an affair with a beautiful young woman after having met
her only moments before in an empty apartment. And then they
continue to meet for sex even though he insists that they reveal
nothing about themselves beyond the physical act of sex!
Once past this impossible beginning, we begin to learn more about
the characters- he is a lonely widower, she is engaged to a young
film student. She eventually accepts the fact that their relationship is nothing more than sexual.
Maria Schneider is very good in her role as the French girl and she seems completely comfortable with the graphic nude scenes she is in. But it is Brando who commands our complete attention. He dominates every scene and while Schneider spends a great deal of time being naked, he does not yet it is still his character that facinates us.
The film gets bogged down in some areas and many viewers may become bored with the scenes that involve some of the supporting characters. But, and trust me on this, DO NOT miss the scene in
which Brando visits the body of his dead wife. It is not a long scene but it alone is worth the price one will pay for seeing this film- be it in cash and/or time. It is a scene that all students of film and acting should be required to see. Once you have seen it I am sure you will agree- acting does not get any better than this.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By David Kastrup on October 7, 2005
Format: DVD
People who are going to buy this film for erotic content are going to be disappointed. Brando and Schneider are going at each other like two wounded animals passing the time and yelling their hurt at one another. It is mostly Paul who takes the active part, but Jeanne is taking the reality of his lashings as a welcome return to bleak reality from the artificiality of her own personal life and in particular her fiance.

When others complain that outside of the scenes circling Brando the story gets thin, I think they miss the intention of the film. It is this stark naked reality of Brando which drives Jeanne into Paul's arms again and again.

And which culminates in the climax when Paul falls back from essential cruelty, domination and _life_ into superficiality like everything else.

I can't fathom why you'd be wanting to watch this with a romantic interest over a bottle of champagne as somebody else suggested.

The film is deeply unsettling unless you are bereft of any sensibility, and then you probably would not want to let your romantic interest to know.

I don't think that there is any film into which Brando invested more personal energy and life force than this one.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on July 26, 2002
Format: DVD
I'm giving this film five stars but I know I couldn't recommend it to everyone I know (especially from the reactions of friends I did encourage to see it!). I found it erotic, unique, personal, and powerful when I saw it in college: two desperate souls trying to appease their inner torment with sexuality and failing miserably.
What's really stuck with me is Marlon Brando's performance. I thought to myself back then, "That didn't look like acting." I read his bio and found out that he WASN'T acting. What you're seeing is an emotional breakdown on film: his weeping is just too raw and severe; he broke his hand when he punched a door during the mother-in-law scene (an action not in the script); the farm tales he tells were from his own childhood; and, perhaps most devastating of all, he rages at his dead wife's body in the film--but he's really dredging up his real-life anger for his alcoholic mother.
Afterward, he was quoted as saying, "I'll never act like that again." And then went on to do THE GODFATHER.
(Another weird detail: Maria Schneider, the young French girl in the film, is the daughter of a former roommate of Brando's.)
It may feel "foreign" in places to an American audience, but this film's scenes of desire, desperation and despair are universal.
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