Bad Relationships! week concludes at Trailers from Hell with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski introducing one of the most controversial films ever made, Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris,” starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider.
Aiming to contrast the dichotomies of Love and Lust,
director Bertolucci originally hoped to star Jean-Louis Trintignant
with either Dominique Sanda or Catherine Deneuve, but when those plans fell
apart he went with Brando and 19 year old unknown Schneider. Its
graphic but simulated sex scenes garnered a scandalous X rating in the US,
later rescinded to an R without cuts. Bertolucci believed this was Brando’s
most revealing performance despite the fact that apart from one memorably improvised
soliloquy about his childhood he can be seen reading his entire part from cue
cards. At one point he asked if his lines could be written on his co-star’s
derriere, which the director refused.