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Trailers from Hell: Larry Karaszewski on Bertolucci's 'Last Tango in Paris,' Starring Brando and Schneider

Photo of Trailers From Hell By Trailers From Hell | Thompson on Hollywood August 2, 2013 at 11:13AM

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.
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Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando in "Last Tango in Paris"
Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando in "Last Tango in Paris"

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 Its graphic but simulated sex scenes garnered a scandalous X rating in the US, later rescinded to an R without cuts.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.

This article is related to: Trailers, Trailers from Hell, Trailers, Video, Video


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.