NC-17 | | Drama, Romance
A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.
In protest against the film only receiving a minor cinema cut in the U.K., a private prosecution was brought against United Artists in January 1974 by 69-year-old Edward Shackleton, a Salvation Army member and leading member of the executive committee of the pro-censorship Festival of Light party. Although the case went as far as the Old Bailey, it collapsed when it was ruled that the Obscene Publications Act did not, at that time, apply to films.
When Paul is putting shaving cream on with the brush at the beginning of the sink scene, he lathers it on relatively thick in the frontal shot but then when the scene cut to the side shot as he begins to shave, the cream is on in a thin, uniform layer.
A scene in which Paul scares away a bible salesman from his apartment by getting on all fours and barking like a dog was in the film at its world premiere at the New York Film Festival. Although Pauline Kael, present at that screening, specifically praised the scene in her "New Yorker" review of the film, Bertolucci cut it out of the film before its general release.
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