NC-17 | | Drama, Romance
A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.
When Marlon Brando was asked what the movie was about during his 1979 Playboy Magazine interview, he responded, "Bernardo Bertolucci's analysis."
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.
For its original UK cinema release the BBFC suggested cuts to dialogue during the scissors scene and a heavy reduction of the infamous sodomy scene, though the former was rescinded when it was decided that the cuts would be difficult to make without ruining the scene. Instead a proposed cut of 20 secs was required to the sodomy scene to remove shots of Paul smearing butter on Jeanne's buttocks and some overhead shots of sexual thrusting. The latter was also waived following an appeal from the director and instead a mere 10 sec cut was made to the butter smearing. When the OPA (Obscene Publications Act) was extended to cover films a few years later BBFC censor James Ferman waived the cinema cut, and all post-1978 releases (including TV showings) have been the fully uncut version.
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