Which Marlon Brando movie was banned in Italy? Let’s come to a straight answer. The movie’s name is Last Tango in Paris. It is a 1972 erotic drama film. Bernardo Bertolucci directed it. Some basic information about the film given below. In addition, the reasons for banning it also included. Keep reading.
The film portrays a young Parisian woman life who meets a middle-aged American businessman. He demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.
It stars Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Léaud.
The film’s raw portrayal of sexual violence and emotional turmoil led to international controversy and drew various levels of government censorship in different jurisdictions. Upon release in the United States, the MPAA gave the film an X rating. In 1997, the film was reclassified NC-17. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released it as an R-rated cult film in 1981.
The film premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 14, 1972. According to its U.S. theatrical release, the film became the seventh highest-grossing film of 1973. As it grossed $36 million.
Why the Movie Banned in Italy?
Last Tango in Paris which starred Marlon Brando banned in several countries, including Italy. It was not allowed for viewing in Italy until early 1987.
The film aroused controversy because of its explicit sex. Particularly an anal rape scene and it condemned in the Italian courts as obscene, indecent, and catering to the lowest instincts of the libido.
The film contains a scene in which Paul anally rapes Jeanne using butter as a lubricant. The rape scene, infamously remembered for Brando’s use of butter to penetrate his co-star, also traumatized its lead actress Maria Schneider, an unknown 19-year-old at the time.
The reason is that Maria Schneider was unaware of the progression of the rape scene. While the rape simulated, the scene still had a tremendously negative effect on Schneider.
In a 2006 interview, Schneider said, “the scene was not in the script and when they told me, I had a burst of anger. Woo! I threw everything. And nobody can force someone to do something not in the script. But I didn’t know that”.
“I felt humiliated and, to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologize. Thankfully, there was just one take,” she told Britain’s Daily Mail before her death in 2011.
The movie and Stone herself went on to attain cult status and even 25 years after the film, it’s one of the most talked-about scenes in film history.
Less Known Facts
- Local government officials failed to ban in Montclair and New Jersey the Marlon Brando movie which was banned in Italy.
- When the film released in Italy on December 15 in 1972, it grossed an unprecedented $100,000 in only six days.
- Just after its release, the following year, Bernardo Bertolucci earned an Oscar nomination for best director for Last Tango in Paris.
- Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci clarified in interview details about the infamous butter rape scene in his film Last Tango in Paris. Bertolucci says the only thing sprung on actress Maria Schneider was the butter. The simulated rape scene was in the script, so the actress knew about that.
- Bertolucci admitted that neither he nor Marlon Brando had told Schneider their plans to use butter during the scene. They decided not to tell Schneider because Bertolucci wanted her to feel the rage and the humiliation.
No doubt that Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time. Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949, a decision for which he severely criticized. He severed all ties with the director feeling exploited after the movie made. Needless to say, it banned in several countries like Spain and the director’s native Italy. It released after several cuts and an ‘x’ certificate in the United Kingdom. With an ‘r’ certificate in the United State also. These all happened for the infamous erotic rape scene.