A young Parisian woman begins a sordid affair with a middled-aged American businessman whom lays out ground rules that their clandestine relationship will be based only on sex.
Probably the last sub-titled film to gain a widespread general release in this country, and enormously disappointing to mid-70s schoolchildren who sneaked in to see some major humping, this is a schizoid art-house picture, with Bertolucci off his Italian home turf paying tribute to all of French cinema, from L'Atalante to the New Wave in his plot about Jean-Pierre Leaud trying to make a movie.
Strong stuff for those who like emotional nerves being scraped, and just about old enough to have a certain nostalgic appeal for those who like to remember when women wore coats with feathery fur collars and Brando still had a waistline.
Brando gives his all but just ends up becoming himself. Interesting for it's historical notoriety, but overlong and dull in places.
Reviewed by Kim Newman