While looking for an apartment, Jeanne, a beautiful young Parisienne, encounters Paul, a mysterious American expatriate mourning his wife's recent suicide. Instantly drawn to each other, they have a stormy, passionate affair, in which they do not reveal their names to each other. Their relationship deeply affects their lives, as Paul struggles with his wife's death and Jeanne prepares to marry her fiance, Tom, a film director making a cinema-verite documentary about her. Written by
Erich Schneider <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marlon Brando later admitted in his autobiography "Songs My Mother Taught Me" that after making this film, he vowed to never again become so vulnerable for a role. See more »
The bottle of "bourbon" is actually Jack Daniels' Tennessee whiskey. Since the Daniels distillery is not in the Bourbon region of Kentucky that whiskey cannot be called "bourbon" according to US law. See more »
[with his hands over his ears at the overwhelming sound of a passing train]
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Okay, so I am not supposed to say anything about other user's comments, but I should mention that reading those comments is what lead me to write this...I don't know if this is an enjoyable movie experience, but it is nonetheless a triumph of cinema.
This film has very little to do with sex. It also has very little to do with the tango, and we might want to add it has little to do with Paris. Someone once told me this movie is about an American businessman. Out of curiosity, are all American's traveling in Europe businessmen? I think not. First of all, he was a boxer, a bongo player, he married a wealthy woman, but nowhere did I see this man as working for some corporation. This man had little money, and he didn't need a 'serious' career.
This film is about abuse; a parable about the overly masculine father who sexually abuses his own son; a child abused by his alcoholic parents; a widower who is abused by his animalistic but deadly honest wife. This movie is about a religious zealot for a mother-in-law in constant denial who shows more interest in her daughter's corpse than in her life. This movie is about an idealistic no-longer teenager who perhaps finds true love the only time in her life, but pays a terrible price. It is as though she has bitten from the forbidden fruit and found that love is an illusion.
To say Brando is superb misses the point. I simply know no other actor that could have pulled this off. His facial expressions are uncanny. It is a most fitting bookend to Street Car Named Desire. One simply cannot deny the final elevator scene. But unlike Streetcar, Brando portrays a vivid understanding of the sensitivity towards women and towards human existence that few men are capable of grasping, and few women could probably appreciate. Brando is himself. But Brando is himself because he understands his character, not because he plays himself.
This movie is an existential parody of the nature of society. It is a bitter reflection of human frailty and vanity. It is a tragedy of a man who has actually found a way to transcend his own suffering, who has somehow managed to cut through the illusions that all of us carry day-to-day. But with that knowledge, he finds himself utterly alone (as so many users here seem testament.)
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