At the end of LAST TANGO IN PARIS, Marlon Brando expires on a balcony, just like Toshiro Mifune at the end of DRUNKEN ANGEL (two spoilers per sentence!) Before life departs his frame, Brando rather suavely takes the gum from his mouth and affixes it to the underside of the metal railing.
Two Bertolucci films later, in LA LUNA, the mighty Fred Gwynne (how much nicer film history would be if HE had played all Brando’s roles!) Stands likewise on a balcony and finds Brando’s gum. “Damn kids,” he mutters.
It’s maybe the only cute thing in either film, and I like to picture this gum stretching from Paris to New York, from 1972 to 1979, from Marlon Brando.
Gratuitous spoiler: Fred tells his wife he’s had a strange, disquieting dream, but shrugs it off and says he’ll tell her later. Then he leaves the house and drops dead at the wheel of his car. Pretty cool.
Footnote: I once spellchecked Bertolucci’s name on a very old computer and it suggested BARNYARD BERTOLUCCI. I like this name and I always think of it.
Footfootnote: Making THE LAST EMPEROR, Peter O’Toole always called him BERT.