Spoiler alert:

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.

Marlon Brando as Sheriff Calder in THE CHASE


3 Responses to “GUM”

  1. Now I’ve got this image of Brando as Herman Munster.

    ….make it stop Mummy…

  2. Danny Carr Says:

    Some mega-trivia here…

    I was reading an interview with Ralph Thomas (director of the Doctor In The House series and brother of Greald “Carry On” Thomas and father of Jeremy “Producer” Thomas) last night and he said that his top three favourite filmmakers were Mike Newell, Nagisa Oshima and Bernardo Bertolucci.

    There we go, trivia over…

  3. Hot wow! So he primarily respects directors who are better at smut than himself?

    I think Film4 have been showing some of his more serious films, modest little thrillers and stuff, and they’re not at all bad. It’s a shame he and Betty Box got confined to the Doctor films to the degree they did, just as it’s unfortunate that Launder & Gilliat made so many St Trinians films.

    Of course Thomas’ son has produced several of Bert’s films so there’s a family connection there.

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