Watching Bernardo Bertolucci’s erotic drama now, it’s not the graphic sex scenes that startle – these days they would pass for R-rated material. Instead, the jarring intensity of Marlon Brando in full fury keeps you off-balance. His portrayal of Paul, a recent widower who tries to exorcise his rage by having callous sex in a barren apartment with an anonymous younger woman (Maria Schneider), brings to mind a teetering tightrope performance. Brando is always on the edge – grunting like an animal one moment, screaming at his wife’s corpse the next – and he falls more often than not. Sometimes his improvised rambling leaves no room for any response other than uncomfortable laughter – it’s the only way to re-establish your defenses. Outside of Brando’s performance, Last Tango in Paris is too much of a male fantasy to justify its classic status – right down to the cop-out, morality-play ending. The movie stunned upon its arrival – then-New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael announced ‘Bertolucci and Brando have altered the face of an art form’ – but years later only Brando’s anguished howl still stings.