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Actress Maria Schneider has Died


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Marie might have had an important and sparklingly dramatic career, had it not been for what happened, starting out at age 19 and appearing in the ?X? rated ?The Last Tango In Paris.? This movie created a life long stigma she would never be able to shake off. She was for a short time amid the early 1970s, the biggest sensation in motion pictures. Marie was suddenly a huge historical footnote to a mainstream film, opposite a legendary star, containing what was then considered a very explicit (if not graphic) adult drama. Everything about the movie was ground breaking, right down to the extra premium ticket price that was in most cases above average as the film played in major cities across America. This film was as big a hit for star Marlon Brando as was his previous triumph in ?The Godfather.? Marlon now had, two, back to back hit films! Marlon had returned to the major leagues, after a series of failed projects and box-office disappointments. There can be no doubt of the historical significance ?The Last Tango In Paris? has and will continue to remain so intruding.


The reviews for the film weren?t exactly so upbeat, while most critics felt the film exploited the sexual prowess of Marlon. He was surprisingly in good shape, having lost a bit of weight and at 48 appeared to have rejuvenated his astonishing lascivious image of his earlier years on the motion picture screen. What gave the film so much hype were the various articles and scores of news coverage that focused so much upon Marlon?s enamored rapturous character that shocked as much as thrilled his fans. Somewhere along the entire excessive atmosphere surrounding the movie, emerged Marie, being vigorously part of the spotlight, created by all this sensationalism. She did the best she could, but she was simply too young, too inexperienced to face the onslaught of publicity and really understand what had happened. The tabloids descended upon Marie like starving vultures, looking for every type of discrepancy available to published and perhaps find a connection to the movie and who she really might be.


While the film became a huge box-office success, Marie became a symbol of sorts to a new form of unconventionality or what might be termed as a free spirit and a girl who didn?t abide by most rules; especially moral ones. It?s not so much that the film ruined any chance she might have had to become a big and respected star, but that the impact of being in the film would always remain the strongest point to her legacy and what she would eventually represent. Some say Marie was in most cases, simply a ?one shot wonder.? This is especially the case, along the lines that her film output wouldn?t be so refined in the years to come. Her only other film of any great distinction was ?The Passenger,? in 1975, opposite Jack Nicholson. Her thrust upon the international film world, would only last a mere four years, whereupon she would worked mostly in Europe for the reminder of her lifetime.


There is something to be said of her having had an influence on many actresses (especially in Europe) in the years to come. Marie was even compared to the enormous fuss created many years earlier, when another French actress, a young beautiful Brigitte Bardot came upon the international movie scene. You might say that Marie in 1972, carried on with this tradition that the French have always seemed to exploit in the field of adult oriented films. After her career slowed down and wasn?t under the constant spotlight, Marie spoke up against ?The Last Tango In Paris,? insinuating that the motion picture had gone to extremes that weren?t so necessary. Marlon would in later years also be critical of director Bernardo Bertolucci, candid about the rigorous schedule and routine he and Marie underwent to create their roles. In those years to follow, Bertolucci would go on to become a noted and artistically respected director, so much so, it?s said he acts at times that he never participated in the creation of "The Last Tango In Paris" or it?s just now a distant memory.

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