The acutely unsettling 1973 horror classic, Don't Look Now, is primarily remembered for two shocking images, permanently seared into every viewer's mind: that terrifying red-coated dwarf lady and the scandalously explicit sex scene that earned the movie an R rating in the States and an X rating in the UK.
The latter scene in question was so intensely erotic - far and away more graphic than any of the film's contemporaries - that it still remains a source of intrigue and a relic of disputed movie mythology to this day, dividing opinions on whether or not the sex depicted on camera was in fact real.
Now, over 40 years later StudioCanal are working on a Hollywood remake, and the question on everyone's mind is: How are they going to top that infamously raunchy scene?
Real or Fake?
Rumors surrounding Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's 'did they / didn't they' tumble in the sheets continue to circulate, but did they actually commit unsimulated sex to film?
Sutherland himself has relentlessly denied such rumors, which Peter Katz (the film's producer) has also backed up. However, to complicate matters, former Variety editor Peter Bart - a Paramount executive at the time of the film's release - asserts that he saw the actor's "dick...moving in and out of her” with his own God-given eyes.
“It was clear to me they were no longer simply acting: they were fucking on camera.”
Bart, who visited the movie's Venice set, revealed all in his book 'Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, (and Sex).' The studio exec claimed that while watching the steamy scene:
"It was clear to me they were no longer simply acting: they were fucking on camera."
Bart relates an exchange shared with director Nicolas Roeg, the naked pair of actors doing their thing in the hushed background:
Bart: "Nic. Don’t they expect you to say 'cut?'"
Roeg: "I just want to be sure I have the coverage."
Bart: "His dick is moving in and out of her. That’s beyond coverage."
Seems pretty conclusive to me.
Though it still remains one man's word against another, I could believe it happened - it was the '70s after all...plus Don Sutherland was rocking a mighty fine 'fro that would've seduced even the most frigid of us.
The industry is certainly no stranger to unsimulated on-screen sex, Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac being a recent example of its occurrence. So it's happened before, why not again?
I guess we'll just have to wait until the remake is released to find out whether they plan to truly 'honor' the original movie, down to every last explicit detail...