Don’t Look Now but we’re still wondering about THAT scene… 15



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It was one of the most graphic sex scenes ever shot for a mainstream movie and 40 years later people are still wondering: did they or didn’t they?

The film, of course, was Don’t Look Now, starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, a critically acclaimed horror/thriller released in 1973. And while the actors applauded for their performances, the one most people wanted to know about was in the bedroom.

Julie Christie, now 75, has been quizzed again on that scene.

In a documentary on director Nicolas Roeg, she says the director captured the “extraordinary thing that happens when you are making love”, going to to explain the scene captured  the moment that “you know you don’t exist, the other person perhaps doesn’t even exist. It’s just bodies that are existing”.

“It wasn’t even necessarily sexy, what it was – it reminded you of making love,” she said.

At the time, the sex scene was so raw and realistic that it was widely believed the actors had actually performed the deed instead of acting it out. The film was pored over by censorship boards in the UK and in America but they could not find evidence to ban it. The film was given an R-rating in the US and and X rating in Britain. When the BBC aired the film, the sex scene was omitted.


In 2011 a movie executive claimed he had watched the filming, and the couple had indeed made love, but this was strongly denied by Mr Sutherland at the time.

Ms Christie said, “People didn’t do scenes like that in those days. There were no available examples, no role models … I just went blank and Nic [Roeg] shouted instructions”.

Upon hearing about the controversy, the British actress’s boyfriend at the time, Warren Beatty, reportedly flew to London to demand the scene be cut.

Do you remember the film? And that famous scene? Share your memories!

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Great movie, but this is not what I remember about it. The little red-cloaked figure, on the other hand … very creepy and scary.

  2. I remember the movie. Scared bejesus outa me. So much so I don’t recall the scene being discussed. But that was often me if all else was good why pick on one bit.

  3. O come on! As if the actors really went “all the way”. Surrounded by filming crew & all of the paraphernalia involved in the scene I imagine it to have been just a tad off- putting!!!!!! Great acting though….

    1 REPLY
    • Richard burton and elizabeth taylor are similarly reputed to hae got stuck into it filming ben her

  4. An amazing and memorable movie. Certainly not because of an alleged sexual act – there was so much more to involve the audience. Tense, thrilling and the little in the red coat – very haunting.

  5. Never heard of or seen the film. If they did, in deed, do the dirty deed together -then that was up to them- probably the thought of both the camera & all stage crew watching would have heightened the passion & they might have gone for it.
    Who cares now ? – apart from their partners of course. Can’t comment on Donald Sutherlands wife/partner @ the time or now – but Julie Christie was in a relationship with the biggest womanizer of the time – Robert Redford – who would take you to bed as soon as he looked at you, but then gets jealous on whether or not his ” Girlfriend at the time ” is unfaithful to him whilst filming a scene in a movie. I hope she did the deed & enjoyed it. However, now she is 75, I wonder if she can remember the event & whether or not it was worth the excitement for those few minutes !!

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