Play media Sample from the love scene. Don't Look Now has become famous for a sex scene involving Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, which caused considerable controversy prior to its release in British tabloid newspaper, the Daily Mail , observed at the time "one of the frankest love scenes ever to be filmed is likely to plunge lovely Julie Christie into the biggest censorship row since Last Tango in Paris ".
The scene was unusually graphic for the period, including a rare depiction of cunnilingus in a mainstream film. I just went blank and Nic [Roeg] shouted instructions. The American censor advised Nicolas Roeg explicitly, saying, "We cannot see humping. We cannot see the rise and fall between thighs. If someone goes up, you cut and the next time you see them they're in a different position, you obviously fill in the gaps for yourself.
But, technically speaking, there was no 'humping' in that scene. In Britain, the British Board of Film Classification judged the uncut version to be "tasteful and integral to the plot", and a scene in which Donald Sutherland's character can be clearly seen performing oral sex on Christie's character was permitted, but it was still given an X rating —an adults only certificate.
In his book, Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, the Mob, and Sex , Bart says he was on set on the day the scene was filmed and could clearly see Sutherland's penis "moving in and out of" Christie. Bart also reiterated Warren Beatty's discontent, noting that Beatty had contacted him to complain about what he perceived to be Roeg's exploitation of Christie, and insisting that he be allowed to help edit the film.
Peter Katz, the film's producer, corroborated Sutherland's account that the sex was entirely simulated. Extras include an introduction by film journalist Alan Jones , an audio commentary by director Nicolas Roeg, a retrospective documentary featurette "Looking Back" , an extract from a s documentary about Roeg "Nothing is as it Seems" , and interviews with Donald Sutherland, composer Pino Donaggio "Death in Venice" , scriptwriter Allan Scott, cinematographer Anthony Richmond and film director Danny Boyle , as well as a "compressed" version of the film made by Boyle for a BAFTA tribute.
Two new documentaries are also included: Canby also suggested that second sight was not convincing on screen, since it appeared simply like flash-forward which is a standard story-telling device in films, and concluded that "Not only do you probably have better things to do, but so, I'm sure, do most of the people connected with the film.
Jay Cocks regarded Don't Look Now to be Roeg's best work by far and that Roeg was one of "those rare talents that can effect a new way of seeing". Cocks also felt that the film was a marked improvement on the novella, noting that a reading "makes one appreciate Roeg and Screenwriters [Allan] Scott and [Chris] Bryant all the more.
Film and story share certain basic elements of plot and an ending of cruel surprise. The story is detached, almost cursory. Roeg and his collaborators have constructed an intricate, intense speculation about levels of perception and reality. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland also received praise for their performances.
Variety considered Sutherland to be at his most subdued but also at his most effective, while Christie does her "best work in ages". Roger Ebert, nearly thirty years after his original review, stated that he had come to an "accommodation" with his reservations about what he termed the "admitted weakness of the denouement".
Having gone through the film shot by shot, he came to the conclusion it is a "masterpiece of physical filmmaking, in the way the photography evokes mood and the editing underlines it with uncertainty". It felt very brave to me, and I think it still holds up. Nick Roeg is a brilliant director. Ryan Murphy on Don't Look Now. Danny Boyle cites Nicolas Roeg as a key influence on his work and counts it amongst his favourite films. The James Bond film , Casino Royale contains a small homage where James Bond pursues a female character through Venice, catching glimpses of her through the crowds wearing a red dress.
Flatliners , a supernatural thriller directed by Joel Schumacher , also draws explicitly on the red-coated childlike figure by having a character terrorised by a child wearing a red coat;  coincidentally, the character who is being tormented is played by Kiefer Sutherland , Donald Sutherland's son. In the stage play of Don't Look Now, written by Nell Leyshon and directed by Lucy Bailey , the play made a conscious effort to bypass the film and be a faithful adaptation of du Maurier's short story, but it did however retain the iconic red mac from the film as worn by the elusive childlike figure.
The famous intercutting technique used in the sex scene was used to similar effect in a sex scene featuring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.