Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2002 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 10 Best Films Of 2001 The 10 Best Films Of 2001 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

The Playlist Bares All: 20 Unforgettable Nude Scenes

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist April 12, 2013 at 10:51AM

Not to dick around, but we've got nudity on the boob right now. Mind. On the mind. Thing is, with an intriguing article over at EW exploring the death of the movie sex scene and the rise of the New Prudishness, with waves made over Kristen Stewart's nudity and handjobs in "On the Road," and now with this week's "Trance" under fire from some quarters for Rosario Dawson's (some say plot-driven, others say gratuitous) birthday suit scene, we've been thinking about nakedness in film almost as much as Seth McFarlane was when he wrote his already-infamous Oscars opening song, though largely without, we hope, the sniggering misogyny.
33
20 Unforgettable Nude Scenes

Not to dick around, but we've got nudity on the boob right now. Mind. On the mind. Thing is, with an intriguing article over at EW exploring the death of the movie sex scene and the rise of the New Prudishness, with waves made over Kristen Stewart's nudity and handjobs in "On the Road," and now with this week's "Trance" under fire from some quarters for Rosario Dawson's (some say plot-driven, others say gratuitous) birthday suit scene, we've been thinking about nakedness in film almost as much as Seth McFarlane was when he wrote his already-infamous Oscars opening song, though largely without, we hope, the sniggering misogyny.

What makes nudity gratuitous? We all know the simple answer: when it doesn't serve the plot or illuminate the characterization. But getting a consensus on whose ass crack does actually inform the story, and whose nipples are completely surplus to narrative requirements, is a much, um, slipperier issue.

So we're pretty sure you're going to level the g-word at some of our picks for the nude scenes that, like or loathe, we just can't forget. But if, as the EW article persuasively argues, the sex scene is basically migrating to the small screen (see “Game Of Thrones,” “Girls,” “Mad Men,” etc.), this list is also something of an exercise in nostalgia, as we fondly remember our own first bolt-upright-eyes-wide-was-that-just-a-shadow-or-something-else? big-screen moments.

And of course, not all nude scenes are about sex (we have a best/worst sex scene list here for that) -- in fact, many of the best and least potentially gratuitous of them are about vulnerability or powerlessness, sometimes subverted into statements about strength and empowerment. In the right context, nudity can and should be part of a storyteller's arsenal.

So here they are, the 20 instances of skin-baring, sometimes partial, sometimes total, that made a lasting impression on us. Read, comment, but remember, underneath just a thin layer of clothing, every single blessed one of us is butt naked. And, and obviously, this is NSFW.

Sharon Stone In "Basic Instinct"
“Basic Instinct”
Sharon Stone spends lots of time in the altogether in Paul Verhoeven's "Basic Instinct," but there's a single sequence for which she'll be forever remembered, and she's almost fully clothed. In the scene, a squadron of police officers (including Michael Douglas) is interrogating Stone about a murder, and as she uncrosses her legs, the camera lingers on her while she stares the gibbering policemen down, legs parted, "precious flower" on display. Many's the undergraduate thesis that's been written on the subversion of the male gaze that has had this image emblazoned across its front cover, but while of course that's true, and of course it's about Stone's Catherine Trammell asserting her mastery over the very people who would dominate her, we're pretty sure those are politics most hot-breathed teens didn't really pick up on. Then again, freeze framing a VHS was an inexact science that required a lot of concentration.

Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises”
“Eastern Promises”
If nude scenes are supposed to (ideally) function like musical numbers – meant to forward the plot, add character development, or embellish the story thematically – then the sauna showdown from "Eastern Promises" is the "I Dreamed A Dream" of nude scenes. Viggo Mortensen's Russian thug is confronted at a bathhouse by a couple of assassins, and Viggo has nothing – literally nothing – to defend himself with. It's a phenomenal scene, simply one of the fleshiest ever committed to film, played wordlessly, with the only sounds being the slap of slick skin on hard marble, the thunk of sinew meeting sinew, and the grunts and moans of messy, effortful death. Mortensen’s fearless full-frontal lends the scene an amazingly visceral power that means it ranks among the very best of David Cronenberg’s body-fixated moments.

Kate Winslet in “Titanic”
“Titanic”
There's a reason why "Draw me like one of your French girls" has become an Internet meme – the moment in "Titanic" when Rose (Kate Winslet) disrobes so that her ragamuffin lover Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) can sketch her is one of the most memorable in the entire movie. It combines director James Cameron's rather juvenile view of sexuality with a kind of daft teen-girl romanticism, creating a sequence that, despite boobies, fits seamlessly into a PG-13 rated movie (with the MPAA, sweetness, no matter how saccharine, slides). Of course there is a purpose to this and their subsequent steamy-windowed consummation: it is basically the very definition of the calm before the storm. And Winslet herself received the ultimate accolade for our weird times: in the meme, she’s replaced by a variety of animals lying down in a similar fashion. At one point a hamster. Oh, the Internet.

This article is related to: Feature, Features, Rosario Dawson, Will Ferrell, Ryan Gosling, Kristen Stewart, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Fassbender, Heather Graham, Michelle Williams, Jessica Pare


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates