By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist April 12, 2013 at 10:51AM
We're going to have to wait until around Halloween to see if the "Carrie" remake succeeds in knocking the dated edges off Brian De Palma's original, but one thing we think they'll have a hard time topping is the brilliant, wrong-footing opening shower scene. It's one of those rare nude scenes that manages to have its cake and eat it too, in terms of getting away with completely gratuitous, fetishized slo-mo shots of nubile naked teenaged girls, the better to jolt us into immediate unease and sympathy when blood begins to trickle down a certain inner thigh. As an opening credit sequence, this is probably one of the most narratively efficient we've seen -- by the time De Palma's name comes up we know a lot about poor, unpopular misfit Carrie (Sissy Spacek), including that she's just got her first period. But as a nude scene that turns on a dime from soft porn -- schmaltzy music, steamed lenses and all -- to a portrait of a lonely, isolated girl at a moment of almost unbearable vulnerability, it's without equal.
"The Simpsons Movie"
Not the most titillating entry on this list, but certainly one of the most amusing, trust "The Simpsons" writers to come up with some insightful observations about nude scene cliches, and then put them all in a nude scene. For some reason we can no longer remember, Bart is skateboarding naked across Springfield, passing a host of beloved characters along the way. It starts off with standard '80s Mel Gibson-style nudity, i.e. from behind, showing naught but buttocks. But when our vantage point flips round to the other side a succession of things block our view of young Bart's crown jewels -- from Jimbo passing Dolph a cigarette, to Agnes Skinner's pointing finger, to a fence, a ball, a frisbee, a remote control car, a dove, a shovelful of dirt, a sprinkler, and some bubbles. So far, funny, but the same joke was done in live action in "Austin Powers," among others. But of course, the real gag is still to come, as Bart skates behind a tall hedge that has a gap in it at exactly crotch height, and so for a few seconds all we see of him is wang. Bonus on the DVD is the "edited for TV" version which is exactly the same, but features a little black censorship box over his nethers, carrying the words "European version only."
As usual, there’s obviously a zillion more movies we could mention -- Maria Schneider in "Last Tango in Paris," Pier Paolo Pasolini's (rather awful) "Salò" (if that's your thing), all the "Porky's" movies for the '80s teenager in you, David Lynch's "Blue Velvet," Harvey Keitel's insane full-frontal nudity for "Bad Lieutenant" (do you see the gears working for a second list already?), "Eyes Wide Shut," "Requiem For A Dream," “The Full Monty” gang, Bridget Bardot in “Le Mepris,” Barbara Crampton in “Re-Animator,” the Naomi Watts/Laura Harring duo in “Mulholland Drive,” PJ Soles in “Halloween, ” Jane Fonda in “Barbarella,” Richard Gere in “American Gigolo,” Elizabeth Berkley in “Showgirls” -- and hell, we’ve barely even touched foreign films, and as you know, those Europeans, Pan-Asians, South Americans and Africans aren't as prudish as we are in North America, so we could (and probably will one day) do a list dedicated entirely to foreign-language nekkidness. "Unforgettable" is highly subjective, obviously, but we would like to think we've erred on the side of non-gratuitous. Other notable, though maybe not "unforgettable" nude scenes include Ken Jeong in "The Hangover Part II," Ed Helms' super uncomfortable naked bro-hug in "Cedar Rapids," the fairly dumb, "The Proposal," Halle Berry in "Monster's Ball," Mark Wahlberg in "Boogie Nights," the pretty hysterical nude scene in the otherwise uneven "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," "Sirens," which features naked former supermodel Elle McPherson, Diane Keaton in "Something's Gotta Give" and loads more. What’s your favorite birthday suit scene and why? Sound off below and keep it at least PG-13, people. -- Drew Taylor, Jessica Kiang, Rodrigo Perez