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The Playlist Bares All: 20 Unforgettable Nude Scenes

by The Playlist Staff
April 12, 2013 10:51 AM
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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."

Honorable Mention:
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

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  • James | April 15, 2014 12:01 PMReply

    Phoebe Cates nude is the only reason to see that movie. So don't waste the effort wondering about anything else and just fast forward to that scene and don't bother watching the rest!

  • David B | January 14, 2014 1:12 AMReply

    I have to second the comment on how could you have not even mentioned "The Shining", although it was Room 237. That scene owned it own generation of film-goers.

    And the shy Anne Hathaway in "Love and Other Drugs" is another inexplicable omission on your part.

  • | July 1, 2013 12:23 AMReply

    9 Songs (if you do a NC-17 list)

  • Alex | June 30, 2013 6:13 PMReply

    How has no one mentioned the naked dancing scene in The Master?

  • alan | June 30, 2013 4:18 PMReply

    Start working at home with Google! This is certainly the nicest-work I have ever done . Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link,

  • Butch | June 10, 2013 7:59 PMReply

    As long as there is no tobacco drug use in the film.

  • Erik | May 18, 2013 8:56 AMReply

    Corinne Bohrer in the obscure "Dead Solid Perfect" deserves a mention; beautiful woman, funny, sexy scene.

  • buddysouth | April 14, 2013 1:13 PMReply

    On what planet does The Dreamers, as depressing an example as any of Bertolucci's declined skills, deserve a cult following other than among people who like to look at people naked? It's a coming-of-age story fantasized by people who are depressed that they never had a coming-of-age story like that *because no one has ever had a coming-of-age story like that.* The Hangover is more realistic than The Dreamers, and better made.

    Oh, and if you meant Salo was awful in the sense that awful things happen in it and it is difficult to watch, I agree. If you meant awful in terms of quality, I can only assume you are the sort of person who thinks The Dreamers is a meaningful coming-of-age story.

  • Mr. Wu | April 14, 2013 8:16 PM

    I got in so much trouble here at our local art museum's recent classic Italian cinema film series when I had the nerve to describe to the head programmer and other assorted hangers-on that Bernardo Burtolucci is "a dirty old man."

  • Meredith | April 13, 2013 11:24 AMReply

    You mention Harvey Keitel but you don't mention The Piano?! Shame on you!

  • MDL | April 16, 2013 4:35 PM

    Speaking of Keitel he did three movies in the early 90's where he showed up naked and crying. The Piano and Bad Lieutenant and Ulysses' Gaze. It got to be both distracting and funny.

  • Jo | April 13, 2013 5:54 AMReply

    Love your 'people's puritanical streak towards Kristen Stewart' comment. So true. People make such a drama out of EVERYTHING she does. It's not just nude scenes. If she walks down the street you have comment sections evaluating it every aspect of it, a furore breaks out over how she walks, is she smiling, does her hair look pretty, why isn't she dressed like a movie star instead of jeans/tshirt. Yes, walking down the street creates a great debate these days!

  • jimbo | April 12, 2013 7:39 PMReply

    Needless spoiler about The Crying Game. Shame on you.

  • potion lords | April 12, 2013 5:31 PMReply

    Battle In Heaven

  • Breezy | April 12, 2013 3:35 PMReply

    How is Ewan McGregor, King of the Nude Scene, not on this list? "Trainspotting" should at least get an honorable mention.

  • sharon | April 12, 2013 2:15 PMReply

    Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut.

  • FUCK YOU FINNIGAN | April 12, 2013 2:08 PMReply

    Wow. Playlist editing nearly every comment now, eh?

    So what's the point of even having the fucking things?

    Why not just get rid of them altogether?

    Not like any actual conversation takes place in this dank shit-box anyhow.

  • dubier | April 12, 2013 1:53 PMReply

    Graham Chapman opening up the window to the huge crowd of worshipers in Life of Brian.

  • Toomb | April 12, 2013 12:33 PMReply

    Oops, sorry, no intention of triple posting... Please trim a few of those off! Dang iphone...

  • Toomb | April 12, 2013 12:30 PMReply

    The Shining. When Jack goes into room 213 and the naked woman is in there. I was a kid when I saw it, and it titilated at first, until I realized why the woman was naked... And then she changed to her present "state"... That scene has disturbed me for decades.

    As far as "hot" scenes go, you've GOT to mention Natalie Portman in Closer or the opening scene of Darjeeling Limkted... Since you already covered Eva Green, who is hands down the most beautiful woman on film right now.

    There, done objectifying

  • d | April 12, 2013 12:24 PMReply

    In which The Playlist becomes WhatCulture.

  • Liam | April 12, 2013 12:04 PMReply

    No French movies, WTF? They are the best at this, just watch Rust & Bone for a recent example.
    Also what about Tony Scott's The Hunger, Catherine Deneuve + Suzanne Sarandon wow!

  • caro | April 12, 2013 11:52 AMReply

    is it not a E.W article before?

  • Ptrshr | April 12, 2013 11:26 AMReply


  • Meredith | April 13, 2013 11:23 AM

    I was thinking this one!!

  • John K. | April 12, 2013 11:24 AMReply

    Hello. Just One of the Guys!

  • BEF | April 12, 2013 11:45 AM

    Here, here!

  • Pussy | April 12, 2013 11:14 AMReply

    The Playlist have officially turned into Deadline. They actually changed my comment saying how terrible this article is. You guys are desperate.

  • gert | April 12, 2013 11:09 AMReply

    I would have put Bronson on the list. Nude Tom Hardy.

  • frank | April 12, 2013 11:01 AMReply

    I rolled my eyes, but then started reading. Funny.

  • Vagina | April 12, 2013 10:58 AMReply

    What an incredibly article.

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