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The Best Nude Scenes in the History of Movies
There are plenty of scenes from which to choose when compiling a list of the top ten scenes in movies and film where the actors are taking off their clothes or are already missing their clothes. I admit that this list is compiled from a man's perspective, so the scenes are really limited to ones in which the woman is taking off her clothes. Frequently, these top ten lists are compiled from films in which well-known stars are featured. After all, it is always something of a novelty when an actress appears topless in a film for the first time. Halle Berry in "Swordfish" comes to mind. However, I've selected films for more personal reasons. In some cases, these films feature scenes that are particularly striking or beautifully filmed. In others, the reasons are more crass. Whatever the reason, let's face it, most men enjoy scene in which women reveal bare skin. These are the ones that stick in my memory. One of the things I tried to do with this list was only include scenes from good films. I'm all for skin, but it gets tiring watching a bad movie for one scene.
10. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
I'm a big fan of director Luis Bunuel. He made arresting, interesting movies. This movie is well-known, particularly for Bunuel's unusual use of two actresses to play the same part. It's a commentary on the erotic desire of the central male character. I suppose what I remember about the scene that propels this movie onto this list was my surprise. I remember how incredibly beautiful one of the actresses was (I believe it was Carole Bouquet), a tribute to Bunuel's sense of beauty. Being that this film was made in 1977, I was shocked when she disrobed. Because the film is about erotic desire, Bunuel definitely puts the viewer in a position similar to his male character, so when the woman takes off her clothes, it's a very exciting moment.
9. Killing Me Softly (2002)
Most people who are familiar with Heather Graham's disrobing moments in film are more familiar with "Boogie Nights" and more apt to select it when thinking of her, but I don't consider that scene in "Boogie Nights" a great moments. It's not the least bit erotic. It's just slightly better than the scene in "The Hangover" where she's breastfeeding. Both scenes are interesting because it's Heather Graham, but both are semi-silly, particularly the one in "The Hangover", which is kind of unnecessary. I found "Killing Me Softly" much more suprising, mostly because the scenes are significantly more explicit. In "Boogie Nights", Ms. Graham simply disrobes. In "Killing Me Softly" she's actually engaging in the act. And the scene is long, aggressive, and arousing.
8. Road Trip (2000)
There's nothing especially alluring about the scene in which Amy Smart takes off her top. I guess it's just kind of a fantasy fulfilled. Here you have this girl-next-door in your dorm room who's cute as can be and suddenly she takes off her top. Of course, it never seems to work like that. Most men have had girls in their room at one time or another hoping they would take off their tops only to be disappointed. So this scene is just kind of a fantasy that most men wish would happen to them. There was something kind of primal about it. It's similar to a number of other scenes on this list. In a way, it harkens back to "Porky's" and "Animal House" and is a scene that's considered obligatory. The teenage sex romp comedy always has a scene where some cute girl disrobes. Some scenes are better than others. This is one. Plus, this is a good movie.
7. Animal House (1977)
What can you say about this scene? I guess the big question is how in the world this girl doesn't notice John Belushi staring at her through the window while she removes her top? This scene is purely juvenile and excessive, but it's great because it's "Animal House". You kind of have to have this kind of a scene. Naturally, we're living vicariously through Belushi's character. We're stunned throughout the entire scene and, like Belushi, pretty surprised when she shifts her attention downstairs, at which point Bluto falls backwards on the ladder. You have to love the nod and wink this film gives - Bluto himself actually gives it, looking right at the camera - to the audience. There's no hiding the fact that the scene is intentionally excessive. But hey, that's "Animal House".
6. Point Blank (1967)
The scene that caused me to put this in the list doesn't actually contain much skin - actually, barely any at all. It's a scene after Angie Dickinson hits Lee Marvin in the head with a pool cue. They kiss, and as they roll over, the actors in the scene change, featuring a different combination of actor and actress, representing the different sexual relationships that have happened in the film or in the story of the film. It's a very striking moment. Having said that, Angie Dickinson does disrobe, although she's kind of in the background when it happens. And honestly, there are better films where Dickinson shows some skin, "Big Bad Mama" among them. I guess it's just that she's so amazing-looking in this film and her clothes come off and for a 1967 movie, that's pretty surprising.
5. Basic Instinct (1992)
Let's face it, if you consider the entire history of cinema and the many scenes of skin, which one stands out the most? The film at the top of the list may very well be "Basic Instinct" and the scene where Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs in the police interrogation. Not only is it shocking for the audience, but it's actually shocking for the characters. And it's not really an exploitative scene in a strict sense. It really speaks to Stone's character's control over the male characters (though don't get me wrong, it's always women who are the ones revealing these things, not men, so there's some level of exploitation). And the scene made Sharon Stone a household name. People talked about this movie and that scene intensely. It's one of the most iconic skin scenes in cinema.
4. American Pie (1999)
What man doesn't want the gorgeous foreign exchange student disrobing in his room? The scene where Shannon Elizabeth takes off her clothes is one of those scenes that stands out because it speaks to every 18-year-old's greatest fantasy. It's one thing just to get a girl in your room, but to get one like Shannon Elizabeth is another story entirely. And like many of the crass, male, teenage comedies of film history, it's a scene that has to happen. It's obligatory in this kind of film. It's all a question about who is doing the disrobing and the creativity involved in how it happens. "American Pie" is a funny, entertaining film, so while this is an obligatory scene, it happens in an otherwise good film. One should also remember that "American Pie" revitalized this genre for a bit - the R-rated teenage comedy.
3. 10 (1979)
This entire film is practically centered around Bo Derek eventually removing her clothes. And if not that, the film revolves around a quintessential male fantasy: hooking up with a perfect ten. One would not otherwise imagine Dudley Moore having any chance at all with Bo Derek. Director Blake Edwards was hardly apprehensive about getting his actresses to take off their clothes (just ask Julie Andrews) and "10" has at least one other scene involving a telescope and a pool table that's pretty arousing too. Of course, it's Bo Derek disrobing that every man is waiting for and eventually she does. However, it's an ironic scene because it's the point where Dudley Moore's character realizes it was more about the quest than the reward because he has so little in common with Derek's character and finds he doesn't like her that much.
2. Don't Look Now (1973)
It speaks volumes about this film and its infamous sex scene that years after the movie was made, "Don't Look Now" is almost always mentioned in lists of "best sex scene". I think I saw a list just after "Wild Things" came out and, yet again, there was "Don't Look Now". People remember the scene between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, not just for its frank sexuality, but also for the way director Nicholas Roeg filmed it, intercutting between the lovemaking and the aftermath - the putting on of clothes and the reflection. It's both an incredibly erotic and incredibly poignant scene given the nature of the film. It occurs after the couple's young daughter drowns and it reveals both love and pain. And in a film with so much psychology flowing through it, the scene fits right in even though the film itself is something of a psychological horror film.
1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Once again, I turn to a fantasy scene. In this case, the scene where Phoebe Cates gets out of the pool and removes her top is both a fantasy for the viewer as well as the Judge Reinhold character, who's imagining the whole thing in the bathroom while trying to get the hat off his little fireman. Like many of the other scenes of this ilk, there's some irony at the end of the scene when Cates' character bursts in on him. It sends the signal, much like "10", that the reality never equals the fantasy. Of all the teenage sex comedies with scenes such as this one, it's hard to argue that "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" doesn't have the best of all of them. I think any man who was a teenage boy when this film came out remembers seeing it for the first time.
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