Best Movie Nude Scenes! Irv Lets It All Hang Out

OK, so the headline’s a bit of a tease. Irv, of course, has a no-nudity clause in his contract. No full monties here!

Nudity onscreen is as old as the exhibition of cinema, so we have a lot to choose from…though my guess is that Irv won’t be naming Yelena Maksimova’s grief-stricken romp from Dovzhenko’s Earth, opting instead for some more contemporary choices.

Wait, wait! Before you leave us to surf for, uhm, further inspiration, make sure you submit your own choices for the best moments of skinema, both female and male. Sexy, funny, disturbing, unexpected, vintage, take your pick. I’m going to name the skinny-dipping scene in Tarzan and His Mate right here, so let’s work it a little harder, yes? And afterwards, do some research on my top choices: the near-entirety of the Kate Winslet filmography and the goofy, gross grappling of Borat.

  • Tito Pannaggi

    I am always suprised that you only talk about English spoken films. What about Hedy Lamarr in “Ekstase” (1933)? I agree upon Ken Russell’s British film “Women in Love” (1969) 

  • Aaron

    I would vote for Britt Ekland from “The Wicker Man”,unforgettable scene from a great film,and Inspecter Howie showed remarkable restraint!

    • Irv

      Good choice. Britt was a beauty in everything she did.

      • Frank

        Unfortunately, it has long been reported that she used a body double for that scene.

  • Frankiedc

    The most titillating nude scene was in a movie called Original Sin starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. Both were at the peak of their beauty and looked sensational together.

    Tom Selleck was nude in a scene from Lassiter, a spy movie earlier in his screen career. He is one of the handsomest men ever, and that scene was the highlight of the film.

    Three terrible nude actors: Donald Sutherland in Dont Look Back, Glenda Jackson in Women in Love, and, surprisingly, Sigourney Weaver in Death and the Maiden. I literally had to cover my eyes for fear of going blind when I saw those scenes.

    • Irv

      Let’s not forget Kathy Bates in “About Schmidt.”

  • OZ ROB

    My all time favorite is Claudette Colbert`s very erotic nude milk bath scene in the pre-code,, Sign of the Cross ,1932 ,.. 

  • Wayne P.

    Departing from my usual Studio Age bent here for now, as one would almost have to do except for Pre-Hayes Code films, I would have to go with Jane Fonda in Klute.  Maybe she wasnt shown “all the way” but for an early ’70′s movie it was pretty good viewing.  How about a separate pick for hottest love scene including some at least partial nudity?  My pick there would be Richard Gere and Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman from 1982!  It seems to me that subtle displays of nudity are best rather than just a full bore slathering of the screen in skin…we have to leave something to the imagination as the oldies did so well, right?  Tito mentioned Hedy Lamarr, who was always gorgeous on celluloid and even Marjorie Reynolds in her beautiful and figure hugging outfits from Holiday Inn were very pleasing to the male eye in a modest sort of way.

    • cinemabon

      If you’re going with Jane Fonda, then you have to mention the uncensored version of “Barbarella” Fonda floating in the air and doing a strip tease was enough to send teenage boys scurrying off to the restroom.

  • Ron

    Lena Olin’s camera strip in ”Unbearable Lightness of Being”  and I personally like Lennea Quigley in “Return of the Living Dead” having to play almost the entire film naked.  What a trooper!

    For the men, Marky Marks’ last scene in “Boogie Nights” reminded me of myself when I look in the mirror. 

  • Brygolf

    i remember ann margret in carnal knowledge. holy smoke  what a pair

  • Blair Kramer

    As I write this I suspect I may tick off any number of you, but nudity in any mainstream motion picture was not, and is not, necessary.  If you doubt that fact just ask yourself why the overwhelming majority of naked bodies on screen are female!  I’m not suggesting that there aren’t any nude scenes involving male actors.  It’s just almost always women.  Young, attractive,  women!  The reason this is true has little to do with legitimate story requirements of any script!  It’s all a simple matter of exploitation!

    • OZ ROB

      Throughout history the human body has been one of the principal subjects for Artists, the male nude was more common in antiquity than it is today,,Film is an important modern Art form,, There have always been those critical of the display of nudity even of masterpieces like Michelangelo`s ,David in 1504.,to consider if movies exploit female nudity would require a case by case study not a generalization discrediting them all for doing so..

      • Blair Kramer

        OK fellas…  It’s really a matter of what you prefer to watch in a movie theater for 2 hours.  That’s why the overwhelming majority of movie stars,  both male and female, are very attractive.  There are exceptions of course,  but not many.  I actually don’t have any genuine objection to nude scenes in major films.  If everyone involved in the project are willing to create such scenes,  who am I (who is anyone…) to suggest they shouldn’t be done?  And I’m not saying that nude scenes don’t ever have legitimate merit within a certain film. I’m simply saying that they’re not really necessary.  They’re essentially done for reasons of exploitation.  Now…  After all is said and done,  exploitation is what film is all about.  When you make a movie,  whatever type of movie it may be,  you certainly wish to exploit it for all it’s worth!  One way to do so is to make sure Daniel Craig appears on camera without his shirt, or Linnea Quigley appears without her bottom!  But let’s say IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT was made and released before the censor code was instituted. Would a nude scene featuring Clark Gable and Claudet Colbert have improved it? After all, there were plenty of opportunities to go there in that film.  Remember a shirtless Clark Gable?  Remember “Joshua’s” climactic horn? But those scenes are downright perfect just as they are. It’s a great and wonderful film without nudity (or, for that matter, vugarity.  Now,  suggesstive double entendre’s are another matter…). Here’s the bottom line… Nudity in modern films really don’t have much to do with art. It’s all a matter of artistic pretension…     

      • JonJon

        I think the surprise of Viggo Mortensen in ‘Eastern Promises’. The fight scene in the steam room when suddenly there’s Viggo!!  More humorous than anything or actually more realistic for the story’s sake.


    • Wayne P.

      Since theres enough male eye candy available onscreen nowadays to the female movie viewer, there must be a reason for any exploitation.  Im pretty sure theres a financial component to it also; but, how about considering that the makers of flims are primarily male and they would prefer to look at naked women rather than men?  This same discussion could be held regarding camera(mostly)men at sporting events…they train their cameras on young, attractive females when scanning the fans in the stadiums more so than males because thats what they like to look at!  Its the same analogy one could use when debating why the media is more biased to a liberal political viewpoint than a conservative one…simply put, its because the ones that do those jobs mostly hold more left than right-leaning opinions themselves.

  • Tim

    I’ve never forgotten “Pretty Baby” with Susan Sarandon playing the prostitue mother of a very young girl played by Brooke Shields.  To this day I still recall how good Susan Sarandon looked topless.

  • Franzr00

    Since he mentioned Phoebe Cates, her first movie, Paradise, has a nude shower scene.

  • DIRK

    I vote for Bo Derek (and Dudley Moore) in “10″ !!

  • cinemabon

    Female: Jamie Lee Curtis taking off her top in “Trading Places” nicest pair I’ve ever seen.

    Male: David Kross in “The Reader” probably the epitome of a well hung teenager.

  • Delores Phillips


  • Johnsmall_1

    Nothing – and I mean NOTHING – has ever topped Maureen O’Sullivan’s swimming scene in “Tarzan And His Mate.” There’s also Shirley Jones’ nude swimming scene in the Todd-AO version of Oklahoma! – quite lovely and tastefully done. On the other hand, Kate Winslet does absolutely nothing for me and you couldn’t pay me to sit through “Borat,” the ads having been enough to turn me off on that one. By and large I agree with those who argue that suggestion is far more titillating that actual nudity.

    • Rob in L.A.

      In “Tarzan and His Mate’s” nude-swimming scene, Maureen O’Sullivan was doubled by Olympic swimmer Josephine McKim.

      • Johnsmall_1

        I knew that, and to me it doesn’t matter. It’s still at the top of the list as far as I’m concerned.

  • Gary Vidmar

    The WOMEN IN LOVE scene you mention is definitely the most remarkable. 
    Nicholas Roeg’s explicit sex scene for DON’T LOOK NOW, with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, runs a close second.
    Paul Verhoeven, always a sensational director when it comes to nudity, did it exactly right in BASIC INSTINCT with Sharon Stone. 
    Nicole Kidman in both BILLY BATHGATE and Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT.
    Charlotte Rampling in THE NIGHT PORTER and THE SWIMMING POOL.
    More recently, MICHAEL FASSBENDER in McQueen’s SHAME.

  • Gary Vidmar

    Oh yeah, the remarkable Helen Mirren did her fair share; CALIGULA the standout.

    • GeorgeDAllen

      Kudos for the Mirren mention. When I think of her the first movie that comes to mind is “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover” (at the moment, criminally unavailable) and then, that wild little movie that so few people saw (or liked), “Shadowboxer.”

      • Gary Vidmar

        I’ve not seen SHADOWBOXER, but I’ll check it out.  Greenaway’s picture is out on a Spanish blu-ray, with an all-region, high-definition transfer that should satisfy fans.

    • JonJon

      ‘Caligula’ wasn’t a nude scene standout…it was a Porno Film, plain and simple.  I would have enjoyed the film far more if there hadn’t been so many gratutius sex scenes.


  • AmusedAgain

    Susan Sarandon in Atlantic City…scene with lemons in the window!

  • Tom

    The old guy on the motor scooter / mo-ped in the movie ” Waking Ned Devine “. This is a nude scene that even the kids could have a good laugh and it is okay. 

  • classicsforever

    Great films have never needed nudity. The cheap, simple-minded, no talent (in any way, shape or form) movies of today include nudity to attract people who have not developed an appreciation of such great films. There is a reason why the 30′s and 40′s are considered the best years for films. The writing, directing and acting were superb. There was no need to even faintly consider nudity. It’s very simple – real talent doesn’t need help. 

    • Big Fun

       No need to even “faintly consider” nudity in those movies of the thirties? With Norma Shearer running around without a bra in all those pictures? Maybe a few of them were late twenties, but c’mon…

  • Zman

    Sheena !! And God Created Woman!!

  • Watt

    There are too many I like in mainstream film… though,  Women In Love has always been one of my favorite films period,  and everybody gets naked in that one.  All of my real favorite nude scenes are in Porn!  But I will throw one out for everybody’s consideration: Porky’s! The early scene when all the guys think they are going to get laid and the shower scene are beyond hysterical and by the time we get to the “tallywacker” scene you’re laughing so hard you’re crying… just like the actors in the scene!  

  • Joseph23006

    I will always remember the first on I saw which was Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”, he composition of the scene is almost like a painting.  Then there Zazu Pitts, really, in “Greed” dancing and lying on the bed with all that money!

  • Richsass

    My vote goes for Adrienne B. in Swamp Thing.

  • eldersburgRick

    Jamie Lee Curtis in TRADING PLACES was a big surprise, actually two big surprises.

  • whatshisname

    The newest jaw dropper is the movie SHAME with Michael Fassbeinder. He is nude in quite a bit of the movie with a large personality. WOW!

  • Bill

    Alan Bates at the end of King of Hearts is a classic.

    Sybil Shepard (?) in the Last Picture Show

  • Gfkseratt

    DANCES WITH WOLVES:  “STANDS WITH FISTS” surrender as her buckskin falls to the floor……..
    revealing her buckneked-ness…………

  • Hankz

    Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan doing it on the stairs in the remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair.”  Why didn’t that scene get an NC-17 rating?

    • Jo

      Probably because all you saw was nude rumps and not for very long.  NC 17 probably would have been given for frontal but their stair scene gave the imagination a lot of fun, at least mine wishing I were in Rene Russo’s place.

  • Allan

    None better than Hedy Lamarr in “Extasy,”. . .every one thought they were seeing “something,” without seeing “anything!”  But oh, how EXTASY was condemned. . .and the crowds kept rushing to the theaters. . .


    “9 Songs” should be X-rated but it wasn’t. (full nudity) Warning, very graphic. saw it on Netflix, don’t know if it still availble

  • Makumba

    Extasy. I rewind it 3 times to see if I really saw it or if I imagine  it.

  • Lcrapo

    Who can forget Bo Derek in Tarazon and the Apeman 1980

    • Raysson

      I remember seeing TARZAN THE APE MAN with Bo Derek and Miles O’Keefe back in 1981. They waited 13 years to do another TARZAN movie? At the time this came out in 1981,the last actor to played TARZAN was Mike Henry back in 1968…..and when this version came out it was nothing but a strip tease…..and from there became a boxoffice flop…really? who thought that Miles O’Keefe could act? We ALL KNOW Bo Derek couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag at the grocery store,and her acting skills show it….No wonder it flop in 1981. 
      What? The only fight scene was TARZAN and the snake? No crocodile fight???

    • Aaron

      Bo Derek is a breathtakingly beautiful woman,whatever you think of this particular version of Tarzan,she is a perfect “10″.

  • Raysson

    Lisa Bonet(Denise Huxtable of The Cosby Show),and her nude scene with a chicken in ANGEL HEART….oh yeah..Robert DeNiro was in this too!

  • Raysson


    S.O.B.-Yes,Julie Andrews is naked and showing her sweet tits! This coming from director Blake Edwards….released in 1981.

    DESERT HEARTS-Helen Shaver and her co-star in one of the steamiest lesbian love scenes ever committed to celluloid…….released as an art house feature in 1986.

    EMMANUELLE OR EMANUELLE-Sylvia Kristel or Laura Gemser…ah the 1970′s…

    THE BLUE LAGOON-Raised a lot of eyebrows and a lot of teenage boys hormones with a full frontal nude Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins from 1980……Who didn’t get soaking wet in the pants when Brooke Shields pop onto the beach fully nude?

    WILD SIDE-Joan Chen and Anne Heche

    9 AND 1/2 WEEKS-Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger

    • Irv

      Wild side is one bizarre-o movie and the Chen-Heche scene is quite amazing.

  • Raysson

    MULHOLLAND DRIVE-Naomi Watts and Laura Herring

  • CalamityJean

    This movie hasn’t been mentioned – for you men… ’Paint Your Wagon’ with Jean Seberg showing her pair to Lee Marvin. When the movie was shown on TBS, the speaker told the audience before the movie: that the role was intended for Shirley MacLaine, but when Jean Seberg auditioned this scene… she got the part instead! 

    Best movie nude scenes – I would say ‘Breathless’ with Richard Gere.

    • Raysson

       Speaking of PAINT YOUR WAGON from 1969…it did showed actress Jean Seberg showing her tits to Lee Marvin. When this movie was shown recently in its original uncut format for Turner Classic Movies..the introduction speaker(TCM host Robert Osbourne)told the audience before the start of the movie that the role was intended for Shirley Jones and Shirley MacLaine as well as other actresses who tried for the part like Ava Gardner and Joanne Woodward…but when Jean Seberg auditioned for that infamous scene….she got the part and the rest they say is history…..Originally released in 1969,this theatrical musical was given the full roadshow treatment in several cities upon its release(the full 70MM widescreen format and stereophonic sound)not to mention an “M” rating from the motion picture association of america for scenes of strong western violence and full frontal nudity and some foul and rough language coming from both Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin.

      • CalamityJean

        PAINT YOUR WAGON is my favorite movie! (definitely makes it my ‘seen more than 50 times’ movie) I was around 12, when I went with my parents in 1969 to see it at the theatre, then had to wait to see it again on TV with “Sunday Night at the Movies”. Of course, I had the LP record to listen to over & over. After having to endure all the edited versions on television… it was the first movie I owned on VHS.
        Over the years I have learned more movie info, in addition to the Jean Seberg audition. They needed all the mud! The people of Oregon assured the crew that it didn’t rain in that part of Oregon at the time of year the movie was to be made, so after they trucked in all the mud – it started raining (a lot). The majority of the extras were ‘hippies’ and I heard that Jean Seberg even watched or was involved when a hippie couple was married behind the scenes. Lee Marvin requested and received a million dollars plus royalties for stomping in the mud as Ben Rumson. The movie went way over budget, and it was a challenge to drive the cast and crew onto location, I even heard helicoptors were used.
        I have lots of movie memorabilia, including a LP record signed by the main cast.
        I had always wondered why Clint Eastwood never seem to mention this movie when talking about his films? In a more recent bio – he stated mainly that he felt silly and that there were a lot of problems/issues during the making of the movie. (he sure didn’t look silly - as for his singing… I thought he did a great job!)
        Someday I want to go to Oregon and see the area where the movie was filmed. Last year I went to see where ‘SHANE’ was filmed, but that’s another story….

  • nvasop1

    I love the scene in A Room With A View when Lucy and her companions catch the men skinny-dipping.  She’s covering her eyes and peeking through her fingers, simultaneously embarrassed, curious and attracted, while the men are frantically leaping about trying to cover themselves.  What an enlightening experience for a sheltered nineteenth-century girl.

    • Stldjen

       and an enlightening experience for us gay men!

      • Raysson

        And speaking of enlightening experience of male nude love scenes check out the underrated 1982 controversial drama MAKING LOVE with Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean which had one of the steamiest gay love scenes ever filmed. This movie pushed the envelope when it came out in 1982.  Kate Jackson is in this one too.

      • nvasop1

        When you know that E. M. Forster, who wrote the book, was gay, it adds additional subtext.

  • classicsforever

    It seems that some have just discovered the difference between boys and girls. I’ll bet you can’t wait to get out of middle school.

  • TLS

    No doubt about it, Barbara Carrera in “I, the Jury.” Not the best known actress or movie but amazingly sexy.

  • Hiram

    I suspect not too many people have watched the 3hr39min cut of HEAVEN’S GATE. Not bad on DVD over 2-3 days, despite the inctredible self-indulgence of Cimino’s inability to cut so many scenes. But Isabelle Huppert almost seems to want to rival the collected works of Helen Mirren.  The single most shockingly charming unexpected look-at-me moment in my viewing experience belongs to Eizabeth McGovern in RAGTIME. 

    • Irv

      Haven’t seen Heaven’s gate in a while, but from what I recall didn;t Isabelle have a scene where she is is in a tent or lleaving a tent?

  • DIRK

    All this talk of topless scenes, nobody mentioned Julianne Moore’s Bottomless scene in Robert Altman’s SHORT CUTS? Maybe because it wasn’t the best?  She did do it unselfconsciensly (is that a word?)

    • GeorgeDAllen

      Nice addition. Gina Gershon has a similar (and quite funny) variation on that lack of costuming in William Friedkin’s excellent (and very, very grim and funny) filming of Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe.”

      • Stldjen

         How about Moore’s afternoon romp in The Kids are Alright? I want my mom to see that film (I have it), but I feel very uncomfortable watching that with family.

  • Raysson

    Or Sally Kellerman’s full frontal nude shower scene in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H

    • nvasop1

      As a woman, I find that scene horrifying, not titillating.  It’s visual rape, and not even Hot Lips deserved that.

  • Stldjen

    Actually, I like films without nudity. It’s more interesting to leave it to the imagination and makes it less
    squirmy when watching a film with family. There’s always porno for those into nudity on the screen.

    I just watched Ghost Story and I really felt the nudity was overplayed in that film and spoiled the
    movie. It was in excess.

    On the other hand, the brief nude scene with Winslet in Titanic was a good balance.

  • Big Fun

     Emily Browning in Sleeping Beauty.

  • Rchowe

    “ASK THE DUST”… A beautiful, memorable classic.

  • cindy

    I always felt that the best Nude/Love scene was in the film ” Don’t look Now “  Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie were just Beautiful to look at.Watching them made me feel their love for each other,in this rarely seen film,from a Daphne Du Maurier  story.

  • Bob62

    Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool in “Fast times at Ridgemont high”

  • Your Robot Friend

    Also Diora Baird’s big knockers in two scenes in Hot Tamale. 

  • pocroc

    Hey, Cindy, not sex scenes, nude scenes.  Yes, Phoebe Cates in “Fast Times”. She oddly became semi-retired after that.

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  • dog888k

    Way back in the 50s there is a scene in The Egyptian of Sinuhe watching Nefer get dressed and you see what may be her nude body reflected in the shimmering water in her lotus pool.    

  • Raysson

    THE BLUE LAGOON with Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins from 1980.

  • dog888k

    Don’t forget Melanie taking off her nightgown to wipe up the blood of the Yankee she shoots in GWTW. If i remember all you see is her ankles, but the whole scene must have been very suggestive for 1939.

    • Wayne P. Davis

      Actually it was Scarlett who shot the d… yankee but Melanie did wipe up the blood with her clothes!

      • dog888k

        Thanks for straightening things out as to who shot the Union Soldier. It has been a while since I have watched Gone.

  • Baz

    Can’t remember the name or the title but the woman who appeared out of a cake in a Steven Segall movie set on a navy boat caught my attention on a couple of counts.