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The 10 Best Nude Scenes in Movie History

I wrote film reviews for over a decade in a variety of formats.

Naked Women Rock!

If you're a man, nude scenes are the best. Yes, it's sexist to judge the quality of a nude scene. However, it's been a Hollywood staple for some time. Beautiful women are a huge draw. Beautiful, naked women are an even bigger draw.

I apologize to women, but this is from a man's perspective. All of these scenes involve a woman taking off her clothes. For you women out there, films like The Women and The Pillow Book feature male nudity. Go see them!

Frequently, we compile these top ten lists from films that feature well-known stars. After all, it is usually 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 scenes where women reveal bare skin. These are the ones that stick in my memory. I tried to include scenes from good films. Thus, watching the film is an enjoyable experience. The nude scene is extra! I'm all for skin, but it gets tiring watching a bad movie for one scene. That's what screen capture is for.

10. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

I'm a big fan of Luis Bunuel. He made arresting, interesting movies. This movie is well-known. It's noteworthy for his use of two actresses who 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. Carole Bouquet is amazingly beautiful. It's a tribute to Bunuel's sense of beauty. Being that the director made this movie in 1977, her disrobing shocked me. Because the film is about erotic desire, Bunuel 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 know Heather Graham might pick Boogie Nights among films where she's naked. However, I just don't consider that scene a great moment, though the film is good. The Boogie Nights scene isn't the least bit erotic. It's slightly better than the scene in The Hangover where she's breastfeeding. In other words, not sexy. In fact, that scene is downright unnecessary. I found Killing Me Softly much more surprising, mostly due to the explicit nature of the scene. In this one, 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 fantasy fulfillment. Here you have this girl-next-door in your dorm room who's cute as can be. Suddenly, she takes off her top. Of course, it never seems to work like that.

Girls end up in men's rooms from time to time. The men always dream of those girls casually removing their tops. Usually, the girls disappoint them. 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 many consider 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? How in the world does this girl not notice John Belushi staring 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. The entire scene is pretty stunning. And like Belushi, we're shocked when she shifts her attention below the waist line. At that point, Bluto falls backwards on the ladder. You have to love the nod and wink this film gives. Bluto himself actually gives it. He looks 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. Smoothly, it features a different combination of actor and actress. It symbolizes the different sexual relationships in the film throughout the story. 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. Then her clothes come off. For a 1967 movie, that's pretty surprising.

5. Basic Instinct (1992)

Let me ask a question. In 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". Of course, the scene is where Sharon Stone uncrosses her legs during 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. Thought let's remember, it's almost always women revealing things. Sexual control means naked women in the movies. Thus, it's still exploitation. 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. Obviously, it speaks to every 18-year-old's greatest fantasy. Just getting a girl in your room is an accomplishment. But Shannon Elizabeth? C'mon! 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 movie is about Bo Derek taking off her clothes. It's all male fantasy. 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 asking actresses to disrobe. 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. Eventually she does. However, it's an ironic scene. Because by that point, Dudley Moore realizes it was more about the quest than the reward. He has little in common with Derek's character and finds he doesn't like her that much. In fact, it's pretty realistic. Sometimes beauty is only skin deep.

2. Don't Look Now (1973)

This movie came out in 1973. Yet, despite many more risqué films, this one still has a sex scene that stands out. It's memorable. When lists come out about great sex scenes, this is always on it. I think I saw a list just after Wild Things came out. Once again, there was Don't Look Now.

People remember the scene between Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. They remember it not just for its frank sexuality, but also for the way director Nicholas Roeg filmed it. He intercut 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.

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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. It's both a fantasy for the viewer as well as the Judge Reinhold character. He'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. That happens 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.

The Best Nude Scene Ever?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Allen Donald


Louise Barraco from Ontario on August 15, 2017:

This hub is great I think I have only seen road trip but now I want to see all the other movies :) you have talked about

Marco Piazzalunga from Presezzo, Italy on January 24, 2013:

The Flower of the Arabian Nights is a 1974 film written and directed by the Italian famous filmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, who won the Grand Prix Special Jury Prize at 27th Cannes Film Festival.

The protagonists live their story from beginning to end of the film often completely naked. The naked body, however, has nothing rude, because the art of telling Pasolini eliminates any negative thought or modesty, leaving the viewer in a state of complete abandonment in the uninhibited vision of the world that surrounds us.

Very interesting Hub, my congrats!

ruffridyer from Dayton, ohio on October 26, 2011:

The best nude scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont high was when Jennifer leigh laid out buck naked in the boat house.

The Night Porter had an awesome topless dance scene with Charlotte Rampling. Also watch her nude in the film The Swimming pool. She's Older now but still Hot.

Ankush Kohli from India on October 18, 2011:

There is no better than one in between Leonardo and Kate Winslet in Titanic.

Allen Donald (author) from Colorado on October 10, 2011:

Hmmm, I'm not hiding my age. However, these trend older than I actually am. And I do have one from 2002! I'd be curious to see what somebody half my age would come up with though I doubt they'd have the history to pull off an interesting list. Still, I agree. :)

Pamela N Red from Oklahoma on October 10, 2011:

You are telling your age with these, my friend. Great list. There is a commercial you may have seen on YouTube in which a Scottish fellow sits across from Sharon Stone and does that famous scene. It's an advertisement for William Lawson Scotch.

Here's the link if you want to take a peak.

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