Top Ten Movies We Watched for the Brief Nudity

Here are some movies from the 80s, 90s and early 00s that we watched as pre-teens / teens / last week because of the 0.3 seconds of nudity, whether we knew it or not. Almost all of them are PG-13 and their storylines aren’t necessarily sexual, so they could be viewed over and over without anyone thinking you were a pervert. This type of covert behavior was necessary if you were even mildly interested in female nudity prior to the internet / being an adult.

 

 

10. The Fifth Element

[ buy ]

Basically just put Milla Jovovich in a movie and we will sit in front of that movie and watch it. High five to the wardrobe department.

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9. Splash

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Laying the groundwork for my unhealthy obsession with The Little Mermaid.

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8. Species

[ buy ]

Super hot cyborg alien wants to procreate, takes off clothes.

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7. Hackers

[ buy ]

Angelina Jolie with short hair.

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6. Shakespeare in Love

[ buy ]

Pretty girl in drag falls in love with pretty boy, takes off clothes.

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5. Swordfish

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Sort of like a James Bond movie, but with a topless Halle Berry, which is how I like my James Bond movies.

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4. American Beauty

[ buy ]

I’m watching this because it’s cerebral, dark and funny! I don’t even care ab– what breasts? Hm? Oh, those. I hardly noticed.

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3. Road Trip

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Student: She was topless? Girls don’t just stand around naked.
Barry: Uh, yeah, they do. Ok? This is my story. You wanna hear it or not?
Student: It just doesn’t make any–
Barry: –Shh! Please, no interruptions, Ok?
So this other girl walks up, right? Totally hot. Naked! Really naked!

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2. Titanic

[ buy ]

At first I thought I was watching Titanic for the unkempt sexiness of Leonardo DiCaprio, then Kate Winslet took her clothes off.

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1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

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Um, best slow-motion walk near a pool in cinematic history?

Yes.

This would be a good time to talk about the lengths you went to for nudity! Or maybe it was just me?

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here. She's 37, has two kids, two dogs, one cat, one Megan, and some personal essays.

Laneia has written 916 articles for us.

63 Comments

  1. No judging from me! If we had had the ability to take screenshots when I was younger, my computer would have been filled with nudity.

    My favorite on that list is Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    I think my favorite movie that had some lesbian subtext and nudity (though not very brief…quite explicit, actually) is Poison Ivy with Drew Barrymore and Sara Gilbert.

    A Lesbian Sex Blog

    • Chloe was not that great, I agree, but it still falls into my favorite movie genre: surprise lesbian sex. I love those films that you decide to watch without any previous knowledge of its plot and then SURPRISE IT’S TWO GIRLS HAVING SEX.

      Also Mulholland Drive fits into that category nicely. Except that it’s a really, really good movie, even sans Naomi Watts and Laura Harring naked in bed together.

  2. hahaha it’s like you know me perfectly!!
    i watched all of these as a young sexually unaware tot, my dad let us watch pretty much any movie growing up (extra thankful for that). i think he started getting suspicious about my sexuality after i asked him if i could we could rent american beauty for the fourth time.

    • My parents are not Mormon but pretty conservative so they didn’t allow me to watch Titanic at all. I think I was in like 3rd grade at the time? I totally haven’t thought about this in ages, but in retrospect I’m pretty sure the reason I really really wanted to see it is because I really really wanted to see Kate Winslet’s breasts. My little baby gay self just didn’t realize it at the time…

      • The only reason I wanted to see Titanic was because I’d heard a rumor about main boy drawing a picture of naked main girl.

        I was in like grade 3 and had to watch it with my dad but it was still so worth it.

  3. We need to mention that Kate Winslet in Titanic in that red dress is the single hottest woman who has ever walked the face of the earth.

    She and Sara Ramirez and Dana fight it out for my soul.

  4. Anyone else remember “Salmonberries,” in which a totally nude k.d. lang roved she’d been hiding some lovely lady curves under her shapeless clothing?

  5. Re: Shakespeare in Love – I don’t know what it is, but femmey girls in drag just do it for me. Like, every opera I’ve seen that has a trouser role*, I can’t stop staring at that girl. Also, this movie, even though I normally can’t stand Gwyneth. But only the parts where she’s dressed as a boy.

    *Female singer playing a male character, usually a teenage boy.

    • I only realized this is A Thing for me last weekend. Obviously this is why I liked watching Shakespeare things so much when I was younger! Especially Twelfth Night, when Olivia is in love with Cesario/Viola. Can we just stop the thing there so Olivia and Viola run off together forever?

      And of course that disney channel original movie about Motocross where the girl pretends to be her twin brother to compete. And Servant of Two Masters where Beatrice pretends to be Federico. And on and on…

      (This realization was also, dorkily enough, brought on by watching A Very Potter musical and crushing on girl-in-drag as Draco. Mmmmm.)

  6. I totally just rewatched Hackers last week and it stands the test of time. I want Angelina Jolie’s alternative lifestyle haircut. And just, you know, Angelina Jolie.

    Also, this: “Almost all of them are PG-13 and their storylines aren’t necessarily sexual, so they could be viewed over and over without anyone thinking you were a pervert” describes my early adolescence so well. I used to watch Shakira music videos over and over again, “for the music.” It wasn’t until years later that I realized there is absolutely no reason to watch a Shakira music video more than once unless you are sexually attracted to Shakira. I mean, come on, La Tortura is basically Shakira writhing around in chocolate syrup/oil for 4 minutes. But I just wanted to learn the Spanish lyrics, you know?? I was not a very self-aware adolescent.

    • “I used to watch Shakira music videos over and over again, “for the music.” It wasn’t until years later that I realized there is absolutely no reason to watch a Shakira music video more than once unless you are sexually attracted to Shakira. I mean, come on, La Tortura is basically Shakira writhing around in chocolate syrup/oil for 4 minutes. But I just wanted to learn the Spanish lyrics, you know?? I was not a very self-aware adolescent.”

      You just described all of my high school years!

    • Commenting a year late:

      I minored in Spanish in college in a futile effort to convince myself that I was watching Shakira videos for the educational opportunities they offered.

  7. This list is missing American Pie. The only reason anyone (OK, maybe just me) watched that movie was to see Shannon Elizabeth’s glorious, glorious breasts. That was basically it.

    Good call on Species. The movie itself is so ridiculous, you just keep hoping she’ll get naked again. I remember the marketing of that movie when I was a kid. Clearly the only reason anyone saw that was to see her naked.

    My friend dragged me to see Swordfish because he wanted to see Halle Berry’s boobs. In the end it was such a let down because she was just tanning by the pool and talking to someone like nothing was amiss and it was utterly non-sexual.

  8. Not real nudity, but Keira Knightley in a sports bra and no shirt in Bend It Like Beckham. Yes.

    And Evan Rachel Wood’s boob in Across the Universe. (pre- my coming out, barely, so I still think it counts)

  9. I recall my friends pausing, rewinding, pausing, rewinding, and pausing “Now and Then” trying to glimpse Devon Sawa’s man bits… I was obviously not as impressed with this particular quest.

  10. I just needed somewhere to post this and this page seemed the best place…Seriously, watch Room in Rome. Two naked women, one lesbian, one straight until the beginning of the movie. And the plot is pretty okay. One hour and 47 minutes, well maybe just one hour and 40 minutes, of two naked women. One Spanish, one Russian. Sex and a little bit of drama. Watch it. Seriously.

  11. Just One of the Guys!

    Girl dresses like boy to write an undercover article to win an internship. Helps hopeless boy become popular, he gets the popular girl, and boy in drag falls for boy. Proving that she is indeed female is too hard for words, so she busts open her tuxedo at prom to show her naked chest!

    It used to be played on HBO or something like that all the time while I was growing up. It’s so cheesy but I love it. When I was a kid (and still do it today) I simply stare & smile when that scene comes on.

    She looks cute as a boy and looks amazing in an all white leather mini skirt and tank.

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