Monday, July 30, 2007

Sexiest Scenes in Film History: Part Two

I had so much fun compiling a list of what I thought were some of the sexiest scenes in film history that I thought I'd come up with 8 more sizzling scenes to share. These are scenes that seethe sex even with the imposed restrictions placed upon them by either the Hayes Code (with the exception of most pre-codes) or societal mores. They are remarkable in that their power is not in the showing but in the suggesting. If subtely is something you appreciate, like I do, then there is no question you will enjoy (or have enjoyed) these sultry scenes.

  1. To Catch a Thief (1955) - Hitchcock was well-versed in the power of suggestion. He took advantage of Grace Kelly's sexual allure and Cary Grant's deobonairre persona to create electricity on the screen. One could even say the chemistry between the two main characters was "explosive". The scene in question has Kelly and Grant, in a hotel room, in the dark sharing a passionate kiss while fireworks go on outside. Fireworks, of course, suggest something else happens shortly after. (link is the trailer)

  2. Young Man with a Horn (1950) - Kirk Douglas stars as a trumpeter who should fall in love with the angelic Doris Day but cannot help being seduced by femme fatale Lauren Bacall. They are married but frustrations grow as he realizes she has little to no desire for him. After much turmoil, Douglas' character confronts his wife when she is out with another woman. Yikes!

  3. Baby Doll (1956) - I often forget this was a film from the '50s and not from the '60s, as I usually classify it in my mind. It's so ahead of it's time. Eli Wallach is hot in this film. And I mean hot! He plays a Sicilian cotton-gin supervisor who likes to torment and tease another man's 19-year old wife. The girl, played by Carroll Baker, isn't quite capable of consuming her marriage as she's stuck in a little-girl mindset, which is probably her way of coping with growing up before she was ready. The infamous swing scene has Wallach's character seducing Baker's, who only pretends not to be interested. Very steamy. (link is the trailer)

  4. The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) - Elements of this film are sexual, but in the wrong way. Queen Norma Shearer plays invalid Elizabeth Barrett who is kept in her weakened condition without possibility of improvement by her overbearing father, played by Charles Laughton. Laughton did an excellent job at suggesting the father's incestuous infatuation with his daughter by evoking his conflicting passions through his eyes. The most uncomfortable scene is when the daughter tried to walk and he sweeps her off her feet and carries her away. Eek!

  5. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - It's New Orleans, the air is hot and dense with humidity, which makes the characters all that more bothered and restless. Besides Brando being absolutely gorgeous in every scene, the Brando/Stanley-Hunter/Stella-Leigh/Blanche sexual triangle is unsettling because each of the character's is not in their right mind. Stanely is frustrated, Stella is frustrated and Blanche is just plain off her rocker. Many of the scenes in this film are very sexy, but there is one that stands out. Stella descends the stairs towards Stanley, who's shirt is barely hanging on by a thread, she pulls him towards her and runs her hands down his muscular back. Is it hot in here or is it just me? (link is the trailer)

  6. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) - Sex is on the mind of every character in this film. Not sex in general but the lack of sex between the young married couple played by Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. While only very subtly suggested in the film, Newman's character is dealing with the internal conflict of being married to an attractive woman but still holding onto to the repressed homosexual attraction to his now deceased friend. Taylor's character is sexually frustrated and it doesn't help that his family blames her for not having had a child yet. To me the most sizzling of scenes is when Taylor wraps her arms around Newman pleading for sexual attention only to have him break free from her grip for the umpteenth time. Poor thing. (link is the trailer)

  7. Red Dust (1932) - I couldn't create this new list without including a Jean Harlow film. This film, which was later remade as Mogambo (1953), stars Clark Gable as a plantation overseer who has conflicting desires for floozy Jean Harlow and married Mary Astor. There are numerous sexy scenes in this film. Harlow naked in an outdoor bathtub, being man-handled by Gable. The howling wind conveniently moving up Harlow's skirt revealing her slender gams. The sexiest one is when Gable roughly pulls Harlow onto his lap, kissing her. This is the culmination of all the sexual tension between them. (link is the trailer)

  8. Design for Living (1933) - I am still surprised that this film was ever made. Miriam Hopkins stars as a woman who cannot decide between which of her two boyfriends (Gary Cooper and Frederich March) to keep, so she decides to keep them both in her life and moves in with them but forgoes a sexual relationship with either. Neither of the two men are happy about her decision but at the same time do they don't want to walk away and let the other snag her. The sexiest scene takes place in a car where Hopkins sits between her two beaus and plants a kiss on one then turns to plant a kiss on the other. Talk about sharing. Wow!


  1. Hi Raquelle,

    I like this section of your blog. You seem to really like the films based on Tennessee Williams' plays/stories. Baby Doll is a new favorite of mine. I might watch it this weekend.

    You can find a lot of sexy scenes in some of the best noir movies. Phantom Lady, Clash by Night (with our friend Barbara Stanwyck!), Thieves' Highway, and Pickup on South Street come to mind.

  2. Thank you Kevin!

    I'm writing them all down on my To-See list. I did see Clash by Night, but since it was sometime ago I think I need a refresher.

  3. Clash by Night is worthy of a refresher. Probably the sexiest scene is the one where Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Ryan kiss and she runs her hand up his back, inside his t-shirt. It's also pretty melodramatic too. I like the scene where Paul Douglas screams "You animals!!" at the two of them. It's at the Brattle tomorrow evening. Should be a good double feature with The File on Thelma Jordan, which I am looking forward to seeing. I hope you enjoy Strangers on a Train!

  4. Kevin,

    Yes. I believe I have Clash By Night on tape somewhere (in my mass of tapes, I'll have to dig through). I'm sorry I'll miss the showing tonight. Hope you enjoy it.

    How cool about your Elia Kazan lecture coming up in the Fall. You might see me there.


  5. I stumbled upon you blog website when I was searching for a movie called "out of the past". I was disappointed that it wasn't the movie, however I want you to know how much I admire the cute conversations between you and Kevin. It's all so romantic how you to click with your old fashion movie watching.

  6. Hello Anon Y Mous,

    I hope that that happy accident happens to many a browser. Thanks for stopping by.

    Kevin and I have become great friends. Nothing romantic. Just a bond over a mutual love of classic film. It's a bond I find with many people now that I have had this site up for a while.

    Hope you come back!


  7. You never fail to entertain with your posts. I've been reading your blog for months and smiled when I read of your love for "Out of the Past", having watched it back in April. After watching Mitchum in "Cape Fear" a few years back I've been trying to work my way through his filmography.

    My recommendation for sexy scene would be for "The More the Merrier" with Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea.

    There's a scene where they're walking back from dinner and end up sitting on the front steps of their apartment.


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