I typed in “sexiest movies of all time” on Google. The top three results were:
If you study the lists, you will find that there are overlapping films. I counted eight: 9 1/2 Weeks, Mulholland Dr., Y Tu Mamá También, Don’t Look Now, Body Heat, Sex and Lucia, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Out of Sight. Body Heat shows up on all three.
What you may have learned from this exercise, other than that Body Heat is really sexy, is that lists can become repetitive. I imagine this occurs because the list makers often draw from the same pool of films. The Entertainment Weekly list in particular is loaded with predictable choices. Moviefone is a little more adventurous (Team America: World Police?), but not by much. It’s Gayot that delivers the more offbeat and provocative list. Eschewing the safer choices, they boldly included two of Helen Mirren‘s most controversial films: Caligula and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, neither of which I would consider date movies. (I assume that those were chosen due to Helen Mirren’s appearing in them, because she’s been putting the “S” in sexy for multiple decades now.)
Helen Mirren: Sexy enough to make the same list twice.
I, too, am creating a list that aims for less typical picks, but I’m pushing the boundaries of conventionally acknowledged movie sexiness even further than Gayot. My list will consist only of films I’ve seen that have been ranked by 20 or fewer Flickchart users. So, you will not find Body Heat among my choices. What you will find is an eclectic selection of lesser known tales of lust and passion. The fact that few people have seen these films does not diminish their sexiness one bit, I assure you.
NOTE: Some movie clips may not be entirely suitable for work.
TYPE OF SEXINESS: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Japanese Style
“Love between women is like the love of a work of art.”
From what I’ve read, there are four film versions of Manji, which are based on a Japanese novel from the 20′s entitled Quicksand. This version, from 1964, was the first to be released. I assume that the later films are more explicit, but this one is fairly risqué for being almost fifty years old. What it’s about is a woman, Sonoko, who becomes involved in an obsessive relationship with beautiful fellow art school student, Mitsuko (Ayako Wakao). Complicating matters is that they are both attached to men who are jealous of their affection for each other. Which leads to machinations and melodrama.
EXAMPLE OF SEXINESS: This scene, when Sonoko first has a gander at Mitsuko au naturel and succumbs to her desires, is hot stuff:
TYPE OF SEXINESS: Experimental Tragi-Romance
Yugoslavian director Dusan Makavejev‘s films Sweet Movie and WR: Mysteries of the Organism are not exactly easy to warm up to for the casual viewer. Both are an avant-garde amalgam of sex, politics, documentary footage and provocation. Sweet Movie in particular is bound to vex most people. Love Affair, one of his earlier efforts, is similar in some ways to those films, but less radical and confrontational. Still, it is undeniably quirky and doesn’t follow a straight-forward narrative.
This guy pops up from time to time. Don’t be alarmed.
The Love Affair in the title refers to the romance between a switchboard operator (the very cute Eva Ras) and a sanitation inspector. What may confound some people is how other seemingly unrelated scenes, such as a sexologist lecturing about culture and rat corpses being rounded up for disposal, are interspersed amongst the romantic bits. There’s also the abrupt, tragic turn of events toward the end, which is alluded to by the second part of the title.
EXAMPLE OF SEXINESS: Well, if you can get past the unconventional structure, the interactions between the lovers are playful and endearing:
TYPE OF SEXINESS: Temptress Wreaking Havoc
Irish actress Siobhan McKenna was famous enough in her own country to be featured on a postage stamp. I hadn’t heard of her until I saw the British Noir film Daughter of Darkness (not to be confused with the Eurovampire flick, Daughters of Darkness). In it, she plays Emily, a servant girl who possesses an eerie magnetism that inflames the loins of men. The village womenfolk find her allure so unsettling that they pressure the local priest to send her away. She takes up working on a farm and manages to maintain a façade of normalcy. That is, until men start turning up dead.
EXAMPLE OF SEXINESS: I like this scene between Emily and the boyfriend of the farm owner’s daughter (Honor Blackman, in one of her first roles).
TYPE OF SEXINESS: Direct-to-Video Erotic Thrillers About Voyeurism From The 90′s
Both Animal Instincts and its sequel involve the erotic adventures of Joanna Cole, played by Shannon Whirry. In Animal Instincts, Joanna is introduced as the sexually unsatisfied wife of a police officer. She confronts her husband early in the film about his working all the time rather than fulfilling her needs. He says “Don’t start with me.” She replies, “Why? You never finish with me.” So, while he’s off patrolling, she fantasizes about other men. One day, he walks in on Joanna during an act of intimacy with the cable guy. But he doesn’t get angry about her infidelity. Instead, they agree that some voyeurism might add a spark to their marriage. He sets up a camera in their bedroom so he can watch while Joanna gets it on with a variety of people.
By the second film, Joanna is no longer with her husband, but she still has the performance bug. She moves into an upscale neighborhood after ditching a rich voyeur who gave her expensive gifts. Her neighbor is a maritally dissatisfied security camera installer (what are the odds?). After setting eyes on Joanna sunbathing, he secretly places a surveillance device in her boudoir. She finds out about it and goes along with his game.
I’ve debated with myself over which movie is better. The original probably has more Shannon Whirry action overall, and David Carradine is even in it. But, as they say, if you liked the first one… (NOTE: There is an Animal Instincts III from the same director. Whirry doesn’t reprise her role as Joanna Cole, however, so that may remove a lot of the appeal.)
EXAMPLE OF SEXINESS: The sexiest scenes are too fiery to show you here. There are a bunch of completely NOT work-safe clips over at Dailymotion, though, if you want to spice up your day.
This under-seen list of cinema’s sexiest will continue with the next 5 entries next week…