“I think on-stage nudity is disgusting, shameful and damaging to all things American. But if I were 22 with a great body, it would be artistic, tasteful, patriotic and a progress religious experience.” - Actress Shelley Winters
Hollywood loves to show-off the effects of five-hour daily work-outs. What better way than a nude scene? The only problem is that for every Bo Derek in “10” (1989) running down the beach in slow motion or the eye-popping, unexpected nudity of Katie Holmes in “The Gift” (2000), you get those bizarre, unexplained, and sometimes jarring scenes that you leave you perplexed and even… uncomfortable.
A bad nude scene can make you feel like a Peeping Tom rather than an engaged observer. DaRK PaRTY has collected a short list of the worse nude scenes in film. We call it our anti-Sharon Stone list:
Halle Berry, Swordfish (2001) There’s a lot wrong with “Swordfish,” which features a blockbuster cast of John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, and Halle Berry. This dull action flick fails to succeed on just about every level – and, amazingly, blows Berry’s first nude scene. The beautiful Berry showcasing her breasts was much hyped, but the scene is, well, uncomfortable. It’s not sexy, it isn’t brash. It’s kind of sad. There she is, on a lounge chair, misguidedly trying to seduce Jackman’s character, who really isn’t into it. You’re left to cough into your fist and wait for it to mercifully end.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
“Fast Times” nailed high school life in the early 1980s and the performance by a young Sean Penn as the surfer, pothead Jeff Spicoli is spot-on. The worst part of the movie is Jennifer Jason Leigh’s nude scene. She has just lost her virginity in the boat house and watches her lover, Mike Damone, quickly get dressed so he can get the hell away from her. The camera lingers on her, showing a slight bulge to her belly, and the distressing expression on her face as she realizes she’s been a one-night (day?) stand. It’s awful and depressing. Besides, it pales in comparison to the movie’s other nude scene – featuring the gorgeous Phoebe Cates tearing off her bikini top in slow motion. Now that’s a nude scene!
Bob Hoskins, Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)
This is one of those silly British comedies that supposed to steal your heart when you aren’t looking. It’s an exploitive mess that comes together because of the winning performance of Dame Judi Dench in the title role. The most disturbing and perplexing scene, however, is just after Bob Hoskins’ character convinces the chorus line girls that they have to bare it all to save the theater. During rehearsal, they insist that he, too, undress. So he does and you’re agape at the full frontal shot of old Bob with a bit too much meat on his belly and one of the strangest bodies in film. Thankful, the scene ends before you can throw up your popcorn.
Kathy Bates, About Schmidt (2002)
What was Kathy Bates thinking? Inflicting this much pain on viewers, well, there should be a law against it. Bates shows us her “assets” in a hot tub scene with Jack Nicholson, that if used as a commercial for wonder bra would increase sales by tenfold. After your initial horror (and an urge to tear out your eyeballs), you’re left simply left shaking your head in bewilderment. Julie Andrews, S.O.B. (1981)
Mary Poppins exposes her breasts in a forgettable movie directed by her husband, Blake Edwards, in a movie about a desperate director who convinces his wholesome actress wife to pose nude in his new movie in order to save it. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie. And yeah, it’s uncomfortable to watch a 45-year-old actress expose herself for the sake of exposing herself. Harvey Keitel, Bad Lieutenant (1992)
Harvey Keitel shows off his acting chops in “Bad Lieutenant” and turns in a daring, no-holds performance. The film includes a full frontal shot of Keitel – in the throes of a drug overload. It’s one of those scenes that make you wince. Keitel has an oddly lumpy body with long, spindly arms that, quite frankly, closely resembles that of an orangutan.
Elizabeth Berkley, Showgirls (1995)
Actress Elizabeth Berkley (from the wholesome "Saved by the Bell" TV series) spends a full 20 minutes of this terrible, monstrosity of a movie – naked. It’s 19 minutes too much. There’s little sex appeal in any of her scenes (and her acting is stiffer than her fake breasts). The sex scene with Kyle MacLachlan in a swimming pool resembles a drowning. Less could have been more. You end up feeling sorry for Berkley, who was paid the equivalent of minimum wage for the honor of being exploited by director Paul Verhoeven. You get to the point where you just wish someone would buy her a nice sweater.
Terry Bradshaw, Failure to Launch (2006)
Apparently, Terry Bradshaw will do anything. Having made a career of being the resident buffoon on FOX-TV’s “NFL Sunday,” Bradshaw brings his act to the big screen in this blah romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. Bradshaw plays McConaughey’s bumbling dad and by the end of the film has creating a “nude” room for himself and happily stomps around in it – butt naked. The scene is entirely unnecessary and leaves you in stunned silence.