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classicerafan

Is sex scenes and nudity necessary in movies?

51 posts in this topic

Nudity?

 

How do you all feel about nudity in movies?

I simply hate it. Though some feel it's apart of acting and art. When I say things like movie stars in the 1930's and 1940's didn't have to do that to show their a real actress and sexy, young ones say, well they were uptight back then and too innocent.

 

That shows young ones today don't know good movies. It wasn't so innocent back than. But they didn't have to bare all to be sexy. The sexual innuendos were obvious, a look, a movement, anything. That's one of the things I love about classic movies you get the point without it being blatant and that's what make it classic. Sex without the actual doing or saying of it.

 

I forget the title of the movie that Greta Garbo was in with John Gilbert but the camera was close on her while she was reminiscing about the sex her and he had, now that's classic, one of the best scenes in movie history. Think of what actors would do with that today.

 

I basically feel nudity isn't necessary but today's movies they use it often to keep movies from being boring because most the times the actors and actresses, don't have that "oomph."

 

Could you picture Joan, Bette, Marlene, Mae West naked, doing a sex scene? (I know some would but really would it make them less or more of an actress) Mae West oozed of sex but remained covered the whole time. Something about the clothes than that made women even more sexier.

 

Could you picture Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy doing a sex scene? They made love through their music.

 

I'm far from a prude but I feel like if a person wants to see and do porn, there's an adult industry. Hollywood only suppose to go so far. Some of the actors and actresses minus well go ahead and have real sex on the screen, it looks like it half the time. You minus well put the adult movies with the Hollywood movies and not hide them in the back of video stores.

 

Classic movies had a touch of class, a touch of sex, a touch of mystery, a touch of sin, a touch of beauty.

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I agree with you.For me a case in point was Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise and Rene Zellweger. I enjoyed the movie- but why the nasty sex scene with Jerry and his girlfriend? What is the point? That is what the trouble is- usually it is pointless. It's like they get a script together and say " Hey- where do we put the sex scene/flash of nudity in?" ( Somethings Gotta Give-perfect example ). It's not so much a part of the story as a scene in a movie to drop your jaw at.Yuck.

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No it isn't, but the major problem with it is that's it's usually so poorly done that it's almost asexual. When it's done well, it can be very erotic. Brian DePalma is one of the few directors who know how to direct sex scenes. Would I have liked to see Lana Turner in a sex scene? Absolutely !! The production code she worked under was so constrictive as to be ridiculous. And I think people today are ****. They have nothing on the absolute prudes who ran the censorship office. It amazes me that film makers allowed themselves to be pushed around like they were. Separate beds, short kisses, almost no real passion was permissible. All the credit in the world goes to the actors/actresses of that era who still managed to convey a sensuality and eroticism while working under such extremely controlled circumstances. There's no question that sex in the movies lost a great deal of mystery with the dropping of the production code and the use of the ratings system, but (in my opinion) the movie going public is still the better for it.

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True, shainabluegirl. Talk about jaw dropping, the television show Nip/Tuck had a sex scene that I can't believe was allowed on 'Family' cable.

 

It all stems from laziness and incompetence. Just as the blue comic can't write good material without a massive amount of epithets, so a great many of the writers today can't fill out a movie without including gratuitous sex, violence, or bathroom humor.

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I agree with most of what has been said, but would like to say that there are some movies where a minor sex scene (a passionate embrace, maybe some serious kissing, fall on the bed, cut away--the Merryl Streep sort of love scene) might have been interesting. So much had to be implied, even in pre-codes that sometimes you're left going, "Huh? What just happened here?" Just as an example, in "Morrocco" Dietrich and Cooper exchange some snappy dialogue and significant looks in the caberet,(not to mention the business with the flower and later with the room key and all the double entendres over the apples) but when he comes to see her, they don't touch at all. They hardly even look at each other. Then, after he leaves and she goes looking for him, he sweeps her into his arms and you think, "All righty then" and then they get interrupted by the knife fight before anything can happen! All I could think was, for this she marches barefoot across the burning desert? Leading a goat? Or in "Morning Glory" when Hepburn gets drunk at Menjou's party and then it cuts to next morning (or is it? you can't tell how much time has passed) with Menjou telling Fairbanks that he needs to get rid of her. Maybe I'm a little dense, but I almost missed the fact that Menjou must have slept with Hepburn while she was drunk.

 

Most of the time, though, what they did in old movies was enough. Sex was implied strongly enough through the acting that you got it, even if the action entirely took place off screen.

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Any scene, nude or not to work needs actors who can convay a feeling preferably more sensuous than sexual. AND, that is hard to find in todays films and crop of actors. Also, I feel nude scenes are far better to watch than all that senseless violence depicted. I regard the youth watching. I'd not mind theme watching a backside, a pair of breasts, all this is far better than more cars being blown up and guns being fired into a body...don't you now?

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Film makers today appear, IMO, to be working under a code as rigid and inflexible as the old Production Code, only different. Unless some gratuitous sex, violence or potty humor is included in the screenplay it's not deemed bankable amongst the desired demographic and can't be made.

 

I find that with classic films I do have to bring some attention span to the viewing, be a bit perceptive, and most of all, gather up my adult sensibilities 'cuz not everything is going to be crudely signalled or telegraphed to me.

 

 

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Well, I kind of agree with Leo, that I'd rather see kids watching naked bods instead of blood and gore but that leads to a whole other problem indicative of the transitory nature of love and sex that the youth of today embody. Also, when a sex scene is written into a contract, and I know they are, that suggests to me that modern performers are only as good as their bods (or their doubles' bods) are. I think Nicole Kidman must have it written into her contracts that she appears nude within the first fifteen minutes of every film she's in, at least it seems that way. I was watching Birth the other day, and it's not entirely awful, but there's an irrelevant and obvious sex scene near the beginning that serves no point other than to allow her to appear nude yet again. I think nudity can be used far more creativity and successfully. For instance, Diane Keaton's baring in Something's Gotta Give was surprising and funny. There's nothing really shameful about the human body, in fact, there's nothing shameful at all about the human body, it's just that when image overrules talent, script and everything else outside of photography (coz most sex scenes are nicely photographed) I think it's indicative of a nasty problem going on and one that's tainting the notion of sex and sexuality in addition to the expectations (regarding a film's content) of the majority of cinema-goers today, the kids. Nothing's shocking anymore, except the film I saw last night about retired U.N. Lt. Gen. Romeo Dalliare's return trip to Rwanda after 10 years. The failure of the majority of the world's government to avert that genocide was, and still is, shocking, but that's got nothing to do with Kate Winset's useless nude scene in Titanic. What the hell was the point of that?

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It's just my opinion but I think that Winslett's nude scenes in Titanic were to show that she wasn't & didn't want to be the proper wife of a man she didn't love--that she just wanted to bust loose & live a carefree life that wasn't dictated strictly by what her mother wanted. It still wasn't a good story or necessarily a great film but that's my take on the nudity being included.

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My feelings about these scenes vary according to how they are handled. For example, I thought the romantic sex scene toward the end of Cold Mountain was beautifully done.

 

I'll tell you one thing that bugs me, though--so many couples in today's movies meet, and a few hours later, they are in bed (The Constant Gardener). Filmmakers so often ignore the deliciousness of sexual tension, and I'm not even sure it's all that realistic to portray people having sex so soon after meeting--at least not in the midst of an AIDS epidemic!

 

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I agree with Cold Mountain Love Scene it was beautiful.

 

I think Sex and Nudity are sometime imparitive becuase no matter what that is a part of life but I do think that they should use it not as a ways to promote the movie cause I mean in like college movies and stuff sometimes over dramatize it like it is a all night orir or something.

 

BUt alot of peole do sleep aroun in real life even with AIDS epidemic. They just don't get it I guess.

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I definitely hate it. It is NOT necessary. When I watch a classic film, I can watch it with my kids and not worry about anything. It's just wonderful how they made great films and didn't have to throw things in your face. You had to use your mind and therefore children could watch something and not have it shock them.

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Most of what needed to be said has already been said, I just wanted to add my agreement. Also sometimes there is nudity for no apparent reason. My thoughts go to The Devil's Advocate, which was real controversial in the first place, IMO. Loving Al Pacino, though, I did watch it and actually enjoyed most of it - but the nudity was unnecessary. At the end, Ms. Theron did not need to be fully nude and I do understand that it was a "holy fight" and had to do with her and Mr. Reeves making or not making love, but I don't think it needed to be done in the manner it was done. I totally agree with those of you who said that it is much sexier to be partially dressed than totally naked. And I don't think being a prude has anything to do with it - I think it's more common decency. Besides, the sexiest moments on film, to me, are moments like Gilda throwing her head back. Sexy is so much more than nudity - for whatever reason the nudity, it's not necessary.

 

By the way, I'm not being overly polite here by saying Ms. Theron or Mr. Reeves, I just don't know how to spell either first name. LOL

 

Katy

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Scarr1ettt says that "for whatever the reason for nudity, it's not necessary," and that to avoid nudity in cinema is a matter of "common decency." That's your opinion and it's valid and all, but when did ART, in any form, have to cater to common decency? How boring THAT would be. In cinema, there's a reason we have a Ratings board. If you go see an R Rated film, don't be shocked if you hear profanity or see nudity. Simple as that. If you are looking for common decency in film, then stick with Disney films. I, for one, am glad that the stringent production code in Hollywood was finally abolished in the late-60's. As an adult, I want to experience entertainment that speaks to me in such a way. If the production code was still in effect into the 70's, we would never have gotten to see the first Two GODFATHER films, for example.

 

I personally have no problems with nudity or displays of sexuality on film. That's just my opinion. I would hope that it works in the context of the story, sure. If nudity is used onscreen in a gratuitous manner, I just assume that the Director is trying to cover up a weak story, perhaps. But I would say that I'm usually more disturbed by some of the violence I see on film, as opposed to anything sexual. But my threshold for violence in cinema is probably greater than most. Look, we all have different standards for what we will tolerate in film, music, or whatever form of entertainment you care to choose.

 

I have a friend at work who receives letters from a couple of Television 'watchdog' groups. He laughs them off and lets me read them and the fact that there are groups that want to stage boycotts on sponsors of shows they deem offensive is to me, an obscenity in itself. The shows that offended the groups were obvious: NIP/TUCK, DEADWOOD, THE SOPRANOS, RESCUE ME, THE SHIELD, and even my beloved ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, to name a few. Lucky me, I happen to enjoy ALL of those shows. For me, they are much more interesting than, say, THE APPRENTICE, or THE OC. But to state that nudity is 'never' necessary on film does come off a bit prudish.....

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It's filth, plain and simple. Anything they can do with their clothes off they can do with it on but the movies today especially have no decency and do cover up weak stories and bad acting with nudity and sex scenes.

 

Is Mae West, Rita Hayworth, Lana, Hedy, Ava, Garbo less sexy because they didn't do nude or sex scenes? Of course not.

 

If God wanted us to be nude he wouldn't of put clothes on Adam and Eve.

The world is going down hill anyway, this is the sign of the last days so I'm not surprised by what humans are doing, the bible prophecies what these days would be like before it got here. I just feel bad for the youth who feel they got to do nude/sex scenes to make it big and it's true. Hollywood hasn't much to do with one who isn't willing. If an actress doesn't want to do it, fine, but it's not like that.

 

Believe me, most people aren't looking at the art when a woman is nude and doing sex scenes.

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Classic,

 

How do you feel about all the pre-code movies and many silent films such as Demille's Bible epics that use sex to advance the story or any number of Swanson and other actresses who eptomized sex on the screen in those days before the Hays Office?

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So, classicerafan, any display of nudity in Art is "filth??" Have you ever been to an Art Museum? The naked body, despite your hang-ups with it, is a beautiful thing and has been celebrated in the Art world, ever since Art became a concept. If you think that nudity is only used to cover up weak screenwriting, then you obviously don't see many movies, because there are many excellent films, with strong stories, that happen to contain nudity. Especially in foreign films. Say what you want about Europeans, but I feel that they have a much healthier view of sexuality than we Americans do, and has it hurt their society? They are probably only about a tenth as 'violent' as our society.

 

Look, I find the subtle glances or gestures of a Classic film star to be sexy, but sometimes, sue me, I require a little more. We all have different tastes, but when you start spouting out 'biblical prophecies,' you lose me. You believe what you believe, and that's fine. But Art is supposed to be one of the few avenues in our world where freedom reigns and one's imagination shouldn't be restricted to what is moral or decent, unless the artist CHOOSES to do so. The key word here is choice. I live in what is ostensibly, a free country. I choose to see what I want, and if the so-called 'puritans' of this land want to ban that, well, I'll fight them with everything I have. I feel that strongly about it.

 

....and please, when you start saying things like, "this is a sign of the last days," you come off a little spooky. There are people who have been making that claim since man crawled out of the slime. Despite what the tribes of morality try to scare us with, society is MUCH more civilized today, than it was in, say, The Dark Ages, if you care to study your History. Again, if you don't want to see nudity in film, I respect that. I do. But if I see it in a film, it won't bother me, regardless of whether ANYONE thinks it's filth. The naked body IS a creation of God. Did he/she/it make a mistake? Sorry for the rant, but to state that any nudity in film is purely filth is completely short-sighted. Some will disagree, and the earth will continue to spin on it's axis. We'll just have to agree to disagree.....

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You have to remember that whenever threads like this pop up that these kind of treads are your 87 year old grandma talking and not take these comments to serious. After all they complained about A Fish Called Wanda for pete sakes. I just laugh at and enjoy their silly remarks and move on.

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Yeah, I know that, but I do love a good debate. I like to stir the pot occasionally just to see what transpires. I really do enjoy the fact that there is a wide range of opinions on this board. It would be pretty boring if we all agreed on everything. To my detriment though, I have a hard time letting a comment that I find absolutely egregious go unchallenged, regardless of what the age, social status, or moral standing of the person posting the message.

 

But yeah, even the question that started this post is somewhat humorous. "IS sex scenes and nudity necessary in movies?" Change the incorrect word, 'IS,' with the correct word, being, 'ARE,' and there just might be an enthralling discussion to be had here. I was just trying to jump into the fray.......

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I do agree with you - I also love a good debate and am glad we have so many different opinions on this thread - makes life interesting. :-)

 

I love art history and have taken many art classes in University. I, too, believe that the naked human body is beautiful. Which kind of makes my point even clearer - how do we teach our kids the beauty in nudity if uncaring people are using it unnecessarily in smutty movies? Or using it for no apparent reason except to sell tickets. If the nudity is necessary for the story line - GOOD story line, I might add - then by all means bring it on - TASTEFULLY.

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I love the pre-code era movies. They were sexy but not filthy. They could be sexy with clothes on, actually the clothes made them sexier.

 

Like I said if nudity is allright than sell porn movies in the front and not hide them, show them on public television, write Jerry Springer show and tell them they don't have to hide women and men's body parts who show them because it's art. Believe me 99% of people isn't thinking art when they see a naked body.

 

Today's society civilized? I don't think so. You got young kids thinking about sex and nudity because we say it's okay and society has accepted it. It use to be only for adults now it's for all.

 

Yes, it's been said for years the end is near but if you ever picked up a bible and read Revelations you'd see everything that's happen now, all this calamity and more was told before it happened.

 

God, made the human body, right, but he also put clothes on us when we became imperfect because he knew what we'll think and do. Our bodies suppose to be something private, if it's true it's God's temple wouldn't you treat it with respect? But we civilized generation only want God in our life when something bad happens, or sick or dying.

 

I'm not trying to argue or anything but I know this generation, because I'm apart of it and they ain't thinking art, maybe your civilized generation do, but I doubt it.

This is something Myrna Loy said I found interesting:

[speaking in the late 60s] "I admire some of the people on the screen today, but most of them look like everybody else. In our days we had individuality. Pictures were more sophisticated. All this nudity is too excessive and it is getting very boring. It will be a shame if it upsets people so much that it brings on the need for censorship. I hate censorship. In the cinema there's no mystery. No privacy. And no sex either. Most of the sex I've seen on the screen looks like an expression of hostility towards sex."

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To reply to another poster, that's why today many men and women don't respect the body because women don't respect it themselves.

 

The other night as I was flipping through channels, on the Howard Stern show, there was a woman playing a game, she was nude and popping balloons with her naked bottom, that's real art.

 

In the more sophisticated years, there were places to go to see excessive sex and nudity, now they throw it in everyone's faces. Also, why not give porn stars the same fame and Academy awards they give so-called real movie stars? This isn't the 1900's when nudity was considered art.

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I like debates also, I just think that how they go into extremes with their arguments is humorous. Using the sleaziest examples to try to make a point, like Springer and Stern for example. This is done just to ignore and dismiss legitimate examples of nudity in film.

 

Nudity is necessary when it comes to films that where made during the realism and post realism period. Ingmar Bergman for example used nudity in his films of the 1960's and 70's because he wanted realism in his films. A wife would not ge out of bed and hide her breasts from her husband, that would be absurd. When we watch a movie like his we are looking into a window at the characters and experiencing what they experience.

 

I believe that it would help if people would rent these kind of movies from Netflex with the commentary turned on so that they can become more educated about such things. Besides when a movie or program says that it is intended for mature audiences it mean maturity of mind as well as age. You have to always look out for and be weary of the "JAZZ POLICE" because they will come with smiley faces on their shirts when they come to kick your door in because you don't conform.

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Hey, when will they start showing a man get out of bed completely nude? They do it too don't they? I have to agree that the nudity in movies today is not done in the name of art, but to sell tickets, and there is entirely too much - unless it's male nudity of course!

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