Top Five ‘Worst’ Movie Nude Scenes

Moments of movie nudity we could have lived without

As I was compiling ideas for the Top Ten Nude Scenes article, I actually found that a few ideas were tossed around that were actually more fitting for a different kind of list. One that explored movie nude scenes that I could have lived without. Ones that left me going—I really didn’t need to see that. Or moments that were just down right unnecessary.

Now, there were only a few of these, so I decided to trim this list in half. In it you’ll find moments that I think were just stupid, unnecessary, and horribly gratuitous. And I have little doubt that this one will draw some criticisms, so post away.

Okay, for better or worse, here is our Top Five Worst Nude Scenes:

5. Kevin Bacon—Wild Things (1998)

Kevin Bacon steps out to show his stuff in 'Wild Things'
Kevin Bacon steps out to show his stuff in ‘Wild Things’

This moment was recommended to me, and I have to admit, it’s definitely worthy of mention. This film is most notable for featuring a topless Denise Richards, but for some reason the filmmakers decided to balance her nudity out with a little male nudity. And that came in the form of a full frontal by Kevin Bacon coming out of the shower. All I can say about this is: Why? It’s horribly gratuitous, completely unnecessary, and did nothing to make the film any better. And I find it difficult to believe it made an impression on the box office.

4. Bruce Willis—Color of Night (1994)

Bruce Willis and Jane March get graphic in pool in 'Color of Night'
Bruce Willis and Jane March get graphic in pool in ‘Color of Night’

Color of Night really was part of the early 90s obsession with the erotic thriller that was sparked by Basic Instinct. Sadly, none of the follow ups had any of the same punch, and each was worse than the next. And while I think this movie wasn’t particularly terrible, again you were left scratching your head as to the purpose of Bruce Willis shedding his clothes for a romp in the pool. The scene was trimmed in the theatrical release, so as I recall it was much ado about nothing, but the question is did we really need this? Did the movie benefit? Honestly, I suppose one could argue the publicity helped. Although I would guess that the naked Jane March put a lot more theater goers into the seats.

3. Ken Davitian and Sacha Baron Cohen—Borat (2006)

Sacha Baron Cohen and Ken Davitian fights in their birthday suits in 'Borat'
Sacha Baron Cohen and Ken Davitian fights in their birthday suits in ‘Borat’

I’m probably one of a handful of people who thought Borat was a boring, terribly unfunny film. It was good for a chuckle or two, but beyond that it wasn’t at all deserving of the amount of box office or praise it received (a frickin’ Oscar nomination?!?!). And in the category of “oh my Lord I really didn’t need to see that”, the naked wrestling scene was simply disturbing. It’s just… ugh. I don’t even want to write up this little blurb because it’s just making me think of it.

2. Kathy Bates—At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

Kathy Bates goes a little nuts in 'At Play in the Fields of the Lord'
Kathy Bates goes a little nuts in ‘At Play in the Fields of the Lord’

While her naked hot tub scene with Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt got more attention, this wasn’t the first time Kathy Bates got nude in a movie. She’s a terrific actress, honestly. Top notch. And I admire her chutzpah for getting naked on the big screen. But her naked dance in At Play in the Fields of the Lord was shockingly disturbing. At the same time, she’s a great actress. One of the best. She doesn’t need to do this kind of stuff to get attention. Her talent is enough.

1. Tanya Roberts—Sheena (1984)

Tanya Roberts gets fully naked in 'Sheena' - which was rated PG
Tanya Roberts gets fully naked in ‘Sheena’ – which was rated PG

Yes, Tanya Roberts nude is great. No complaints. She’s beautiful. But did she really have to go fully nude in Sheena? Aside from it being marketed to a younger set, it garnered a PG rating in 1984. And while the PG-13 rating had only been invented that year and was applied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which had been released three months earlier. Talk about a retarded ratings system. Sure, okay, Roberts’ nudity is only in one scene and is not sexual (she’s innocently bathing), but it’s a rather lengthy exchange she has with repeated shots of her bare breasts (along with a few healthy shots of her posterior). And who’s thinking about what they’re talking about at that point? Everyone’s just looking at the boobs! In a family friendly movie! I don’t have an issue with her appearing naked in a movie, but issue here is that the film was PG. What was a sequence like this doing in a film with that rating? As a result it, to me, is the prime example of really poor use of nudity in a movie.

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan has written, directed and produced more than a dozen short films under the banner of Maynard Films, and has worked as a writer for more than a decade for websites, magazines and newspapers.

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