Chocking nudity on the screen trough film history
From total censor to almost total freedom is one way to describe the increased nudity in movies. In the early history of film nudity are extremely rare beside the pornographic ventures, but it is present and one example is Inspiration from 1915. The nude scene in that silent film is however not in a sexual context. Nudity combine with sex is another thing and it could have happened for the first time in 1933. It did so in the Czech film Ecstasy and needless to say, it made a scorching impact.
Motion Picture Production Code
The trend towards more nudity and sexual content would not be overseen. In the 1930s The Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association developed a censorship to all major movie releases called The Motion Picture Production Code. The censorship begins in 1930, but become more strict in 1934. The production code lasted until 1968 and in this period these general principles dictated in Hollywood:
1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
There were, however, exceptions. Minor releases made outside the studio system would include nude scenes. One of the most controversial examples was Child Bride (1938) that showed the twelve-year-old Shirley Mills breast and her body naked under the water.
And, of course, the European film was not bond to the Hollywood censorship. One of the biggest movie stars in Europe was the “Sex goddess”: Brigitte Bardot. Her body was well known by the audiences that have seen movies like …And God Created Woman (Et Dieu... créa la femme, 1956), Love Is My Profession (En cas de malheur, 1958) and Contempt (Le mépris, 1963).
Also famous became "The Swedish Sin". Some people in the US and other countries was going to see Swedish pictures at the cinema for often one main reason, the chance to see a naked woman. Some of the movies which also own great qualities are One Summer of Happiness (Hon Dansade En Sommar, 1951) by Arne Matsson and Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika, 1953) by Ingmar Bergman.
Due to the abandon of the Production Code and a general trend to increased nudity in other countries the 1970s did bring higher frequencies of violence and sex. The fact that color has become standard in movies could also have contributed to the development of the latter.
Two of the most controversial movies of the decade are Last Tango in Paris with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, and Pretty Baby with the only twelve-year-old Brooke Shields.
Another great picture, filmed in black and white was The Last Picture Show (1971) that contain the young Cybill Shepherd in exposed scenes. The same year saw the premiere of the sexual and violent thriller Straw Dogs with Dustin Hoffman and Susan George in the main roles.
The culmination of that could be allowed on the silver screen was reached in Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) with young girls and boys exploited by the fascist officials under the World War II.
The French cinema
The French cinema is probably associated with nudity in film more than all other nationalities. As mention earlier Brigitte Bardotte was a chock in the 50s and 60s. Another young actress would take upon the role as a beauty that also showed her body to the audience: Emmanuelle Béart. She could be seen in the erotic Premiers désirs in 1981, but a movie with much higher quality was Manon of The Spring (Manon des sources, 1986) that was the sequel of Jean de Florette (1986). Another critically acclaimed movie that also became known for the amount of nudity was La Belle Noiseuse (1991) in which Emmanuelle’s character Marianne is modeling for a painter. Emmanuelle Béart has continued to blend the audience with both great acting and sexual appearances in movies like L'enfer (1994) and Ça Commence par la Fi (2010).
Controversial movies that involve older men’s attraction to younger girls have been made more than once in France. In 1981, for example, with Beau-Pere in which the fourteen-year-old Marion and her stepfather begin a love relation. L'Ennui by Cedric Kahn (1998) is a another example of a similar theme.
The lesbian love has also been represented in motion pictures, but the love scenes have mostly been sparse and not that bold in manner of nudity. One an example that would not be shy about teenage girls discovering sexual preferences to their own sex was Lost and Delirious in 2001. An earlier example is Better Than Chocolate (1999). But by far the most explicit love scenes were shown in Blue Is the Warmest Color (La Vie d'Adèle, 2013).
The 1980s and towards today
The amount of bare skin in the movies has, as already declared, increased with time and there is also possible to see an increase from the last decades of 20th to the 21st century.
A list will mention some of the most shocking movies in terms of sexual and nude related contents:
- The Blue Lagoon (1980) - US
- Basic Instinct (1992) - US
- The Lover (L'amant, 1992) - France/UK/Vietnam
- Kids (1995) - US
- Love Lessons (Lust och fägring stor, 1995) - Sweden
- Lolita (1997) - France/US
- Romance (1999) - France
- La Mécanique des Femmes (2000) - France
- The Center of the World (2001) - US
- The Dreamers (2003) - UK/France
- Shortbus (2006) - US
- Import Export (2007) - Austria/France/Germany
- Lust, Caution (Se, jie, 2007) - US/China/Taiwan
- Le Chant des mariées (2008) - France/Tunisia
- My Queen Karo (2009) - Belgium
- Room in Rome (2010) - Spain
- Paradise: Love (Paradies: Liebe, 2012) - Austria
- Blue Is the Warmest Color (La Vie d'Adèle, 2013) - France
- Wetlands (Feuchtgebiete, 2013) - Germany
These are only a few of the movies with chocking ingredients of sexual nature. The biggest part of movies in this area often lacks quality in script and acting and therefore lots of movies from that category have been left out in this article.