We’ve all seen movies that featured scenes that compelled us to pause, hit rewind, and repeat. Some of these particularly tantalizing film scenes featured eye-catching instances of arousing, sexually-suggestive nudity, while others merely pushed the bounds of what was previously considered to be too taboo for the big screen.
Since the dawn of cinema, nudity and sexuality and the way that these two topics have been explored on screen have been essential elements of the film industry.
These themes are arguably vital aspects of filmmaking, and there shouldn’t be many limits put into place when the content calls for it. Obviously, consent is always a must, and underage actors should never appear onscreen in illicit ways. We can all pretty much agree upon those points, but beyond those two fundamental guidelines, there’s no reason why movies shouldn’t include these kinds of depictions of the human experience.
In this facts-packed video, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most iconic and provocative film scenes of all time. Facts Verse Presents: The Most Paused Movie Scenes When Cameras Captured A Little Extra.
Basic Instinct – The Interrogation Scene
Sharon Stone’s powerful portrayal of Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct transformed her into a global sex symbol. The role required her to really go above and beyond when stepping into character, but we think she did a pretty stellar job.
The film gave audiences a pretty good reason to use their pause buttons. After Catherine is identified as the prime suspect in the slaying of her boyfriend, she is brought to the station to be interrogated. During said interrogation, Catherine suggestively sits in a sultry position in front of her interrogators. As she crosses her legs, Stone leaves little to the viewer’s imagination, if you get our drift. The nudity featured in the scene may be brief, but it no doubt inspired millions of curious viewers to pause, rewind, and rewatch the scene over and over again just to be sure that their eyes weren’t deceiving them.
Cruel Intentions – The Kissing Lesson
Not surprisingly, Roger Kumble’s 1999 teen romantic drama Cruel Intentions features one of the most paused scenes in film history. The movie is famous for it’s themes of seduction, deception, and teen sensuality. Sarah Michelle Geller and Reese Witherspoon were joined onscreen by Ryan Philippe and Selma Blair, but the scene that most fans of the film are most familiar with involves the former two actresses. While Gellar’s character, Kathryn, was the vamp, she dominated the screen throughout the film with her fearless and bold presence. The most memorable scene in the movie, however, had to be the one in which Kathryn locks lips with Witherspoon’s character, Cecile, to teach her how to kiss.
Nowadays, such a scene is par for the course, but 23 years ago, it was pretty revolutionary.
Fast Times At Ridgemont High – The Red Bikini Scene
1982 gave teenage movie watchers a lot to be grateful for. That was the year that Fast Times at Ridgemont High hit theaters, and as you might recall, actress Phoebe Cates appearance in that flick was unforgettable. The most paused scene in the film has to be the one where Cates emerges from a swimming pool in slow-mo. After making her dramatic entrance in what would later be revealed to be merely a daydream sequence, Cates unclips the front of her bikini top, giving the audience an eyeful. While the film might be a bit dated by today’s standards, that arousing moment is nothing short of timeless.
Titanic – Leonardo’s Muse
Who doesn’t remember Kate Winslet’s famous line “draw me like one of your French girls’, in James Cameron’s blockbuster masterpiece Titanic?
Kate Winslet pushed the limits of what could be included in a PG-13 movie when she stripped naked to become Jack’s muse for a casual yet highly erotic impromptu portrait session. Even though she had only just met him, Rose didn’t think twice about letting Leonardo DiCaprio’s character see her at her most vulnerable.
We’re willing to bet that this was many 90s kids’ first glimpse of nudity. It’s a relatively brief scene, but it’s forever immortalized as being one of the film’s most indelible ones.
Gone Girl – An Eyeful of Affleck
Female stars don’t have a monopoly on unforgettable nude scenes. It seems as if everyone on the internet all simultaneously lost their collective minds when a scene in this 2014 film gave viewers a momentary glimpse at Ben Affleck’s unmentionables.
Affleck’s privates can be seen for just about a second or so during a scene in which he takes a shower. His wife at the time, Jennifer Garner, went on The Ellen Degeneres Show not long after the film made it’s debut and joked that she obviously had to be a charitable person seeing as how she was willing to share her hubby with the viewing public.
Seven Year Itch – The Subway Grate Scene
Regardless of whether you’ve ever seen the film before, you’re no doubt familiar with this famous scene. The immortal scene in which Marilyn Monroe is laughing as she tries to cover herself while the gusty wind emitting from a subway grate makes her dress fly up is downright iconic. While the scene was considered to be quite controversial at the time of the film’s release in 1955, it’s now considered to be one of the most beautiful scenes in cinematic history. In fact, when many people think about Monroe, this is the shot that usually comes to mind first. Back in the mid-20th century, people weren’t nearly as open to sexuality as they are today, but the way that Monroe handled this revealing moment with grace and charm resulted in the scene earning it’s place in history as being one of the most pause-worthy ones of the era.
American Pie – The Webcam Scene
Anyone that grew up in the 90s or was merely alive back then has seen at least one of the American Pie films. Just as films like The Graduate and Fast Times At Ridgemont High were the definitive sexually-provocative flicks of their days, American Pie proved to be one of if not the most iconic boundary-pushing films of the Generation X era.
The film franchise that American Pie birthed was all the rage in the late 90s into the early 2000s. It followed the exploits of sex-obsessed teens who were trying to come to grips with their raging hormones. The scene that earned it’s place on this list of the most-paused movie scenes of all time, however, was the one where Shannon Elizabeth undresses on a live webcam. Granted, she didn’t know that she was being broadcast at the time, but the scene, with all of it’s creepy cringy undertones, is still unforgettable.
Wild Things – The Steamy Pool Scene
Wild Things might not have been the highest-grossing film of 1998, but it’s gone on to be considered a cult classic. The movie narrates the story of two teens, Suzie, portrayed by Neve Campbell, and Kelly, played by Denise Richards, who end up accusing their high school counselor of sexual assualt. While that premise is admittedly quite heavy, the movie will forever be remembered for the scene in which Kelly and Suzie share a long, passionate kiss in the pool.
The Lion King – Sex In the Savanna
Now, you might be a bit surprised to see a Disney animated feature film make an appearance in a video like this, but regardless, it deserves mention. The cartoon classic came under fire by concerned parents who read articles on the internet that claimed that one scene featured the word ‘sex’ covertly hidden in the night sky. In the scene in question, Simba, Timon, and Pumba, look up at the sky. Eagle-eyed viewers who hit that pause button at just the right moment claimed that the word sex could be seen written in the stars. At first glance, it sure looks like that’s what’s there, but in reality, the stars spelled out “SFX”, as in special effects, and it was intended to give a brief shout-out to the film’s special effects team. Of course, you can’t blame folks for seeing what they wanted to see. The misunderstanding likely proves that a lot of people frankly just always have sex on the brain.
The Last Picture Show – The Diving Board Controversy
Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show tells the tale of two high school seniors and longtime friends, played by Timothy Bottoms and Jeff Bridges, as they come to the end of their teenage years. The film helped launch the career of Cybil Shepherd, who played the role of Jacy Farrow.
One scene in particular got the film banned in part of Texas – the state in which the film was set. After attending a Christmas dance, Jacy gets invited to go to a skinny dipping party. At the party, she uncomfortably undresses on the pool’s diving board as a bunch of rowdy, hormonal teens splash around down below.
Shepherd was 21 when the film was made, but since her character was supposed to still be in high school, there was a reasonable amount of public backlash against the inclusion of the scene in the film. The city of Phoenix subsequently deemed the movie to be too obscene. This led to it having to be judged by a federal court, which eventually ruled that it was acceptable for public viewing. Even so, considering that the Last Picture Show hit theaters in 1971, it’s the inclusion of full-frontal nudity managed to shock many moviegoers.
Barbarella – Sex In Space
This cult classic very well might not have found the same level of success and notoriety if it weren’t for the inclusion of Jane Fonda as it’s title character. The scene that most people think of whenever the word Barberella is uttered is the one in which Fonda is seen floating about in zero gravity in her birthday suit during it’s opening credits sequence.
The scene was obviously meant to tease the audience and convince them to stick around for the rest of Barbella’s spicy, off-the-wall, science-fiction journey. While the scene isn’t sexually explicit by definition, the audience does get to see a few shots of Fonda fully nude.
Boogie Nights – Making Love In Roller Skates
Anyone that’s seen Boogie Nights no doubt remembers the scene in which Heather Graham’s Roller Girl character hooks up with Dirk Diggler as part of an ‘audition’. Mark Wahlberg sits in front of Burt Reynolds like a studious pupil, and in order to put his skills to the test, Reynolds asks Roller Girl, who happens to be this highly eccentric young lady who always wears roller skates, to make love with Diggler in front of him so that he can cast her in his upcoming skin flick.
We’re just about out of time for this video, so we’ll go ahead and wrap things up. But before you go, take a moment to let your voice be heard in the comments section.
Which movie scene do you think holds the honor of being the most paused of all time? Can you think of any scenes from modern films that will go down in history as being equally pause-worthy? Let us know!