3. From Here to Eternity (1953)
Our entry from Classic Hollywood is From Here to Eternity (1953) which beats classic Film Noir entries and a handful of Alfred Hitchcock pictures to this spot on the list courtesy of perhaps the most clenched-fist-inducing kiss in the history of cinema.
Kissing in the sand, then the sea, then the sand again, the entire love-making sequence in From Here to Eternity is the archetype of the steaming-hot sex scene, so much so that the early 50s censors felt it necessary to cut 4 seconds of it for being “too sexy”. Need we provide any further proof as to why it deserves to be in this list?
The film itself actually offers a lot more than just sex appeal, with the story taking place during peace-time Pearl Harbor on the brink of entering World War II, and the male characters of the piece each hold particularly dislikeable character traits – the likes of which were purposefully included to offer a less-than respectable commentary on military personnel of the time.
A classic film with an even more classic Hollywood all-star cast including Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift and Donna Reed, From Here to Eternity is more than just the best love-making sequence in the history of cinema, but it is a damn good scene.
4. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Patrick Swayze is usually enough of a reason for most people to agree that Dirty Dancing is one of cinema’s most sexy films, but if you haven’t yet been convinced… the true eroticism of this music-laden film steams through every dance scene and every antagonistic interaction between the two leads, with the movie doing a real good job of offering every 80s person that-way-inclined just a sniff of fantasy wish fulfilment that comes with Jennifer Grey’s Baby hooking up with a red hot, hyper masculine, dancing sex pot like Swayze’s Johnny Castle.
The music may not be as sexy after thirty-plus years, but the movie sure is!
5. In the Mood for Love (2000)
Wong Kar-Wai’s romantic masterpiece merges camera, lights and orchestral soundtrack to present some of the most erotic sequences ever put to film, often by simply showcasing a walk down a corridor or a meeting in the dark of the night.
In the Mood for Love is a picture you truly have to see to believe, as it offers an almost otherworldly beauty to top its story’s deeply sophisticated premise of a man and a woman who find solace in one another upon discovering their spouses may be cheating on them. This film won’t get you all hot and bothered in an obvious sex-God worshipping way like Dirty Dancing, nor will it confront sex in the way that The Handmaiden does – it doesn’t shine sex in your face like Basic Instinct or offer an all-time great love scene like From Here To Eternity. Instead, In the Mood for Love will bleed the sensuality right out of your deepest recesses through pure art in its most cinematic form, making it an undeniable classic of Sexy Cinema, and the final entry of this list.
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Which of the films listed here gets you most hot and bothered? Which other films could we have included? Let us know in the comments below and follow @thefilmagazine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more insightful movie articles.