Naked Men in Film
Naked men are still very rarely
seen in film. Today's cinema has made a few moves towards accepting
full frontal male nudity, but essentially things remain the
same as they were fifty years ago. Movies just don't do
It's a longstanding tradition that a film may happily show female
nudity in its entirety, but the penis is a no-no. You may get
tastefully lit shots of a male backside to indicate nudity,
but otherwise getting a peek at the penis is extremely rare.
Why is this? A feminist would speculate that it is the result
of a male-dominated society (and industry) seeking to preserve
its power by hiding the symbol of that power - the dick. If
the penis remains unseen, it is still mysterious and powerful.
Another line of reasoning suggests it comes down to assumptions
about the audience of a film. It seems that filmmakers assume
the majority of their audience is male (or that the important
viewers are male) and therefore those audience members will
not want to see other men naked. This is essentially a homophobic
idea, especially if it comes down to the thought that a potential
viewer may not spend their money on the film if there is a dick
in it (whereas a naked woman would have the opposite effect).
In any case, the absence of naked men in film is a source of
frustration and insult to many women. Why are we less important?
Why is the male actor's dick so sacred? Why is it assumed that
women won't fork out money to see a film with full frontal male
There have been a number of notable exceptions to the no-male-nudity-in-film
tradition. One of the finer examples of it is Harvey Keitel's
naked piano-polishing scene in The Piano. This scene is a landmark
because director Jane Campion deliberately shot it as an erotic
depiction of a naked man, with a female audience in mind. The
camera lingers lovingly on the not-so-perfect body of Keitel,
allowing viewers to unabashedly look at a naked man, penis and
all. This has happened so rarely in cinema, it's hard to find
another mainstream film that offers a similar thing.
A champion of cinematic male nudity is Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.
Ewan has appeared naked in almost every film he's been in, including
The Pillow Book, Velvet Goldmine, Trainspotting and most recently
Ewan had this to say about his proclivity to get
naked in his films. "There
was this trend in the '80s of gratuitous sex scenes where women
were always naked and men never were. So I just thought I was
doing it for the sisters."
has also said: "It's a great feeling of power to be naked
in front of people. We're happy to watch actual incredible graphic
violence and gore, but as soon as somebody's naked it seems
like the public goes a bit bananas about the whole thing."
Here's a list of other notable male nude scenes:
Richard Gere - American Gigolo
Geoffrey Rush - Quills
Simon Callow - Room with a View
Julian Sands - Room with a View
Bruce Willis - Color of Night
Edward Norton - American History X
John Malkovich - The Sheltering Sky
More articles on this topic:
Frontal Male Nudity in Film - Sex for Women Info
of naked men at For The Girls Ezine and Erotica for Women
This site has heaps of gay beefcake hunks
Male Celebs offers an archive of paparazzi photos and still
frames from movies with full frontal male nudity. If you're
curious about how your favourite male star looks in the buff,
they'll probably have a photo here. This site seems to be aimed at
gay surfers but I think there's heaps here to make women happy
Full Frontal: Male Nudity Video Guide
by Steve Stewart
This book lists
male full frontal appearances in mainstream films, shorts, and
documentaries. If you want to know who was nude where, this is
the book to own. It even has an actor's index, so you can look
up your favourite leading man.
Exposure: The Movie Buff's Guide to Celebrity Nude Scenes
by Jami Bernard
Bare Facts Video Guide 1998
by Craig Hosoda