Ah, PG-13: That fuzzy gray area between family movies and movies for grown-ups. Always raising the bar for how many F-bombs can be dropped or the surface area of a breast that can be shown in a two hour period. Obviously, this is 2009 and any 14 year old with a MacBook (it’s for “homework”!) can find naked ladies without too much trouble. But there was a dark time before the proliferation of broadband, when the youngins’ had to make do with what they could get. And because Mom started to get suspicious after the 4th time you had your friends over to eat pizza and watch Porky’s, that also meant you eventually had to look elsewhere to spot a couple boobies. So for anyone under the age of 17, or anyone looking to relive this magical period of their life, I present a selection of ten PG-13 movies with nude scenes:
Barry Lyndon (1975) - It’s pretty tough to stick through Stanley Kubrick’s 3-hour period drama, but with a PG rating, one could imaginably convince one’s 8th grade history teacher to show this to the class. Assuming this history teacher doesn’t know about the IMDB “Parental Guide” section – there’s going to be a class full of very happy 8th grade dudes.
The Fifth Element (1997) – Making her transition from modeling to acting, I’m sure Milla Jovovich was no stranger to wearing what most people would consider a mere fragment of clothing, and for a big chunk of this 126 minute joyride she’s basically wearing a couple of strategically placed seatbelts. But in the opening scene when scientists create Leeloo – the perfect being – they don’t seem to be in too much of a rush to create the perfect clothing to cover her up. No complaints here.
Something’s Gotta Give (2003) – the fact that this movie is PG-13 at all is kind of silly, because I can’t possibly imagine why anyone under the age of 27 would ever have any interest in seeing it. Amanda Peet is in it, with a really unfortunate haircut, but don’t expect her to drop her towel at any point. Instead, the nude scene comes from Diane Keaton. I suppose this was allowed in a PG-13 movie because the nudity is considered “nonsexual.” But whether it’s nonsexual because of the situation, or because at 57, Keaton wasn’t a very sexual creature, is up to you. Either way, when you’re 14 and your grandmother has long since thrown away all of grandpa’s vintage Playboys – this is a movie you and grandpa could both enjoy.
Hackers (1995) – You know when you see a movie nowadays and the hero whips out a flip phone, and suddenly the whole thing is ruined because why the hell doesn’t James Bond have at least a Blackberry or something? Get with it. Well, that’s pretty much how this whole movie goes. Most of the technology was out of date before it was even released. At one point someone pulls out a laptop the size of a suitcase and plugs their bitchin’ fast 28.8k modem in to a payphone to get internet access and prank someone by posting their phone number on the m4m section of whatever 1995′s version of Craigslist was. But of course, the faster something goes out of date, the sooner if can make an ironic comeback as “vintage”. Technology aside, Hackers includes other such vintage items such as: rollerblades, Jonny Lee Miller’s frosted tips, and Angelina Jolie‘s haircut. This first time I saw this movie I had no idea who she even was, but I also had no idea they could show nipples in a PG-13 movie. Which of course meant I was pleasantly surprised when Acid Burn loses her shirt to Zero Cool – the only kid who could possibly hack Gibson and still get some action on the side.
Forrest Gump (1994) – when this came out in 1994 it was such a heartwarming story that parents actually wanted to take their kids to see it. The more mature members of the audience might have felt sorry for the tragic Jenny, but those of us who hadn’t had the great fortune of seeing any of Robin Wright Penn‘s other movies at the time got a great butt shot of Jenny strumming away at a guitar, naked on a barstool.
Just One of the Guys (1985) – A classic story of a go-getter girl reporter for the high school newspaper, played by Joyce Hyser, who infiltrates a rival high school’s football squad posing as a guy. But when she inevitably falls for the star quarterback, she makes her lady status known. Apparently doing a topless scene in a PG-13 teen comedy does nothing for one’s career, but it did get past any restrictions your parents might have put on their Blockbuster account.
Splash (1984) – the always lovable Ron Howard directed this family-friendly movie, which was not only got a mere PG rating, but is also the only Disney movie with a nude scene in it. Clearly, the team behind this one took pity on the poor dads who had to take their families out to the movies and managed to get a plethora of Daryl Hannah butt-shots past the MPAA. Even more surprising though, is the number of topless shots. Tom Hanks’ second appearance on this list makes me think that you can get away with anything as long as your movie has Tom Hanks in it.
Across the Universe (2007) – Showtunes are basically the opposite of Auto-Tune [LINK]. Instead of taking terrible singers and replacing them with really awesome robots, you take decent and well-loved singers and replace them with the drama kids that wouldn’t stop singing in the halls in High School. No man should be forced to listen to over two hours of what basically amounts to the guy in your car who won’t stop singing along to that song you like. On the bright side, it is a love story told through some of the Beatles most trippy songs, which leads to some intense underwater/outerspace? floating sex scenes with Evan Rachel Wood. And a there’s a topless shot or two grounded in the real world for good measure.
The Blue Lagoon (1980) – this one is tricky because the rating differs depending on who you ask. Technically in the US it was rated R, but it was sort of considered a children’s movie. (In Quebec it was even rated G, but that might be French for “Gee that’s a lot of nudity!”) In fact, there’s so much nudity in the movie that the trivia section for this movie on IMDB is basically a list of actresses who turned down the role that Brooke Shields eventually signed on for. And it turns out all of the nudity was her body double anyway. Regardless, this one gets points for the total time of on-screen nudity (over 7 minutes were cut for the Cable TV edited version) and for the fact that you could probably trick your parents into thinking it was a movie for kids.
Titanic (1997) – let’s get something straight here: no self-respecting guy will admit that he went to see Titanic, but anyone who was between the ages of 13 and 17 in 1997 most certainly had their mother drop them off a safe distance from the theater so they could meet their 7th grade “girlfriend” and try to do the old put-your-arm-around-her move and cop a feel from the side. James Cameron, genius storyteller that he is, knew this demographic would be in attendance and even foreshadowed this revolutionary PG-13 nudity by showing Leo’s crappy charcoal sketch of Kate Winslet early in the film. Really, that should have been enough to get the hormonal middle schoolers all fired up, but by the time the “I want you to draw me like one of your French girls” scene rolled around, we all knew exactly what was coming.
Honorable Mention: My Breast (1994) – Meredith Baxter, better known as the mom on Family Ties removed her left breast from it’s holster for a medical examination. Probably the only example of nudity on network TV that wasn’t part of a documentary.
So what other scenes did I miss? Leave ‘em in the comments.