Some of the most smouldering, sizzling, sexy scenes in cinema have been done in costume, as Mary Ann Sorrentino recently noted. This post is in response to her call for some of the sexiest scenes in films--with their clothes on:
Some of the most smouldering scenes the screen has seen, Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), the best date movie ever.
The famous chess scene in the original version of The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen, still delivers.
Katharine Ross did a slow tease for Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as Etta to her Sundance, but taking off on a bicycle with Paul Newman's Butch Cassidy showed the full range of sexiness in clothes.
There aren't many scenes in filmmaking more sensual or sensitive than Robert Redford shampooing Meryl Streep's hair in the wilds of Africa in Out of Africa (1985) .
Cher underwent a major transformation and got all dolled up in Moonstruck (1987) to meet Nicholas Cage at the Met. There might as well have been fireworks as she crossed toward him at the fountain.
The restaurant scene in Chariots of Fire (1981) is one of the sexiest scenes any two actors have made with clothing. Alice Krige and Ben Cross show how it's done.
When Al Pacino as Michael Corleone falls for the undeniably beautiful Apollonia, played by Simonetta Stefanelli, during his Sicilian exile in The Godfather (1972), his eyes do something to her fully clothed that require no removal of a wedding dress to understand.
Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis proved that Amish country is not without its steamy-in-clothing moments in a dance scene in the barn in Witness (1985).
John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara set the bar high in The Quiet Man (1952), proving you can be in a cottage in Ireland, freezing to death, with clothing, coats and even an apron, and make it steam.
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's onscreen duet of "Falling Slowly" in Once (2006) is indeed a love scene, clothing, piano and all, with art imitating life.
This particular scene in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) is about as sexy as you'll get with clothes on, just barely, but others in the film, Rene Russo's first show of a garter to Denis Leary in the museum, her first meeting with Pierce Brosnan at the cocktail party, and their dinner at Cipriani, are equally steamy, with great clothes.
The piano scene in Pretty Woman (1990) gets Richard Gere and Julia Roberts sizzling hot enough, they might as well not have clothes.
A piano plays an important role in Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel's unusual relationship in The Piano (1993) which becomes a smouldering affair in which she plays to get her piano back, a key at a time. Even fully clothed, the sexual tension is palpable.
Colin Firth loses his pages as a newly divorced writer off to France, and his Portuguese housekeeper, played by Lucia Moniz, dives into the water for them, in this scene from Love Actually (2003) . They manage to translate sexiness to the screen even without nudity, although she does strip down to bra and panties before taking the plunge.
No clothes off here, yet deadly sexy, the latest romantic incarnation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (2005), with Kiera Knightley and Matthew McFadyen.
"We have a view." Julian Sands and Helena Bonham Carter light up a window overlooking Florence in A Room With a View (1985).
The American President (1995), Michael Douglas, takes a spin on the dance floor with his date, Annette Bening. Whether they're in the dishroom or the ballroom, they sizzle.
Rebecca DeMornay and Tom Cruise take a hot ride on a train in Risky Business (1983), with Phil Collins and Tangerine Dream in the background.
Michelle Pfieffer gets Robert Redford and the news anchor job in Up Close and Personal (1996) and steams up the screen through several wardrobe, and style, changes.
Nicholas Cage has a considerable obstacle to overcome as an angel who's fallen in love with a surgeon, played by Meg Ryan, in City of Angels (1998), but manages to fall to earth to do it. There's plenty of clothed sensuality in the process.
I dare you to get sexier than this with clothes on. You can't. Scott and Fran's rumba from Strictly Ballroom, followed by their powerful finale Paso Doble:
For my money, the top five: The Last of the Mohicans, The Thomas Crown Affair (Brosnan/Russo), Pride and Prejudice, Witness, and of course, Strictly Ballroom.