Some stars say they'd do it only if the "right role" came along; and others simply refuse to go topless for any reason. And sometimes an actress's decision to go topless for a role can overshadow the movie itself -- which can be good (Demi Moore in Striptease) or bad (Jessica Biel in Powder Blue).
With the advent of the internet, many of these scenes now live on forever, but with topless and nude scenes a-dime-a-dozen, there are few that stand out and stand the test of time. Here are our picks for the top 14 topless scenes on film...
Kate Winslet in Titanic
The actress famously went topless as Rose DeWitt Bukater and posed nude for Leonardo DiCaprio, who drew a picture of her during some down time in the three hour film before the ship itself went down. Interesting fact: the hand shown sketching Winslet is actually that of director James Cameron and not Leo.
We like to keep things pretty "PG" around here, but you can find all the videos of these scenes at DailyMotion.com
Demi Moore in StripteaseNews that Demi, fresh off breast implant surgery, would to go topless in a movie about a stripper fighting a child custody battle was all the promotion the film needed. The film was awarded "Worst Picture" for 1996 at the Golden Raspberry Awards (aka The Razzies); and, believe-it-or-not, it was based on a novel. Striptease was just that -- featuring several scenes with her dancing at the strip club in a bikini, and only actually taking it off later in the film for a few moments. Moore had previously gone topless in other films, such as Blame It On Rio, but with Striptease coming at the height of her career the move was all the rage. Interesting fact: Moore once posed for the March 1981 issue of the Spanish edition of Penthouse magazine. She went by the name Vivianne Pollentier for the fully nude shoot.
Katie Holmes in The GiftKatie showed off her perfect pair in 2000's The Gift in a scene where her promiscuous character is about to be murdered by **SPOILER ALERT** her fiancee, the school principal (Greg Kinnear). Her decision to go topless in the film was to help break her from the "good girl" image she had from starring on Dawson's Creek.
Salma Hayek in FridaHayek produced and starred in the biopic of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in 2002's Frida, which called for the actress to go topless in several sex scenes (including both men and women), and fortunately it was Hayek baring her breasts and not someone who closer resembled the homely Kahlo. Salma still had the unibrow though. The actress also went topless in 1995's Desperado, which starred Antonio Banderas.
Angelina Jolie in GiaAngie's first major role came in the HBO drama Gia, a biopic of tragic supermodel Gia Carangi, whose drug addiction led her to sharing a dirty heroin needle and contracting AIDS despite getting clean and sober. But enough with the downers. The star-making role for Jolie saw the actress topless and nude several times, including one steamy scene where she gets it on with girlfriend Linda (the equally hot and topless Elizabeth Mitchell). Angelina also appeared topless in the love scenes opposite Antonio Banderas in Original Sin.
Shannon Elizabeth in American PieShannon Elizabeth became a household name after starring as foreign exchange student Nadia in the coming-of-age comedy. Her role was entirely based on being the topless hottie who gets spied on by protagonist Jim (Jason Biggs) and his pals via webcam. Nadia takes things to another level and the boys get more than they bargained for out of their spy video. Unfortunately for Shannon, though, the film's other two leading ladies -- neither of whom bared any skin -- became even bigger names: Tara Reid and Alyson Hannigan.
Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading PlacesCurtis briefly showed her heaving bosoms in the 1983 comedy classic, which starred Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Curtis, who plays a hooker in the film, takes a disheveled Aykroyd back to her modest apartment and changes her clothes in front of a mirror, giving audiences a full, fleeting view of her naked chest.
Jessica Biel in Powder BlueJessica, like Katie Holmes, also had a "good girl" image thanks to her role on TV hit 7th Heaven. Biel posed for a set of racy photos for Gear magazine in 2000, including a couple of topless shots; and producers of the show were livid, even going as far as suing the magazine for publishing the photos as Biel was only 17 when she posed for them. The young starlet says she regretted posing for the photos and shied away from doing any nudity on camera; but then she signed on to play a stripper in the ill-fated 2009 film Powder Blue.
News leaked that biel would be going topless in the film and screenshots from her stripping scene set the internet ablaze. The movie was ultimately sent straight-to-DVD instead of being given a wide theatrical release, thanks in part to everyone getting to see the goods without having to pay the nine bucks to get in to a movie theater. In the film, Biel bares her bosoms after writhing around the stage at the strip club and pours the hot wax from several small candles all over her back and chest.
Eva Green in The DreamersBond girl Eva Green not only goes topless in Bernardo Bertolucci's erotic drama, but she goes full-frontal and is involved in several of the film's NC-17-rated explicit sex scenes. The French actress plays the incestuous love interest of her brother and a new American friend in the film, which takes place during the student riots of Paris in 1968.
Carla Gugino in Sin CityDirector Robert Rodriguez's dark comic book adaptation features several top-billed stars like Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy and Rosario Dawson; but it's Gugino who ends up shedding her top, revealing her breasts while walking around in a black thong, showing off her equally impressive other asset.
Heather Graham in Boogie NightsGraham had been acting for a while before becoming a household name for her critically acclaimed role as "Rollergirl" in the 1997 film, which chronicle the adult film industry. Naturally a movie based on sex would include lots of nudity, and Heather is no exception. The star willingly stripped off and went full-frontal for the role as the moble porn star.
Denise Richards in Wild ThingsErotic 1998 thriller Wild Things featured a couple of scenes where star Richards sheds her top, including one during a tryst in a pool with co-star Neve Campbell and another during a threesome with Campbell and Matt Dillon. Campbell manages to avoid showing any of her modesty on screen, only letting the camera capture her bare back while making out with Richards, whose cosmetically enhanced breasts are more the focal point of the scene than the occurring action.
Halle Berry in SwordfishBerry's long-awaited first topless scene came in crime thriller Swordfish, in a shot of glory that millions of fans waited for. The actress is seen sunbathing topless and reading a book, which blocks her breasts from view. She then moves the book for a short conversation, exposing herself on celluloid for the first time. The scene was a bit of a letdown and the skin flash was overshadowed by Halley looking drop-dead sexy changing out of a skirt and prancing around in her lingerie. Now comfortable with baring her flesh on screen, her next nude scene would come shortly after, in 2001's Monster's Ball.
Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont HighAny red-blooded male who grew up in the 80s and saw Fast Times will tell you that
Phoebe Cates seductively unbuttoning the front of her swimsuit and pulling it open in super slo-mo is the greatest. topless. scene. EVER. Even the juxtaposed scenes of Judge Reinhold fantasizing about her while fondling himself in the bathroom can't detract from this classic.
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