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Male frontal nudity in mainstream film

Related: genitalia - history of nudity in film

Frontal nudity in mainstream film: the films of Catherine Breillat - Quiet Days in Clichy (1970) - In the Realm of the Senses (1976) - The Dreamers (2003) - Persona (1966) - 9 songs (2004) - Romance X (1999) - I Am Curious ... Blue/Yellow (1967) - Y tu Mama Tambien (2001)

The first time an erect penis appeared in a non-pornographic film was in 1966, when Ingmar Bergman included a brief image of an erection in Persona, though the offending image was censored from all British prints of the film for over thirty years. --Matthew Hunt

Where full frontal nudity infrequently appears in commercial films (such as Five Easy Pieces, The Last Picture Show, Last Tango in Paris) it is generally confined to women, probably on the theory that as regards primary sex organs,there is less to see. This subtle "male chauvanism" continues to prevent the appearance of the penis, the most threatening object known to the censors. If ever a fleeting glance of it is permitted, it is either limited to a child (it's smaller and not yet sexually operative) or to some activity not even indirectly related to its usual functions. -- Film As a Subversive Art (1974)

In British cinema

The Board reluctantly sanctioned tit and bum as long as it did not stimulate "the frustrated sexuality of urbanised men". Care was taken to avoid glimpses of genitals, and pubic hair was shaved or airbrushed out. It wasn't until 1968, when Swedish actress Agnetha Ekmanner briefly dropped her drawers in Hugs and Kisses, that the British public was allowed a moment of minge. In the same year Terence Stamp's penis appeared briefly in Pasolini's Theorem. By the end of the 1960s relatively explicit films like Blow Up, If... and Belle de Jour were being passed uncut. Joseph Strick's 1967 version of Joyce's Ulysses even uttered 'fuck' on screen for the first time. -- --Bizarre, UK magazine (Jan/Feb '98 issue...)

In European cinema

Since the sixties, many films have featured various levels of nudity, however full frontal nudity (especially featuring male anatomy) is still rare in American cinema. Full nudity has gained much wider acceptance in European cinema, where the audience perceive non-pornographic nudity as comparably less controversial than excessively depictured violence. Nudity in a sexual, but non-pornographic, context has however in many European countries remained on the fringe of what is socially aceptable for public shows, although the limits have been pushed during the 20th century. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudity#Nudity_in_the_media [2004]

In American cinema

The instances of actors in mainstream American movies swinging in the breeze are so rare that movie buffs can catalog them off the top of their heads. Harvey Keitel has let it all hang out at least twice (The Piano and Bad Lieutenant) and Ewan McGregor at least four times, including the upcoming Young Adam. Bruce Willis in 1994’s Color of Night, Kevin Bacon in 1998’s Wild Things and Geoffrey Rush in 2000’s Quills are among the few others. --http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4235583/ [Oct 2004]

Paul Morrisey's Trash (1970)

Paul Morrisey's Trash (1970) is remarkable for a lot of things, not least of which is an ongoing display of Joe Dallesandro's consecrated cock in a happy variety of situations. Ironically, this icon-stud plays an impotent junkie, but Warhol superstar Jane Forth, seeing the objet d'sacre for the first time, says it all in a mantra that devoted dicksters will repeat like a Buddhist chant: “Oh my — you're rather large.” --Gary Morris, http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/21/21_gaypens.html [June 1998|Oct 2004]

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