Letters from our readers
She’s Gotta Have It
I was thrilled that Out of Sight was your No. 1 Sexiest Movie Ever! All of the scenes between George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez are hot, but nothing compares to the bar scene which leads to the hotel room scene. Sexy, playful, passionate, flirty — director Steven Soderbergh does an amazing job, and it leaves you wanting more.
Nearly two-thirds of your Sexiest Movies are films made after 1990, representing 18 years of varied movie history. Indeed, there are only five films out of 50 made before 1980, including a single film from the ’70s, widely regarded as one of the most liberal decades of filmmaking. How could any real movie lover possibly take your list seriously?
H. Alton Lee
Only one pre-code movie and it’s King Kong?! And only four black-and-white movies? Where was The Big Sleep with Bogie and Bacall? And only one movie from the 1950s? And not one movie from the 1960s, the era of Bond and Barbarella? You guys need to take some film classes. Sexiness in the movies did not begin with Body Heat.
Editors respond: You both make smart points. The truth is that all EW’s lists could be accused of favoring newer works of art, sometimes at the expense of classics. That’s partly because the staff of the magazine is more interested in redefining and challenging the canon than they are in simply recapitulating it. But it’s also because tastes have a habit of shifting over the decades, and people just don’t get as hot as they used to when the words ”Brando” and ”butter” are used in the same sentence.
The cover image from Little Children should have been credited to photographer Robert Zuckerman. Maribel Verdú plays Luisa in Y Tu Mamá También (The 50 Sexiest Movies Ever).
Too Hot to Handle
Our 50 Sexiest Movies Ever list aroused quite a few raunchy reactions — as well as some angry ones. Below, we rank the films that readers just couldn’t believe we omitted. One thing we learned: You guys have a thing for Ellen Barkin.
Too sexxxy for this chart
From Here to Eternity (1953)
The shoreline wave-crashing love scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr has been imitated as often as it has because these are the quintessential film frames of sensulity.
—John Derek Thompson, Downingtown, Pa.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
The scene where Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal reunite in a wildly passionate, hungry kiss did not just sizzle, it burned!
—Michael Oberg, Seattle
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
Rene Russo’s slinky see-through dress alone overheats my DVD player every time.
—Michelle Underwood, Chicago
The Big Easy (1987)
A young, ripped Dennis Quaid with his shirt off and a smoky, smart Ellen Barkin show you what sexy is.
—Marsha E. Anderson, Hillsboro, Ore.
Sea of Love (1989)
What about the hallway scene with Ellen Barkin and Al Pacino?
—David Weitzman, Berkeley, Calif.
Two Moon Junction (1988)
Sherilyn Fenn and Richard Tyson. Double wow.
—George Feist, Fresno, Calif.
The Fountainhead (1949)
That fully clothed, love-hate-love scene with Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper generates enough heat to warm Chicago in January.
—Ellen Dweck, East Brunswick, N.J.
Howard the Duck (1986)
Lea Thompson and Howard really turn up the heat during their scorching smooch, plus he does the film without pants!
—Jeremy Alan Ault, Chillicothe, Ohio
Too unsexxxy for this chart