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PG-13 Movies That Feature Nude Scenes

Although it isn't a legally binding system, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) ratings still play a huge role in deciding who can see a film — at least in the United States. The trade body, which represents the major movie studios, is responsible for informing audiences about the suitability of films for viewers of different ages. Graphic violence, nudity, drug use, and profanity are all considerations when it comes to determining the rating of a new release.

Steven Spielberg was instrumental in the creation of the PG-13 rating. Following controversy over excessive violence in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Gremlins" — two films he was involved in — the intermediary rating was introduced to give parents a better understanding of what a movie might contain. While the PG-13 rating gives filmmakers some extra leeway compared to the PG label, that doesn't mean these movies can include excessive violence or explicit nudity.

Yet that didn't stop these films from having actors shed their clothes and/or get caught in compromising situations despite the PG-13 rating they received. You might not even remember these often fleeting naked encounters from some of your favorite PG-13 movies, but they exist.

Blue Sky

Released in 1994, "Blue Sky" follows U.S. Army nuclear engineer Hank Marshall, played by Tommy Lee Jones, as he attempts to convince his superiors that underground nuclear testing is safer than setting off nukes in the open. Marshall later becomes embroiled in a cover-up when two members of the public are exposed to radiation during a test, all while his family falls apart after moving to a restricted military base from their home in Hawaii.

The PG-13 rating is understandable given the heavy subject matter, but "Blue Sky" is surprising for its inclusion of nude scenes. Although they might seem out of place from the film's description, they do actually serve a purpose in helping to show the rapid decline in the mental stability of Marshall's wife, Claire. Jessica Lange won an Oscar for her portrayal of Claire, a woman prone to outbursts of exhibitionism who causes embarrassment in a number of revealing scenes. This includes an exotic dance at a party for the officer's wives and a brief moment where she can be seen topless after walking into the sea as she waves at a passing helicopter.

Hackers

Despite the fact that "Hackers" was something of a flop when it launched in 1995, it has become a cult classic in more recent years. In the film, Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie take on the roles of two skilled teenage hackers. The pair, along with some school friends, become implicated in the release of a dangerous virus that could have far-reaching consequences. To prove their innocence, the group has to face off against Fisher Stevens' master hacker, known as Plague, as well as the Secret Service.

"Hackers" is very much a film aimed at teenage boys and comes jam-packed with sexual references throughout to cater to that audience. There's some explicit conversations, funny scenes of the male characters being chased out of a shower, and female nudity. Seemingly edited out of some home media releases of the film, there are several — albeit brief — scenes where nipples can clearly be seen. One such instance happens in a dark dream sequence, while another features Jolie's character wearing a mesh see-through top in the library that leaves little to the imagination. Jolie is also involved in the only other nude scene, when she unzips her jacket and inadvertently exposes herself before being dragged away by Secret Service agents.

Passengers

The 2016 film "Passengers" sees Chris Pratt star as Jim Preston, a mechanical engineer who is awakened from hibernation aboard an interstellar spaceship decades before the craft reaches its intended destination. After spending months alone without any human contact, he awakens Aurora Lane, played by Jennifer Lawrence, and blames it on a system malfunction. The pair fall in love, although the eventual revelation that Preston was responsible for bringing Lane out of hibernation almost ends the relationship.

A critical failure but a modest financial success, "Passengers" doesn't include much in the way of graphic violence or profanity. The main reason it was given its PG-13 rating is due to the sexual references and brief nudity. No full-frontal nudity is shown but there are multiple occasions when characters are shown wearing nothing from the back or side. One instance sees Pratt's character showering, while another sequence includes a love scene between Preston and Lane. This was Lawrence's first sex scene as an actor and an experience she found uncomfortable, but very little can be seen during the short encounter.

The Portrait of a Lady

Based on the Henry James novel of the same name, "The Portrait of a Lady" is a 1996 period drama that follows the life of Isabel Archer, a wealthy and independent woman played by Nicole Kidman. Against the protestations of her friends, she falls in love and marries John Malkovich's Gilbert Osmond, a controlling and abusive man who effectively cuts her off from her friends and family to keep her trapped in their home. It went on to receive several award nominations despite a mixed reception from critics.

Although it's rated PG-13, "The Portrait of a Lady" is not exactly suitable viewing for young children. After all, it largely deals with the emotional and physical abuse of Isabel at the hands of her husband. It also has frequent sexual references and suggestive scenes where characters get intimate with each other while keeping their clothes on. The sole nude scene comes during a black and white dream-like sequence where a woman is seen running naked, with the camera depicting her both from behind and the front — clearly showing her naked bottom and breasts — for some unknown reason.

The Cider House Rules

"The Cider House Rules" is a 1999 drama about an orphan who is tutored in obstetric medicine. Homer (Tobey Maguire) ultimately leaves the orphanage, as he is opposed to performing abortions as requested by his mentor, and falls in love with Candy (Charlize Theron) after moving to the Worthington apple orchard to work. The two begin an affair while Candy's partner is on duty in the military.

There's nothing all that overt in "The Cider House Rules" — except a very brief moment where a man can be spotted in the distance without anything covering his privates after coming out of a shower — but plenty of sexual references. At one point during the film, a couple has very obvious sex on a beach but remains fully clothed during the process. It isn't until Candy is lying on a bed waiting for Homer that viewers get a glimpse of Theron naked, with the camera showing her backside and side profile.

This wasn't the first time that Theron has appeared nude in a movie. In the likes of "The Devil's Advocate" and "2 Days in the Valley," she also has topless scenes, although both of those releases were rated R by the MPAA (as it was then known).

Across the Universe

"Across the Universe" is a bizarre film told largely through the medium of various songs by the Beatles. Directed by Julie Taymor — who previously worked on the hugely successful stage adaptation of "The Lion King" — the film stars Jim Sturgess as Jude. He travels to the U.S. and finds himself becoming quick friends with Evan Rachel Wood's Lucy and Joe Anderson's Max, even going on to start a relationship with Lucy. All of this is set against the continuing societal change happening in the country during the '60s and the increasingly controversial Vietnam War.

As you might expect from a film inspired by the music of the Beatles, "Across the Universe" has some striking imagery. Featuring young adults experiencing life in the '60s also means that the characters are often seen exploring their sexuality. There are lots of scenes that hint at characters having or about to have sex, along with suggestive dialogue. Meanwhile, Jude produces many sketches of nude women as he develops as an artist, and one of his subjects is seen naked with her top half-exposed as he draws her.

Oh, What a Night

"Oh, What a Night" is exactly what you'd expect from a '90s coming-of-age comedy. The 1992 film follows Eric, a teenager played by Corey Haim, who moves to a quiet town in Ontario. This coincides with the time when Eric is going through puberty and starting to become very interested in girls. He takes a particular liking to Vera, an attractive older woman who is portrayed by "Watchers" and "Love Come Down" star Barbara Williams.

As you might have guessed, Eric takes his obsession with Vera too far and ends up spying on her as she skinny dips in the local lake. Watching her as she strips off and enters the water, it's easy for the audience to catch a quick glance of her naked body as she swims, with her breasts clearly visible. Those who have only seen "Oh, What a Night" on VHS in the U.S. may not have even realized there was any nudity, as the skinny dipping sequence was allegedly edited to make it more family-friendly.

Doc Hollywood

In the 1992 romantic comedy "Doc Hollywood," Michael J. Fox stars as Ben Stone, who has just finished his medical training and is passing through a small town in South Carolina on his way to Beverly Hills when he crashes his car. Sentenced by a judge to community service at a local hospital and forced to wait until his car is repaired, the young surgeon soon becomes fond of the town's residents. In particular, he develops feelings for ambulance driver Lou, played by Julie Warner of "Family Law" and "Nip/Tuck" fame.

Considering that "Doc Hollywood" was directed by Michael Caton-Jones, the same creative mind behind "Basic Instinct 2," it might not be all that shocking that it contains some nudity. In this case, it's not quite as erotic as his work on the "Basic Instinct" sequel but is still notable considering the PG-13 rating. With the kind of regularity you'd expect from a raunchy teenage comedy, the movie is filled with sexual innuendos and suggestive gags. Starting with a suspiciously-shaped cake in the opening sequence, the film escalates until it reaches a point where Lou is swimming naked in a lake and emerges from the water without anything covering her from the waist up.

National Lampoon's European Vacation

National Lampoon's "Vacation" movies have always been known for their raucous action and boisterous comedy. The first entry in the franchise received an MPAA rating of R and features lots of nudity and sexual content. Whether it is characters who are shown undressing, sexual encounters, or inappropriate conversations, "National Lampoon's Vacation" is not a film that young children should watch.

The sequel, "National Lampoon's European Vacation," is much the same. While it received the less restrictive rating of PG-13, thanks to the film coming out just a year after the new rating was introduced, the 1985 release doesn't exactly hold back. Featuring many of the same actors — including Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo — the movie follows the Griswold family as they embark on a trip to Europe, taking in France, the U.K., Italy, and Germany.

Along the way, the family gets into the same sort of hijinks they did the first time around. That means viewers get to see everything from topless dancing women to Russ (Jason Lively) having an encounter with a young woman who happily unbuttons her shirt for him.

The Woman in Red

Kelly LeBrock broke out as a sex symbol in the '80s after her appearance in 1985's "Weird Science," playing the part of a perfect woman designed by two teenage boys. Yet she made her film debut the year before in a role that was strikingly similar. "The Woman in Red" sees LeBrock as the titular romantic interest and ultimate fantasy woman that Gene Wilder's character Ted Pierce becomes obsessed with. After seeing her in the street, Ted is infatuated with Charlotte and does everything he can to have an affair with her.

The film, which contains very little material to warrant any controversy outside of a few curse words, culminates in a scene where Charlotte and Ted end up in bed together. The pair take off their clothes under the covers, but the sudden arrival of Charlotte's husband leads her to rush out of the bed in a way that puts every part of her body on show. The first PG-13 movies only began to arrive in cinemas during the summer of 1984, so the fact that "The Woman in Red" came out in August of that year makes it the first movie to feature full-frontal nudity while receiving the new rating.

Something's Gotta Give

Nancy Meyers is something of a master of the romantic comedy genre. Having written films such as "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Father of the Bride" and later writing and directing "The Parent Trap" and "What Women Want," she has been a little less prolific over the last two decades. One of her more recent efforts is "Something's Gotta Give," a comedy-drama that hit theater screens in 2003. The film follows Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) and Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) as two markedly different personalities who develop feelings for each other, with the likes of Keanu Reeves, Jon Favreau, and Amanda Peet in supporting roles.

Those romantic feelings don't come immediately, with Harry and Erica forced to spend time together after Harry suffers a heart attack. Among the many clashes they share is a funny moment when Harry walks in on Erica while she is naked, prompting her to use only her hands to try and hide her exposed body, with mixed success.

The Fifth Element

If you've ever wanted to see a 23rd-century taxi driver try and save the world in a futuristic sci-fi setting, then "The Fifth Element" is the film for you. The 1997 action flick sees Bruce Willis take on the role of cabbie Korben Dallas, who is thrust into a thrilling mission to gather a set of mystical stones when Milla Jovovich's enigmatic character ends up in his taxi. The pair work together to prevent the destruction of Earth, with the likes of Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, and Chris Tucker having supporting roles.

"The Fifth Element" never takes itself too seriously and is full of over-the-top campy action. Part of that is the overly sexual overtones that are commonplace in the movie, ranging from characters peeping on others to the revealing outfits many of the women can be seen wearing. A lot of these references might well go over younger kids' heads, so they are not as gratuitous as they might have been. However, the brief moments of nudity are harder to miss as several women can be seen without anything covering their top halves.

Bird on a Wire

Some 15 years before the start of "Bird on a Wire," Mel Gibson's Rick Jarmin testified against drug smugglers, leading to him entering the witness protection program. Things go awry after Rick inadvertently runs into his old girlfriend, played by Goldie Hawn. Realizing Marianne Graves recognized him, Rick demands to be relocated, but this triggers a manhunt after his location is leaked to the criminals he helped put away. The two former lovers spend the rest of the movie trying to find Rick's old handler and evade the deadly attacks of those pursuing them.

As you might expect from a '90s comedy film, there's a good amount of humor based around sex in "Bird on a Wire." Hawn's character is often put into compromising positions where her underwear can be seen and there's an obvious sexual tension between Rick and Marianne. At one point, Rick exposes his bare butt after he is hit with shotgun fire, while Marianne can also be seen naked from the waist down from behind when she climbs into bed with Rick.

Just One of the Guys

The 1985 comedy "Just One of the Guys" follows Joyce Hyser's aspiring journalist Terri, who decides to test whether her gender is playing a role in her lack of success when she loses out to a male student in a writing competition. She changes schools and disguises herself as a teenage boy, in order to eliminate the possibility that she is being discriminated against for being a girl.

As you might imagine from a high school movie that derives its humor from a gender swap situation, there are a lot of jokes based around Terri having to fit in with the other guys in her new school. Hijinks quickly ensue, with near misses in shower scenes and another girl who is attracted to the male version of Terri.

There's also some crude humor in the film and viewers can easily see second-hand nudity through magazines and posters — something that isn't exactly unexpected from teenage high school boys. The one proper nude scene comes as a shock when Terri is trying to convince her love interest that she is a girl. As a last resort, she rips open her tuxedo to expose her own breasts for several seconds.

Titanic

By the time "Titanic" was released in 1997, it was the most expensive film ever made. It paid back that initial extravagant investment, though, with a box office gross of over $2 billion, widespread critical acclaim, and numerous awards, including the Oscar for best picture. For those who haven't seen the James Cameron picture, it is a fictional retelling of the RMS Titanic disaster that focuses on the growing romance between the upper-class Rose (Kate Winslet) and commoner Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) on board the ship before it tragically hits an iceberg and sinks.

A key point in the film comes midway through, when Rose asks Jack, who is a talented artist, to draw her naked. Wearing only a necklace known as the Heart of the Ocean, Jack sketches her over the course of a two-minute scene. Winslet's character is seen without clothes throughout the entire segment, including a brief moment of full-frontal nudity as she initially disrobes. The artwork, showing Rose's naked upper body, is also displayed several times to make sure the audience fully understands just how bare the character was during this moment.

Asteroid City

Wes Anderson's 2023 comedy-drama "Asteroid City" features a star-studded cast that includes Tom Hanks, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, and Jason Schwartzman, among more than a dozen other big names. The story features a stylized version of 1950s America and is told in two parts. One is a play, shown in color, charting the events of an astronomy convention for kids, while the second is a black-and-white behind-the-scenes documentary about how the play was created.

Like many of Anderson's other films, "Asteroid City" can be hard to follow and has multiple layers. However, there's little to make it all that mature in terms of its explicit content outside of one moment of nudity from Johansson, who drops a towel covering her body and lays everything bare for the most fleeting of moments. The film made headlines when it was revealed that the director had successfully managed to appeal the initial R rating given by the MPA, although how exactly he was able to do that hasn't been disclosed.