The Academy isn't particularly known for pushing the envelope when it comes to Best Picture winners. In fact, one of the many problems made glaringly obvious by the #OscarsSoWhite movement is that the Academy has a tendency to follow tradition instead of make change. Sadly, this has not only contributed to years of majority white nominees and winners, but it has also led to more conservative Best Picture winners. To win an Oscar for Best Picture, a movie has to be a lot of things — entertaining, impressive, memorable, etc. — but there are also a lot of things a Best Picture winner tends not to usually do, like ruffle a lot of feathers or feature super explicit sex scenes. Which brings me to this list of nine of the sexiest Best Picture winners of all time, movies whose hotness somehow didn't stop them from claiming Oscar gold.
Hollywood censors and studio politics kept sex out of film for years, at least explicitly, which means that looking for a sexy Best Picture winner in the first half of Oscar history is a bit tough. And, as sex continues to be a taboo topic, the sex-factor in movies, at least ones rewarded with golden Oscar statues, is relatively low. Good luck finding a Fifty Shades of Grey-style scene in any Best Picture winner. Still, a movie doesn't need to have a sex scene to be sexy, and the sexiest Best Picture winners are perfect examples.
1. From Here To Eternity (1953)
The sexiness of From Here To Eternity has no doubt lessened over the years — it takes more than a make out session in the ocean to impress modern audiences. However, that kiss on the shores of Hawaii has gone down in history as one of the most iconic sexy moments in film history.
2. West Side Story (1961)
Everyone might not agree that ballet-dancing men in gangs make for a sexy Best Picture, but, man, West Side Story has got to be one of the sexiest films to ever win an Oscar, let alone an Oscar for Best Picture. The Romeo and Juliet romance, the dancing, the acting, Rita Moreno... need I say more?
3. The Godfather Part II (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola's second installment to the Godfather trilogy is by far and away the sexiest for only one reason: Robert De Niro. As a young Vito Corleone, De Niro is captivating, and just dead sexy.
4. Casablanca (1942)
Whatever happened in Paris between Ilsa and Rick (aka Hollywood's most beautiful people, Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart), there's no doubt it was hot. The star-crossed lovers only shared a few kisses on screen in Casablanca, but the chemistry between the two hinted at a sexy past that can not be denied.
5. Out Of Africa (1985)
Robert Redford and Meryl Streep fall in love in this Best Picture winner. So, yeah, I'd say it's pretty sexy.
6. Shakespeare In Love (1998)
Who can forget the epic love scene between Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and his muse Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) from Shakespeare in Love?
7. Chicago (2002)
The second musical on the list, Chicago oozed sex appeal out of every single note. If nothing else, it certainly featured one of the sexiest wardrobes of any Best Picture winner.
8. Titanic (1997)
One word: steamy. Two more words: Leonardo DiCaprio.
9. The English Patient (1996)
The English Patient won Best Picture mostly due to its hot love story between Cout Laszlo (Ralph Fiennes) and Katharine (Kristin Scott Thomas). There are scenes in The English Patient that will certainly get your blood pumping and your heart racing.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like 2016 will add another sexy Best Picture winner to the list. Current frontrunners like The Revenant and Spotlight don't even have any love scenes at all, and neither do their fellow nominees, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Room, Mad Max or The Big Short. Perhaps 2017 will bring some sexier flicks into next year's Oscar competition.
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