History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes


1998, Part 2

The History of Sex in Cinema
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description

Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998, Fr./Senegal, 2003 US)) (aka Kirikou et La Sorcière)

French writer/director Michel Ocelot's astonishing, sexually-mature French children's (?) film was based on West African mythical lore. It was a transparent parable for sexual politics and adult responsibility.

The unrated film was controversial in its unabashed nudity and sexual themes, and its depictions of bare-breasted and semi-nude West African villagers (children, teens, adults, and the elderly). The director was asked to draw bras on the women in his film and to cover up the title character - but he refused.

The title character was a completely naked, anatomically-correct, precocious, small-statured young boy named Kirikou, who could already walk and speak after birth.

He ultimately "conquered" the wicked, blackmailing, and castrating sorceress Karaba who devoured human flesh. She was maliciously terrorizing the villagers because she had a literal thorn in her back. The tiny and brave Kirikou cured her by removing the thorn, and immediately became an adult.

The Native Villagers


Sorceress Karaba

New Rose Hotel (1998)

Abel Ferrara's mind-bending R-rated film was an adaptation of William Gibson's short story about corporate espionage. The uneven, moody and stylistic film was complete with plentiful nakedness, including an erotic swimming pool scene between stars Dafoe and Argento, and a birthday party thrown for Dafoe by Walken, involving four Asian prostitutes.

It told a futuristic, post-cyberpunk tale about two freelance corporate espionage agents specializing in orchestrating defections:

  • Fox (Christopher Walken), wearing a wrinkled white suite, also had a limp and walked with a cane, the result of a previous beating that broke his back
  • X (Willem Dafoe), very gullible

They were involved in a 'kidnapping' scheme of a Japanese geneticist-scientist named Hiroshi Imori (Yoshitaka Amano), who was working for the Maas Biolabs Corporation, a multinational conglomerate. Fox had accepted a $100 million offer to persuade Hiroshi to go over to the rival genetic company Hosaka Corporation, through high-priced seduction: "There's an old saying: 'The hair on a snatch could tow a battleship.' All you have to do is feed his grandiosity, and play on his horniness."

Seductive, nubile Italian accomplice Sandii (Asia Argento), a singer and prostitute, was hired as a hooker in Tokyo to seduce the scientist living in Marrakesh, Morocco, while at a conference in Vienna. Fox enticed her to accept their plan, and to pay her $1 million:

"This is your ticket outta the boneyard. You're dead, in case you didn't know it. You just don't have the sense to lie down."

Unfortunately, X fell in love with her during 'training' sessions (of sexy stripping and topless skinny-dipping) and endangered the plan. Her sexually-empowered domination led to various almost incoherent twists and turns.

After the plan unfolded perfectly, an unknown double-crossing saboteur was responsible for killing Hiroshi and other Hosaka scientists with a virus plague in a lab, and Sandii was reported missing. The two protagonists found themselves on the run from Hosaka authorities who felt double-crossed. Their identities and their bank accounts were erased, and Fox was killed when he jumped off a balcony, while X hid out in the New Rose Hotel (a Japanese coffin hotel), believing he was betrayed.

The film ended with X at the New Rose Hotel, touching himself, experiencing flashbacks to what went wrong, recalling the lies he realized that Sandii told him, and his love-making with her.

Sandii (Asia Argento) in Varous Scenes, including the Swimming Pool Scene

Out of Sight (1998)

Director Steven Soderbergh's crime caper contained two well-known love-making scenes between:

  • Jack Foley (George Clooney), a convicted bank robber
  • Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez), a kidnapped deputy federal agent/marshal

Their first meeting was their celebrated locked-in-a-car trunk scene in a getaway car when they exchanged sexy quips and cat-and-mouse banter (about Faye Dunaway's films such as Bonnie and Clyde and Three Days of the Condor) and he stroked her thigh (she later recalled: "You kept touching me, feeling my thigh" and he added: "But in a nice way").

Later in a teasingly-filmed, cross-cutting sequence, they flirtatiously called each other different alias names, Gary and Celeste, while conversing in a Detroit hotel bar-lounge and sharing a drink ("I like your hair, I like your outfit") and then he explained how they were destined to be together:

"It's just something that happens. It's like seeing someone for the first time. You can be passing on the street and you look at each other for a few seconds, and there's this kind of a recognition, like you both know something. The next moment, the person's gone, and, and it's too late to do anything about it. And you always remember it because it was there and you let it go and you think to yourself 'what if' I had stopped, if I had said something. What if. What if. It may only happen a few times in your life...or once."

Minutes later (after she knowingly invited: "Let's get out of here"), they were undressing in front of penthouse room windows, with a view of snow falling outside amidst the lights of the city, and then kissing and getting into bed to make love.

In the Trunk

In the Hotel Bar-Lounge

In the Penthouse

Pleasantville (1998)

Director Gary Ross' PG-13 fantasy comedy (his directorial debut film) included colorful scenes of Lover's Lane where teenaged couples went to have sex in their perfect, black-and-white 1950s, sexless sitcom town.

In one scene, strait-laced and repressed wife Betty Parker (Joan Allen) experienced her first orgasmic, masturbatory, pleasurable climax of self-discovery during a solitary, sensual bath (magically, the tree in the front yard of the white picket-fence home also burst into flames).

And later, newly-independent Betty declared her newfound emotive-color to her traditionalist husband George (William Macy): "I don't want it to go away" - and then boldly posed nude for artistic soda shop proprietor Mr. Johnson (Jeff Daniels) - and had the portrait displayed in the store window.

Betty's (Joan Allen)
Colorful Orgasm

Shakespeare in Love (1998, US/UK)

John Madden's R-rated, Best Picture-winning romance/period drama featured the romance between the famous Bard and a love interest - supposedly the basis for his writing of the play Romeo and Juliet. The two characters were:

  • William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes), a writer's-block suffering bard/playwright
  • Lady Viola De Lesseps (Oscar-winning Gwyneth Paltrow) - a cross-dressed female, disguised as Thomas Kent

In the love-making scene, Will lovingly unwrapped the bound torso of Viola as she twirled around, until her nakedness was revealed. The rhythmic creaking of their subsequent lovemaking was cleverly masked by the Nurse's rocking in a chair outside their door.

Afterwards, Viola told Will as they laid together in bed:

"I would not have thought it. There is something better than a play...Even your play... And that was only my first try."

She rolled over and kissed him and they shared the night together. The next morning when the rooster crowed, she urged: "You would not leave me" and kissed him, although he moaned: "I must." She continued to tempt him to remain in bed with her, and he became convinced to linger, although then, she changed her mind and wanted him to go so that she would be able to act in his play: "It's broad day. The rooster tells us so."

She became his inspiration for his new work, titled "Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate's Daughter" ("the greatest love story almost never told" according to the film's tagline) in a scene that cross-cut between further sensual kissing, touching and sexual intercourse between them and a practice-performance of Shakespeare's new play - with well-timed words:

"Good night, as sweet repose and rest come to thy heart as that within my breast. Oh, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?...My bounty is as boundless as the sea. My love is deep. The more I give to thee, the more I have for both are infinite... Stay but a little. I will come again."

Will (Joseph Fiennes) with Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow)
"My bounty is as boundless as the sea. My love is deep..."

The Unwrapping of Viola
(Gwyneth Paltrow)

Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)

Writer/director Tamara Jenkins' debut film was a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age sex comedy about a lower-class, dysfunctional and quirky Jewish family in 1976's Southern California, living in Tinseltown's 90210 zip code.

This insightful independent film followed the post-puberty growing pains of a soon-to-be high school freshman named Vivian Abromowitz (Natasha Lyonne in her first major feature film role), who inherited ample breasts - which awkwardly blossomed when she became "stacked overnight." Although a brassiere sales-lady thought she was "blessed" with "wonderful" "perfect C" breasts, Vivian was completely embarrassed that she was required to wear an industrial-strength, cumbersome bra.

[Note: the modestly-sized Lyonne at 32A needed large-sized prosthetic breasts for the role.]

At age 14, she secretly consulted with a plastic surgeon about undergoing breast reduction surgery - reflected in a closeup mirror view, as a surgeon drew incision lines to mark the areas involved in breast reduction surgery. She showed off the planned augmentation marks to her cousin, but eventually declined, reasoning that she was "stacked" just like her mother.

In one scene, she allowed spaced-out, drug-dealing neighbor Eliot (Kevin Corrigan) to touch her new acquisitions under her sweater after she removed her bra ("We're not going to do it in the laundry room. Just breasts. Second base. That's it, not all the way"). Later, Vivian continued to be curious about sexuality when her hormones were racing out of control, and let Eliot take her virginity in a convertible "just to get it over with" - he was surprised: "Are you telling me I popped your cherry?"

In the film, Marisa Tomei had a secondary role as wayward and ditzy Rita Ambromowitz, her recovering drug-addict cousin in her late 20s and just released from rehab (and secretly pregnant). She was first seen flashing a trucker (an obvious body-double) in order to hitch a ride. And at one point, Rita was startled in the shower (with another body-double providing a topless view), and she dropped her towel to display the results of her "depilatory."

Rita Ambromowitz's (Marisa Tomei) Body Double

Rita became Vivian's hip sexual teacher - they compared breasts, tossed a vibrator (Rita called it her "boyfriend") back and forth and danced with it (Rita suggestively held it like an erect penis), and talked in pig Latinish gibberish. By herself, Vivian later experimented with the vibrator in a darkened bathroom, and found it pleasurable.

Vivian Abromowitz's
(Natasha Lyonne)
Prosthetic Breasts

Species II (1998)

The sequel to the sci-fi action thriller Species (1995) brought back most of the original cast, including model-star Natasha Henstridge who had appeared as a deadly seductress ("alien she-bitch") named Sil -- an alien/human DNA experimental construct.

[Note: The next film in the series was a direct-to-cable/DVD erotic sequel Species III (2004). It could be argued that all the films were AIDS parables, denouncing monstrous alien or aberrant sexuality as deadly.]

In this follow-up film (a major box-office flop) with a similar amount of simulated sex and bare flesh, Henstridge took the role of a more docile Eve, another governmental creature to be used for defensive and tracking purposes.

However, this time she had a telepathic link and partnership with infected Mars astronaut Patrick Ross (Justin Lazard). She was used to locate the horny Ross, who was impregnating females, killing them after accelerated pregnancies, and harvesting their bloody offspring of alien children in a shed.

Against orders, Ross had sex with two debutantes who were sisters (Nancy La Scala and Raquel Gardner).

Infected Sex with Two Debutantes
Debutante (Nancy La Scala)
Debutante's Sister (Raquel Gardner)

He also made love with blonde girlfriend Melissa (Sarah Wynter), who promised: "Tonight, you're mine. I love you." All of them died when emerging fetuses bloodily burst from their abdomens (it was feared: "They could f--k the human race into extinction").

Toward the film's conclusion, Eve broke free from the lab and had the opportunity to mate with Patrick, although she was choked to death by Patrick with a tentacle through the throat. After dying, however, her womb predictably showed signs of imminent birth of another alien!

(Sarah Wynter)

(Natasha Henstridge)

There's Something About Mary (1998)

This often-offensive Farrelly Brothers' effort - mostly a raucous, vulgar, non-PC, no-limits romantic comedy, was one of many gross-out comedies that spewed forth in the late 90s.

It actually had little nudity but was full of raunchy and lewd sight gags, off-color comedy, and immature sick jokes about mostly tasteless subjects.

In one of the film's earlier scenes, accident-prone prom date Ted was thought to be a masturbating voyeur and accidentally and painfully caught his manhood ("frank and beans") in his pants zipper.

Most often, this film was advertised with the crude image of Mary Jensen (Cameron Diaz) with 'all-natural' creamy white hair gel taken for her own hair styling from Ted Stroehmann's (Ben Stiller) left ear lobe after he was interrupted at his door during a self-pleasuring session - this sank the teen comedy genre to a new low. It was one of the first films to explicity show the results of the act of masturbation.

Twilight (1998)

Writer/director Robert Benton's R-rated LA who-dunit detective drama was one best forgotten by an aspiring actress before she became famous.

It told about blackmail, murder, and how the past haunted retired, aging private investigator Harry Ross (Paul Newman).

Mel Ames (Reese Witherspoon)

It contained a brief early semi-nude scene of 17 year-old Mel Ames (future Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005)) who had run off to Mexico with an older loser boyfriend named Jeff (Liev Schreiber). After he kissed down her naked chest, she asked:

"Jack? Do you love me?... I mean, it's okay if you don't."

As he showered in the room, she was confronted by Harry - and hypothesized: "Let me guess. My parents sent you."

(Reese Witherspoon)

Wild Things (1998)

Director John McNaughton's 'guilty pleasure' erotic, film-noirish thriller was a film that featured prominent younger stars in sexy/dirty situations in a South Florida Everglades town named Blue Bay. The film was available in an unrated (or uncut) extended DVD version with more explicit and lengthier scenes not included in the theatrical release.

There were three follow-up films, all DTV (direct-to-video):

  • Wild Things 2 (2004) (without nudity), by director Jack Perez
  • Wild Things 3: Diamonds in the Rough (2005) (with nudity), by director Jay Lowi
  • Wild Things: Foursome (2010) (with nudity), by director Andy Hurst

The main characters were:

  • Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), a rich vixen teen student/socialite
  • Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon), the Blue Bay High School guidance counselor
  • Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell), a rich and trashy goth trailer inhabitant
  • Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon), a duplicitous and corrupt police sergeant

Included in the film was a wet T-shirt car-wash sequence performed by dripping-wet Kelly to the tune of Lauren Christy's "I Want What I Want" - who afterwards wanted to seduce her sexually-promiscuous guidance counselor Sam in his home.

Later, Suzie and Kelly had an infamous, highly-publicized, champagne-drenched menage a trois sequence with Sam to celebrate their newfound wealth. Sam warned the conspiratorial trio:

Sam: "After tonight, the three of us are not to be seen together again."
Kelly (smiling): "After tonight?"
Sam: "Yeah, well, we're here, aren't we?" (He began to undress Kelly) So maybe one celebration is okay if we're in agreement that from here on out, you do exactly as I say. (He fondled Kelly's breasts under her bra and kissed her, seen in close-up. Suzie also stepped forward for a kiss from Sam. He pulled up Kelly's skirt, slipped her panties off, and placed them in his left pocket.) Guidance counselors get to find out all sorts of interesting things. Now I want you two to kiss. Come on now. Never let the sun go down on an argument. (After the two kissed, Sam stripped off his shirt, and let Kelly straddle him on the bed. (She unhooked her bra from the front, and he nuzzled between her breasts. As she stretched back, Suzie poured champagne over her breasts which Sam then licked off. He was literally sandwiched between the two half-naked females as the scene faded to black)

The Menage A Trois Scene

Kelly also celebrated lesbianism with Suzie in a swimming pool (extended only in the uncut version) after a catfight. Suzie untied the straps of Kelly's bikini top, as they kissed, and soon they were both topless and in each other's arms.

Toward the film's end, Sgt. Duquette (Kevin Bacon) provided a full-frontal view of himself in the shower at a tropical resort, revealing that he and Lombardo were working together.

This crime film with a twisting and turning plot revealed that the four main schemers had fabricated a rape case (an accusation that Sam raped Kelly, and also raped Suzie) to extort money from Kelly's wealthy mother Sandra (Theresa Russell), also Sam's former lover. One by one, suspicion and distrust led to various double-crossing murders and unexpected events. By film's end, most of the main characters had betrayed and murdered each other, leaving Suzie as the only survivor - the plot's mastermind with a high IQ ("that girl could do just about anything she put her mind to").

The end credits showed off-screen sequences that hadn't been shown in the film to further explain the plot, and concluded with Sam's unscrupulous free-lance lawyer Kenneth Bowden (Bill Murray) handing Suzie the payoff - a case loaded with cash ("Cash is just walkin'-around money. The check is the balance of the numbered account minus the million we set aside for Ruby and Walter, less my usual fee").

Kelly Van Ryan
(Denise Richards)

Suzie (Neve Campbell)
and Kelly in Pool

Sgt. Duquette
(Kevin Bacon)

Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965-66 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985-1 | 1985-2 | 1986-1 | 1986-2 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2
2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Index to All Decades, Years and Features

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