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THE SEXIEST PERFORMANCES ON FILM

by Robert Regan
THE SEXIEST PERFORMANCES ON FILM by Robert Regan
Okay, objectivity is impossible here, not my strong suit anyway. Here are, in no particular order, the performances by women (I’ll leave the men to someone with more expertise in that area) that really burn up the screen right before my eyes. 1 Louise Brooks, powerful erotic presence, even disguised as a boy (actually, she didn’t fool me for a minute) 2 Claudette Colbert, pretty hot in almost everything until they decided that she could only play mothers 3 Jean Harlow, she oozed “it” from every pore and was at her best with Gable 4 Jane Greer, the only good part she ever had,… Read more

Okay, objectivity is impossible here, not my strong suit anyway. Here are, in no particular order, the performances by women (I’ll leave the men to someone with more expertise in that area) that really burn up the screen right before my eyes.











1 Louise Brooks, powerful erotic presence, even disguised as a boy (actually, she didn’t fool me for a minute)
2 Claudette Colbert, pretty hot in almost everything until they decided that she could only play mothers
3 Jean Harlow, she oozed “it” from every pore and was at her best with Gable
4 Jane Greer, the only good part she ever had, and boy was she ready for it
5 Barbara Stanwyck, hard to narrow it down, but I really like women who are sexy and funny, not necessarily in that order
6 Mary Duncan, though I don’t go in for rating films and performances, I can’t think of any character on film sexier than her Rosalee
7 Betty Amann, the guy didn’t have a chance when she turned on the heat
8 Helen Chandler, beautiful, seething performance in an underrated film
9 Catherine Zeta Jones, couldn’t avoid being sexy if she tried, but Sean Connery brought it out in women (the Gable of his generation)
10 Christina Ricci, awful character, but easy to forget that
11 Julie Delpy, even talking non-stop, she was so womanly
12 Penelope Cruz, again hard to narrow it down, but it is very sexy seeing a woman doing a "star turn’, at the top of her form
13 Nicole Kidman, difficult for her, she’s a cool one, but usually, the darker her hair is, the more eroticism she projects
14 Ingrid Bergman, she had it from her earliest Swedish pictures and beyond, but Bogart is her strongest partner (I couldn’t have given her up)
15 Janet Gaynor, not a sexy “type”, but in her Borzage films and Sunrise’s dance scene shows that eroticism is not just about bodies
16 Kirsten Dunst, a funny, sexy woman playing a real-life funny, sexy woman
17 Maureen O’Hara, again, the right partner does it in what may be Ford’s only sexy picture
18 Michelle Pfeiffer, things undone and words unspoken can really do it
19 Francoise Dorleac, irresistable, what a loss, warm where her sister, until she got older, was cool
20 Lee Remick, not as overt as some her other parts, but oh what a woman
21 Grace Kelly, Hitchcock’s hottest blonde in his hottest movie, Edith Head helped
22 Joan Bennett, when she got rid of the blonde hair, she was able to start fires throughout the forties, even when playing a mother
23 Peggy Cummins, I’ve yet to see her in anything else where she was even interesting, but she was ready and able for this one
24 Julie Christie, still my dream girl, though I couldn’t watch her suffering from Alzheimer’s, love those turn-of the century white summer dresses
25 Michelle Monaghan, my favorite today, funny and sexy, that’s what I like, more good parts like Trucker
26 Susan Sarandon, again hard to narrow it down, but when she asked Carradine “Wouldn’t you like to see my breasts”, I thought I’d die
27 Gloria Grahame, more womanly and powerful than in her many more overtly “sexy” parts
28 Claudia Cardinale, one of the greatest entrances in film, that other woman knows right away that her chances have suddenly disappeared
29 Ava Gardner, the woman who taught Frank Sinatra to sing the blues
30 Carole Lombard, funny and sexy, sorry to repeat myself, but there it is
31 Marlene Dietrich, another cool one, but Cooper was able to raise her temperature, and they had more fun here than in Morocco
32 Gong Li, a great star in a great part
33 Theresa Harris, a beautiful, witty African-American woman who was born too soon, one of the most wasted talents of the twentieth century
34 Miriam Hopkins, really turns it on with Cooper (warm) and March (cool)
35 Jeanne Moreau, what a way to go

A few not in the data base:

Drew Barrymore in Poison Ivy
Tuesday Weld in I Walk the Line
Clara Bow in It
Jean Peters in Pick-up on South Street
Margaret Sullavan in Little Man, What Now?

How could I have forgotten Renee Carl in Louis Feuillade’s 1908 Une Dame vraiment bien? A knockout vraiment bien!

My apologies to all the other “good girls” and “bad girls” who have added that extra something to all my years in the dark.

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