The Screen’s 20 Most Seductive Scenes

Going back to the early days of cinema, movies have seduced audiences.  In the March 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, the staff picked twenty of the most intimate and arousing scenes in the history of film.  Choices span the silent era through the late 20th century and range from mental seduction to hot and heavy action.

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March 17: Happy Birthday Kurt Russell and Rudolph Nureyev


Kurt Russell celebrates his 66th birthday today.  He began working as a juvenile actor in 1960s television, including starring on a short-lived Western series, The Travels of Jamie McPheeters.  He began to work regularly in features in the seventies, starring in a series of Disney films, most notably the three films featuring Medfield College undergrad Dexter Riley, beginning with The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

In the late seventies Russell began to break with his Disney image, with an Emmy-nominated performance in the TV movie Elvis, and made an even more decisive break as Snake Plissken in Escape from New York.  By the late eighties and early nineties, Russell was a credible leading man in many genres, including romantic comedy (Overboard), crime thriller (Tequila Sunrise, Unlawful Entry), and even Westerns:

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Lego Dimensions: Adventure Time Team Pack

Last week, we reviewed the Adventure Time Level Pack for Lego Dimensions.  I’m assuming that was most readers’ introduction to the quirky Cartoon Network show.  I have only seen a dozen or so episodes myself due to my children’s fickle TV-watching habits.  But that was enough for me to observe that the show had a lot of imagination and a colorful cast of characters many of whom were included in Lego Dimensions’ second year expansion.  Today, we’re looking at two of the show’s more popular characters who are featured in the Adventure Time Team Pack.

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March 16: Happy Birthday Isabelle Huppert and Jerry Lewis


French actress Isabelle Huppert is turning 64 today.  She made her debut in 1971 on French television and her film debut a year later.  Two of her early successes were in the 1975 film Aloïse, for which she received the first of sixteen Cesar Award nominations (more than any other actress has received), and the 1978 film Violette Nozière, the first of seven collaborations with director Claude Chabrol, for which she received another Cesar nominatoin and the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Huppert has won the Cesar for Best actress twice, and been nominated seven times for a Moliere Award, the French equivalent of a Tony.  She has appeared in a small number of American films over the years—Michael Cimino’s infamous bomb Heaven’s Gate, the thriller The Bedroom Window, David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees, and a few others.  However, she probably more American attention in the past year than ever before thanks to her starring role in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, for which she won a Golden Globe and her second Cesar, and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress.

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Monica Belluci: The Full Monica

Monica Belluci was a big movie star in Europe, but a relative unknown in America.  The Matrix sequels were supposed to change that, but American stardom proved elusive for the Italian actress.   Post-Matrix, Belluci has appeared in a few Hollywood hits including the 2015 Bond movie, Spectre.  But when she spoke to Movieline for an article in the March 2002 issue of the magazine, the Matrix movies were still shrouded in secrecy and the world was recovering from the 9/11 terrorist attacks which prevented Belluci from making a personal appearance.

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March 15: Happy Birthday Judd Hirsch and David Cronenberg


Judd Hirsch is celebrating his 82nd today.  He studied physics at CCNY and worked as an engineer for Westinghouse, before beginning an acting career in New York theater, making his Broadway debut in the role of the Telephone Man in Barefoot in the Park, and in 1976 received a Drama Desk Award for Jules Feiffer’s Knock Knock.  He then received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor for an appearance on Rhoda.

In the late seventies and early eighties Hirsch appeared in two of the roles that he is best known for.  He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor as Dr. Berger in Ordinary People, the psychiatrist who helps Timothy Hutton’s character deal with his brother’s death.  And he starred on Taxi as Alex Rieger, receiving five consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, winning twice.

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You Can Leave Your Shirt On

Joe Queenan wrote a lot of columns for Movieline magazine.  It’s hard coming up with new trends and topics to write about.  Sooner or later, he was going to have to get around to writing a piece on shirtless, middle-aged men in movies.  In the March 2002 issue of the magazine, Queenan did just that.

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March 14: Happy Birthday Michael Caine and Quincy Jones


Our two headliners today were both born on this date in 1933 and are celebrating their 84th birthdays.  In 2013, there was some kind of big joint 80th birthday celebration for the two where at least a few photographs were taken, such as this one where they are seen with, if I am not mistaken, Whoopi Goldberg and Stevie Wonder.

Sir Michael Caine is one of three actors to have been nominated for an acting Oscar in five different decades (the others are named Nicholson and Olivier).  He began acting in British film and television in the fifties, but did not really attract a lot of notice until 1964’s Zulu, which he followed with starring roles in The Ipcress File (and two sequels), Alfie (Oscar nomination #1), Gambit (his first American film), and The Italian Job.  That’s just naming a few—Caine has always worked a lot.

After that first Oscar nomination for Alfie, Caine was subsequently nominated for the 1972 film Sleuth, for Educating Rita, for Woody Allen’s Hannah and her Sisters (his first win), for The Cider House Rules (second win), and most recently for The Quiet American.  Many here probably know him as Alfred Pennyworth from the Dark Knight Trilogy, or his other films with Christopher Nolan.  Others may think of Get Carter, or Secondhand Lions, or something else from his extremely diverse filmography.  Personally, I will always remember him as Peachy Carnahan in The Man Who Would Be King:

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Cameron Diaz: Candid Cameron

After making a splash opposite Jim Carrey in The Mask, model-turned-actress Cameron Diaz retreated to quirky indie movies for a while.  Her next mainstream movie was the rom com My Best Friend’s Wedding in which she played Julia Roberts’ foil.  In the March ’97 issue of Movieline, Diaz met Lawrence Grobel at his house to nosh and answer extremely random questions.  Grobel asked her everything from “have you ever faked an orgasm” to “what Halloween costume did you wear as a child.”

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The Walking Dead: Bury Me Here

It’s appropriate that an episode titled “Bury Me Here” includes a couple of characters dying.  I’ll hold off revealing their identities until after the jump.  One of these characters went to the trouble of digging his own grave in advance and posting a sign so as to make the purpose of the hole clear.  Signs are a theme of the episode as Morgan flashes back to the days when his grief turned to madness which resulted in him posting warning signs all around him.  The writers of The Walking Dead have been posting signs too.  Every episode is loaded with signs spelling out exactly what is going to happen before the season finale.  If anything that happened in this episode surprised you, you haven’t been paying attention.

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March 13: Happy Birthday William H. Macy and Neil Sedaka


William H. Macy is celebrating his 67th birthday today.  Currently starring on Showtime’s Shameless, Macy began acting in college, and then went on to found Chicago’s St. Nicholas Theatre Company along with David Mamet and a couple of other colleagues.  He did a lot of off-Broadway work in the 1980s and made his Broadway debut in 1988.  He also began appearing in film and on television.  He had roles in several of Mamet’s films, beginning with House of Games.  But his first really big film role was as an overmatched-by-life businessman in the Coen Brothers’ Fargo:

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The Mystery of Christian Bale

Today, Christian Bale is Batman.  Yeah, he’s other things.  But when you think of Bale, odds are the first thing that springs to mind is the Dark Knight trilogy.  Twenty years ago, Bale was a former child actor who survived starring in the infamous flop, Newsies.  Bale’s career prospects turned around when he was hand-picked by Winona Ryder for a supporting role in the 1994 adaptation of Little Women.  Three years later, Bale talked to Movieline writer Michael Atkinson about his rabid fans, what was really happening on the Newsies set and why he always dresses like shit.

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Children of Paradise

Hollywood is a tough town for anyone, but it can be positively brutal for kids.  Once the fame ends and the fortune is spent, child actors frequently turn into cautionary tales.  Movieline writer Michael Angeli caught up with three young actors in the March 1992 issue of Movieline.  Poor Edward Furlong was in the middle of his tragic childhood, but tried his best to hide it.  Sara Gilbert dodged questions about why she didn’t have a boyfriend.  (That one kind of answered itself.)  And Lukas Haas was in between jobs at the time.

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