This week's essential classic in the TF DVD Club is Mike Hodge's rather brilliant Get Carter - a film so good they made it twice, only much, much worse the second time.
Inspired by the rather risque phone sex between Michael Caine's Jack Carter and his gangster boss' wife, we decided to take a look at other steamy cinematic scenes that swapped the explicit for the erotic, and left almost everything to the imagination...
The Thomas Crown Affair(1968)
The Film: Debonair businessman Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) pulls off a perfect multi-million dollar heist, until a sexy insurance investigator (Faye Dunaway) picks up his trail… and she always gets her man.
The Scene: Who knew chess could be so sexy? In a scene that plays out the movie in miniature, Dunaway’s Vicki Anderson reduces confident Crown to a bumbling boy with her sultry flirting and seductive manipulation of chess pieces.
Any of you that have seen the remake know that Rene Russo spent much of the film naked as a newborn, but it’s here, fully clothed, that Dunaway shows that being sexy has little to do with gratuitous nudity...
What It Really Means: If you didn’t notice, when she was stroking the particularly phallic bishop, it was Crown’s bishop she was suggestively massaging.
How To Recreate It: Most towns have got one of those giant chess boards, usually outside the local library. Head down there and wait for a sultry seductress to challenge you to game…
And wait, and wait, and… okay just play the hobo who’s been asking you for the past hour. When he starts stroking the bishop suggestively though, it’s probably time to scarper.
Next: North By Northwest[page-break]
North by Northwest (1959)
The Film: An ad exec from New York is travelling cross country by train when he is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies. With the enemy in hot pursuit, the man must fight for his survival.
The Scene: It’s an often copied cheeky visual, but Hitchcock originated the trick, representing a sex scene between Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill and Eva Marie Saint’s Eve Kendall by cutting to a train going through a tunnel.
At the end of the film, the bad guy defeated and the world put to rights, Thornhill and Saint are in their cabin on the train, when things start to get a little heated, and then… Hitchcock cuts away, train enters tunnel, the end.
He pulled a similar trick in To Catch A Thief with some fireworks exploding…
What It Really Means: See, the train represents… er, and the tunnel is supposed to resemble… hang on, that can’t be right… can it?
How To Recreate It: Sitting in the coffee shop, begin to flirt with the pretty girl sitting nearby. Take the menu and bend it to form a tunnel, and push through a pepper/salt shaker/bottle of water/Danish pastry or whatever is on hand.
When she sees your particularly graphic attempt at flirting, don’t be surprised if you end up in hospital with second degree burns to the face and chest, after she throws her coffee at you in disgust.
Next: To Have And Have Not[page-break]
To Have and Have Not (1944)
The Film: Bogey plays a boat operator in Martinique, forced by the war to abandon neutrality and aid the resistance, he crosses paths with a beautiful club singer named Slim, played by Lauren Bacall.
The Scene: How does Bogey do it? The epitome of cinematic cool, Bacall’s Slim is all over the Bogester, as he puts up his best fight, somewhat unconvincingly.
In a line that will be remembered long after the film, and the actress who said it, she turns to Steve and smoulders, “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow”
The Bogartinator pinders this for a moment before letting out a much dubbed “tweet twoooo”. Classic seduction, classic scene.
What It Really Means: She said “lips” and “blow” in the same sentence, after telling him he can have whatever he wants. What do you think she means!
How To Recreate It: Get a job as builder. When all your peers are whistling at ladies passing by, stand there looking particularly glum.
Hopefully one of the ladies will respond to your melancholy with a “What’s wrong?”
“I can’t whistle,” you tell them, “will you show me?” At which point you will probably be arrested for soliciting.
Next: Mr. & Mrs. Smith[page-break]
Mr. & Mrs Smith (2005)
The Film: Bored husband and wife are really top secret assassins, neither realising they aren’t the only one until they are assigned to kill each other.
The Scene: Jane (Angelina Jolie) and John (Brad Pitt) arrange an anniversary dinner that turns into a game of cat and mouse when they both arrive at the restaurant armed to the teeth.
In a scene lifted from 1932’s Trouble In Paradise, where unsuspecting pickpockets give back what they lifted from each other over dinner, John and Jane remove each other’s weapons during a particularly steamy Tango.
Here is the scene in Russian. Why? Because it seemed neccessary. Also there were no English versions available. Enjoy.
What It Really Means: Between the phallic suggestion (knives and guns being subtext for penetration and sexual empowerment) and a little light bondage exploring the pleasure/pain ratio, consider it one epic sub-textual session of foreplay.
How To Recreate It: Difficult one, but we’re guessing turning up at your local dancehall and pulling out knives during a dance with a young maiden won't go down particularly well…
Perhaps it’s best to stick to ballroom lessons at the local village hall.
Next: It's A Wonderful Life[page-break]
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
The Film: Suicidal George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) is shown how much worse the world would be if he weren’t in it, in Frank Capra’s holiday classic.
The Scene: Mary (Donna Reed) gets a phone call from Sam, a big shot in New York, he tells Mary to put George on the line, as he wants to speak to them both about a business opportunity.
Standing close together, the chemistry between the two actors is screaming louder than any of the dialogue, as, with barely an inch between them, they study each other, feeling the electricity of the moment.
Turn the sound off in the clip, and you really begin to see the subtext. Notice her hanging on his every glance, and Jimmy smelling her hair.
What It Really Means: Listen to what Jimmy tells Sam (Hint: you’ll have to turn the sound on for this), starting off refusing that he’s after anyone’s girl (He is, he's after her alright).
He goes on to suggest that Bedford Falls is the perfect place for the new factory, but what he’s really saying is, “I love you, Mary, let’s go make whoopee”
How To Recreate It: Next time you’re out in the shopping centre and you see an attractive girl on the phone, mosey on over and lean in, joining in her conversation.
There may be a few instances of mace, kicks to the baubles and arrest on attempted rape charges to contend with, but eventually, after many tries, you’ll find someone willing to share their call with you. Maybe.
Next: Chungking Express[page-break]
Chungking Express (1994)
The Film: Wong Kar Wai’s duel narraitve film deals with two lovelorn cops and their attempts at happiness.
The Scene: Andy Lau’s Cop 663, is thinking about a moment with his now-ex flight attendant girlfriend, in a scene where he plays with a model aeroplane while narrating the flight safety briefing that stewardesses give.
She begin miming the movements as he speaks, tying an imaginary lifejacket around her waist, before he starts chasing her with the plane, leading to a a passionate play fight, and to… boarding.
Skip to 7:37 in the clip, presented here without sound for your viewing pleasure…
What It Really Means: Did you catch a glimpse of the shadow that the model plane cast on the wall? Yeah. When he’s chasing her around the apartment with his ‘model plane’ it’s safe to say he’s chasing her with his penis.
How To Recreate It: Next time you’re going on holiday, buy one of those cheap planes you find in airport gift shops.
Once on the flight, wait for the safety demonstration to begin, then use your model plane to attract the attention of the stewardess. As she comes over to ask you what you’re doing, bolt out of your seat and chase her down the aisle.
No prizes for guessing who will be arriving at their holiday destination in handcuffs…
Next: The Big Sleep[page-break]
The Big Sleep (1946)
The Film: Seminal cinematic sleuth adaptation sees Bogey’s Philip Marlowe looking cool, getting girls and solving cases when he isn’t too busy getting his mack on.
The Scene: Bogey heads into a book store, where he turns on the charm against the helpless assistant, asking for information about the bookstore owner across the street.
Bogey and the assistant trade a lot of sultry glances. Then the storm starts.
On her subtlest of suggestions, Bogey offers up a bottle of rye whiskey in his pocket, “I’d a lot rather get wet in here” he oozes. The tongue practically falls out of her face, and giving him the most coital of smiles, she shuts up shop…
What It Really Means: You can translate “I’d a lot rather get wet in here” to “I’d a lot rather spend the next hour getting horizontal with you”.
How To Recreate It: Head down your nearest Waterstones near closing time, and give the assistant your best Bogey, while asking for help looking for 19th century erotic literature.
Casually ask the assistant if they have to wear those glasses, and then realize you have absolutely no idea what gender the assistant is supposed to be.
Knock back some whiskey to the face, make your excuses and leave.
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