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With the exception of pornography (which I don't think makes it to the "silver screen"), which movie first made use of nudity?

I realize that the term "nudity" is much different now than it was back then. Wearing a skirt that was thigh high was considered nudity as an example.

What I mean by nudity is a complete shot of an unclothed & exposed area of a male or female body parts.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Wikipedia lists Inspiration (1915) as the first film with non-pornographic nudity.

For films that were intended to be erotic or pornographic, you have to go at least back to 1896 for Le Coucher de la Mariée (or Bedtime for the Bride or The Bridegroom's Dilemma), where cabaret performer recreated her striptease act during a bath scene. The short film was released in the US in 1903.

There is more information in this Wikipedia article on nudity in film.

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I'm not sure that this is the first full nudity in a Hollywood movie, but Jane is completely naked in this scene from "Tarzan and His Mate" from 1934.

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+1 that qualifies an answer because your can see her rear end is fully exposed. That's a lot earlier than I thought it would be. –  DustinDavis May 27 at 22:46
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Also the way he throws her in while simultaneously taking her dress of its as pimp as it gets –  DustinDavis May 27 at 22:48
    
I would never have guessed. –  Jolenealaska May 28 at 1:55

If you count the zoopraxiscope as 'silver screen' then this pushes the date back to at least 1883, with Eadweard Muybridge's studies for the University of Pennsylvania. These included Boys playing Leapfrog and Woman Walking Down Stairs. Of course (as you can tell from the names) these are hardly feature films, just several seconds of captured motion.

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I think for "just several seconds", that would likely fall into the category of pornography. Second, do you have any sources to back up that any nudity was used in "Zoopraxiscope footage"? –  IQAndreas May 28 at 2:33
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@IQAndreas: The shorts are not pornographic, they're part of a study on human (and animal) motion, following up on Muybridge's success capturing a racehorse running. –  Charles May 28 at 2:57
    
Ah, I see. The titles of the moving pictures were so innocuous I thought you just gave random examples of Zoopraxiscope "shorts" (and meant that there were nude clips for this device out there); it was not after Googling them that I realized those you mentioned were in fact nude. –  IQAndreas May 28 at 3:04
    
@IQAndreas: Sorry if I wasn't clear. Yes, both of these (and dozens of others) were nudes. I don't know that I'd count this as film, but it seems worth a mention in any case. Call it the prehistory of film if you will. –  Charles May 28 at 3:08
    
+1 for history lesson, but by silver screen I mean Hollywood. –  DustinDavis May 28 at 3:11

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