Oliver Reed and Alan Bates, Women in Love (1969): The amount of press afforded Michael Fassbender’s unclothed dong in Shame underlines an irksome inequality: Even today, it’s rare for actors, not actresses, to unveil their naughty bits. For men, nudity is a question of if; for women, it’s a question of when. It wasn’t initially so imbalanced. Soon after the Production Code’s demise in 1968, Robert Forster’s yosh made a blink-and-miss cameo in Medium Cool . Chock it to the recently late Ken Russell to think bigger. When Reed and Bates wrestle in his D.H. Lawrence adaptation, they do so sans clothes.
Robert De Niro and Gérard Depardieu, 1900 (1976): You have to get the uncut five-hour version of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Europudding epic to score the shocking sight of two of the era’s finest thespians receiving simultaneous—and unsimulated—hand jobs from the same woman. You’ll never see The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle or Bogus the same way.
Jaye Davidson, The Crying Game (1992): The flesh hoagie as plot twist.
Harvey Keitel, Bad Lieutenant (1992) and The Piano (1993): “I’ve seen Harvey Keitel’s dick more than I’ve seen my own dick,” Dennis Miller confessed after a rash of Keitel twig sightings. Of course, the meat flute—unlike its female counterparts—was not used for stimulation purposes. Those into the organ still have to settle for it being deployed for laughs (see: Jason Segel’s fellow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall ) or by men who look like Harvey Keitel.
Vincent Gallo, The Brown Bunny (2003): As with Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights , there was some doubt as to the validity of the massive weapon Vincent Gallo had felated by Chloë Sevigny. Director Claire Denis even claimed it was a dildo Gallo had stolen from the set of Trouble Every Day . Of course, why Sevigny would allow herself to get dropped from William Morris Agency over mouthing a mock-cock rather muddles that conspiracy.
Ewan McGregor, The Pillow Book (1996), Velvet Goldmine (1998), Young Adam (2003), et al: The onetime Mark Renton has since retired his uncircumcised Malcolm Gladwell (to borrow a euphemism from Nicholson Baker) from the screen. Sorry, world.