The Devils (1971): In the mid-‘60s, Hollywood’s puritanical Production Code, enforced since 1934, finally eroded and died. It wasn’t long before buttons were really pushed. Soon, Ken Russell, who had staged a nude wrestling scene in 1969’s Women in Love, decided to one-up himself: His mega-controversial adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s nonfiction The Devils of Loudun featured nun orgies and a cut sequence dubbed “The Rape of Christ.” It also boasted lovely Vanessa Redgrave masturbating with a crucifix—and later with a bone, in another cut scene.
Caligula (1980): A year after Malcolm McDowell proved a charming, lovable lead in the thriller Time After Time, that big budget porn he’d filmed years before finally got released. Penthouse’s lavish Roman biopic features McDowell gamely fucking his sister, disemboweling soldiers and fisting newlyweds. There’s also room made for Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole and a visibly confused John Gielgud, though the hardcore stuff is left to the pros.
S.O.B. (1981): Who wants to see Julie Andrews’ tits? Directed by Blake Edwards, her then-husband.
The Brown Bunny (2004): Unsimulated sex has long been employed to shock mainstream audiences, but it’s typically unknowns—or semi-knowns, like Kerry Fox in Intimacy—engaging in the actual acts. Chloë Sevigny was an Oscar nominee bound for Big Love when she blew Vincent Gallo on-screen, a move that got her shitcanned by the William Morris Agency. But as she said, she’d been intimate with Gallo before.
Hounddog (2007): Even before its disastrous Sundance debut, this indie was dubbed “the Dakota Fanning rape movie,” as per a scene where the then-13-year-old’s character was violated. Actually, the act happened off-screen, but don’t tell that to the likes of Bill O’Reilly, who helped the film snowball into an undeserved conversation piece.
The Paperboy (2012): Precious’ Lee Daniels was a producer (of Monster’s Ball and The Woodsman) before he turned to directing, and it’s presumably his well-honed talent as a golden-tongued huckster that persuaded the stars of The Paperboy to do what they did in The Paperboy. As you’ve heard, Nicole Kidman cheerfully pees on Zac Efron. Less well-known is her mock-fellating John Cusack from across the room while he furtively jerks off or a scene in which Matthew McConaughey is hogtied for some good old BSDM.