Parents' Guide to

Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Straightforward timeline of how on-screen nudity progressed.

Movie NR 2020 130 minutes
Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 15+

The trailer says enough

Interesting documentary but there is (Obviously) some strong nudity.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (3):

Despite its suggestive topic, this documentary is a surprisingly educational exploration of the fascinating history of how nudity in films has changed with the times. Wolf does a good job of lining up a wide range of interview subjects, from former ingenues who remember their first time disrobing for a movie to actors whose skin-exposing roles permanently changed their trajectory in Hollywood. Occasionally, other directors and writers give commentary about why nudity was included in their films, and now-middle-aged actors share their perspectives on why they felt they had to show their bodies to land roles. Most of the actors don't express any regret, but they do admit that they were perceived differently for doing nude scenes and that they're relieved young actors no longer have to do nudity.

Although Skin is more educational than it is salacious, there's an undeniable abundance of video footage of the many, many examples of nudity in movies. Viewers will see naked breasts, bare bottoms, and full-frontal nudity, as well as many sex scenes in all genres: comedies, dramas, romances, sci-fi/fantasies, horror flicks, B movies, and more. A few interviewees are proud of the nudity in their movies, including Kristanna Loken and Shannon Elizabeth. And McDowell is positively cheery about his reputation for nudity (Caligula, A Clockwork Orange). But seeing other actors describe their experiences and explain how they were simply expected to do nudity or they wouldn't have been cast is definitely bittersweet.

Movie Details

  • On DVD or streaming: August 18, 2020
  • Director: Danny Wolf
  • Studio: Quiver
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Topics: History
  • Run time: 130 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: October 8, 2022

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