We asked Eddie Redmayne, Cate Blanchett, Charlize Theron, and 31 other actors to reveal what they consider to be the sexiest movies of all time. Everyone answered differently: Bradley Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal prefer steamy romance, while Carey Mulligan and Richard Gere love the classics. Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are drawn to the more awkward scenes, and it turns out Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen are really into puppets. Meanwhile, Benicio del Toro can’t get enough of the 1973 Steve McQueen prison drama Papillion.
Here, some of Hollywood’s finest share their top picks for sexiest movies of all time. Queue them up on Netflix or Amazon and get ready for a seriously steamy evening.
1. Blue Valentine (as Voted by Alicia Vikander)
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams
Year Released: 2010
At the outset of the movie, Cindy and Dean seem made for each other, falling fast and hard. The world’s at their feet, but the floor starts to slip out from under them as the pressure of a real life and raising a child wear them down. Though still in love, divorce seems imminent, and the film is as sad as it is sexy. The film goes back and forth from present to the past, dichotomizing a feverish, romantic courtship and the dissolution of a now lackluster marriage.
2. Blue is the Warmest Color (as Voted by Bel Powley)
Starring: Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos
Year Released: 2010
On the cusp of adulthood, teenage Adèle is shy and keeps to herself — until a chance encounter with a striking blue-haired woman sets her on a path to love and self-discovery. The woman she meets is Emma, a painter and university student who is only slightly than Adèle. Passionate romance (and fallout) ensues, and each scene is wrought with the reality — good and bad — of what it means to grow up.
3. 45 Years (as Voted by Bel Powley)
Starring: Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay
Year Released: 2015
As their 45th wedding anniversary approaches, Kate and Geoff prepare to celebrate their marriage. Everything changes, however, when Geoff receives a letter in the mail that opens wounds that are decades old. The rest of the film is spent watching the two navigate the essential question of what it means to love and to forgive.
4. It Happened One Night (as Voted by Benicio Del Toro)
Starring: Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert
Year Released: 1934
The five-time Oscar winning film follows socialite Ellie Andrews as she elopes with a gold-digging aviator, despite her father’s wishes. After the marriage her father locks her away — but that does not stop Ellie. She escapes to look for her husband in New York and meets a disgraced journalist along the way — and that’s when the real romance begins.
5. Papillion (as Voted by Benicio Del Toro)
Starring: Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman
Year Released: 1973
Stuck in a prison on an island full of horrors, this film explores a bond between to prisoners who have promised to protect each other from harm. Benicio Del Toro said the film captures one of the most powerful cinematic moments of pure love between two men.
6. James Bond: A View to a Kill (as Voted by Bradley Cooper)
Starring: Roger Moore, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones and Christopher Walken
Year Released: 1985
The name James Bond is synonymous with sex appeal, so it’s no surprise A View to Kill made it onto a list of the sexiest movies of all time. Bond fights to save Silicon Valley from imminent destruction. Femme fatale Grace Jones plays the to the sexy sidekick to the villain, played by a young Christopher Walken. As if Jones wasn’t enough to amp up this film’s red hot roster, it’s also stars Tanya Roberts as a geologist and love interest to Bond. Notably, this was also Roger Moore’s last run playing Bond.
7. The Rookie (as Voted by Bradley Cooper)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen and Sonia Braga
Year Released: 1990
Sergeant Nick Pulovski and rookie cop David Ackerman fight to take down a German crime lord at large in Los Angeles. Amid standoffs and internal struggles, Pulovski (played by Eastwood) is taken hostage their target’s lover, Leisl. Leisl handcuffs him to a chair and has her way with them — it’s a scene that, to this day, has stuck out in Bradley Cooper’s memory.
8. Reds (as Voted by Brie Larson)
Starring: Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton
Year Released: 1981
A love epic made to withstand the test of time, Reds explores the historical romance between journalist John Reed and Louise Bryant. Set during the birth of the Communist Revolution in 1915, John catches Louise’s eye with his anti-capitalist ideas. The film then follows the couple over five years as they fight to keep their relationship and political ideals alive.
9. The History of Violence (as Voted by Bryan Cranston)
Starring: Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello, Ed Harris
Year Released: 2005
Tom lives a quiet life with his wife and kids in a small Indiana town. Everything changes, however, when two men try to rob his diner and Tom guns them down without hesitation. The town deems him a hero, but the event sparks the interest of the Philadelphia mob, who have been looking for one of their own who disappeared without a trace. Tom can’t escape the past, or his wife. She wrestles with the new reality of who her husband is, and in a love scene that Bryan Cranston calls “brutal, vivid and visceral,” the come together on the stairs in a moment that Cranston said was “stunning and beautiful to watch.”
10. An Affair to Remember (as Voted by Carey Mulligan)
Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr
Year Released: 1957
It’s love at first sight when Nickie and Terry meet on a cruise. The only problem? Each of them are on the cruise with their significant other. They agree to meet in six months time at the Empire State Building if their current romances don’t work out. The rest of the film chronicles the story how they fight to find each other, in spite of everything.
11. Silver Streak (as Voted by Cate Blanchett)
Starring: Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor
Year Released: 1976
Publisher George Caldwell just wanted to enjoy a relaxing and uneventful weekend while aboard the Silver Streak train line. What he thought would be a mundane journey from Los Angeles to Chicago turns into a hammering of events, from murders and robberies to falling in love. Aboard the train, George meets sweetheart Hilly Burns and instantly sparks fly. The film leads with the two of them sharing a romantic night together after drinking champagne, but soons turns into a murder mystery filled with both the intense bond between two strangers and a suspenseful journey to solve a crime.
12. Body Heat (as Voted by Charlize Theron)
Starring: Kathleen Turner and William Hurt
Year Released: 1981
Inspired by the 1944 noir Double Indemnity, Body Heat tells the story of Ned Racine — a seedy Florida lawyer looking for sexual thrills. Enter Matty Walker, a brazen seductress unphased by her marriage. The two begin an affair, and eventually plot the murder of Matty’s husband.
13. The English Patient (as Voted by Eddie Redmayne)
Starring: Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes
Year Released: 1996
Hana is working as a nurse in Italy. Fully in the throes of World War II, a burn patient is brought to her with little memory of who he is. While some are convinced that he is a German sympathizer, Hana is taken in by his story as he slowly begins to recall his love for a married woman prior to his accident. The film alternates between the past and present, looking back at memories each has had with past lovers.
14. Unfaithful (as Voted by Elizabeth Banks)
Starring: Diane Lane, Richard Gere and Olivier Martinez
Year Released: 2002
Connie Summer has a picture-perfect life — a loving doctor for a husband, a sweet son and a beautiful home. A chance encounter in the city, however, leads her far astray from her family and she finds herself preoccupied with a handsome stranger. She gives into temptation, and her obsessive affair threatens to destroy her entire world.
15. Don’t Look Now (as Voted by Greta Gerwig)
Starring: Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie
Year Released: 1974
Julie and Donald travel to Venice after Donald is hired to restore a cathedral. With the death of their daughter hanging over them, the two pack up in hopes to escape their country home where their child drowned. The film is driven by grief, but not without passion. Why did Greta Gerwig call it one of the sexiest movies of all time? “The sex scene is so extended and so glorious that you feel like you’re watching something you shouldn’t,” she said.
16. Brief Encounter (as Voted by Greta Gerwig)
Starring:Cecilia Johnson and Trevor Howard
Year Released: 1946
Another one of Gerwig’s favorites, she called this movie “the epitome of romantic love in films” that showcases “lust and romance that you can’t quite ever reach.” The movie tells the story of a married woman who falls in love with a handsome doctor in an instant during a brief encounter on a train platform. The attraction is undeniable, and despite their best efforts, the passion won’t relent.
17. Out of Sight (as Voted by Jake Gyllenhaal)
Starring: George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez
Year Released: 1998
Jack Foley is a bank-robbing savant that falls hard for Federal Marshal Karen Sisco. An affair ensues and Sisco begins to question Foley’s motives. Motives aside, the sex scenes impressed Jake Gyllenhaal. “I haven’t seen many love scenes in film capture that idea of past, present and future all in one moment in a love scene,” he said.
18. In the Realm of the Senses (as Voted by Jennifer Jason Leigh)
Starring: Eiko Matsuda and Tatsuya Fuji
Year Released: 1977
In yet another film that explores infidelity, married hotel owner Kichizo Ishida and maid Sada Abe fall for each other, leave their current lives behind, and fall down a rabbit hole of sexual desire that ultimately turns dark.
19. Joel Edgerton on Fatal Attraction (as Voted by Joel Edgerton)
When Dan Gallagher is out of town on business, he meets a sexy blonde book editor named Alex. Their immediate white-hot attraction turns into an intense affair. The only problem? Dan is married. Eventually, guilt catches up with him and he calls it off with Alex. Alex doesn’t handle the rejection well, to put it mildly. She proceeds to stalk and threaten his entire family, and a rabbit ends up as collateral damage, among other things.
Starring: Glenn Close and Michael Douglas
Year Released: 1987
20. Team America: World Police (as Voted by Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogan)
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Kristen Miller
Year Released: 2004
Leave it to comedians to nominate Team America: World Police as one of the sexiest movies of all time. The satirical film brings action blockbusters and puppets together for a one-of-a-kind spectacle. The “sexy” nomination is clearly tongue-in-cheek, but we still would be hard-pressed to find a movie with more passionate puppets.
21. Dirty Dancing (as Voted by Maika Monroe)
Starring: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey
Year Released: 1987
Baby is on summer vacation with her family, but finds herself far more interested in the resort’s charming dance instructor than spending quality time with her parents and sister. He teaches her to salsa and meringue, among other things, and she teaches him to believe in himself. Their young love reaches a fever pitch by the end of summer, and no one — not even Baby’s overprotective father — can stop it. It was supposed to be just another summer vacation, but it turns out to be the time of her life.
22. True Romance (as Voted by Margot Robbie)
Starring: Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette
Year Released: 1993
Elvis-obsessed Clarence Worley and the beautiful Alabama Whitman cross paths at a movie theater. They spend the night together, and when morning comes, it’s revealed that Alabama is actually a call girl. Nonetheless, they’re in love. The only problem is her disapproving pimp.
23. To Catch a Thief (as Voted by Michael Caine)
Starring: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly
Year Released: 1955
John Robie is a long-retired cat burglar who has to fight to clear his name after a string of robberies matching is M.O. are committed. While on the hunt for the true thief, he meets the Francie Stevens — one of the real jewel thief’s victims. He is taken with her, but she suspects John is the thief, which throws a wrench in his plans to woo her. There’s one scene where the two linger in a hotel room doorway, and Michael Caine said “It’s the most beautiful shot of a woman I’ve ever scene in a movie.”
24. Titanic (as Voted by Mya Taylor)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
Year Released: 1997
Who can forget the iconic scene when Rose asks Jack to draw her like one of his French girls wearing only the blue diamond necklace? It’s burned into our collective memory. From Rose’s hand scraping the famously steamy backseat window as she and Jack made love in a car under the ship’s deck to her last moments with Jack in that freezing cold water, this is undisputedly one of the sexiest and romantic movies of all time.
25. Notorious (as Voted by Paul Dano)
Starring: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman
Year Released: 1949
This noir film follows the love story of Alicia Hoberman and T.R. Devlin after World War II. After Alicia’s father is convicted of being a Nazi spy, she is recruited by Agent Devlin to engage with a German sympathizer group in Brazil. Along the way, Devlin and Alicia fall for each other in a classic Hollywood twist.
26. Bugsy (as Voted by Peter Sarsgaard)
Starring: Warren Beatty and Annette Bening
Year Released: 1991
Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel is a cold-hearted gangster who temporarily swaps his New York City life for the West Coast as he seeks to expand his empire. He is sidetracked from business when he meets feisty actress Virginia Hill. Although Ben has a wife and family back on the East Coast, he pursues the scarlet.
27. A Place In the Sun (as Voted by Richard Gere)
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift
Year Released: 1951
George Eastman is torn between two women, each of which open up entirely different worlds to him. One becomes pregnant, and he commits to her. There’s a scene where they’re dancing and kissing, and Richard Gere called it “the most unbelievably beautiful committed moment of a man and woman connecting,” said Gere. “You’re just seeing into their souls.”
28. Rust and Bone (as Voted by Rooney Mara)
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts
Year Released: 2012
Stephanie works at a marine park when disaster strikes. In the blink of an eye, she loses her legs, and along with them, her zest for life. It isn’t until she lets an acquaintance, Ali, into her life that she rekindles her spirit. As they learn more about each other’s intimate details though, their relationship blossoms and they fold into each other to find safety and love.
28. The Lover (as Voted by Samuel L. Jackson)
Starring: Jane March and Tony Ka Fai Leung
Year Released: 1992
Set in 1920s Vietnam, a young 15 year-old French girl is seduced by a wealthy Chinese man. It’s a relationship that’s ill-advised and doomed from the start. Their bond is unlikely, their age difference too large, cultural barriers loom, and yet they forge ahead thanks to an attract they refuse to deny.
29. Damage (as Voted by Samuel L. Jackson)
Starring: Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche
Year Released: 1992
Londoner Stephen Fleming is an upstanding politician with a wife and two adult children. His life moves along steadily until he meets Anna Barton. She is much younger than him and they share an instant and overwhelming attraction. He pushes it aside until, down the road, she enters into his life again — this time as his son’s girlfriend. The attraction, however, is insurmountable and Stephen and Anna begin a torrid affair hidden from the entire family.
30. MacGruber (as Voted by Saoirse Ronan)
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig and Val Kilmer
Year Released: 2010
A comedy like no other, MacGruber pokes fun at every traditional sex scene in one satirical moment. Written on the premise of ex-special operations agent, MacGruber, coming back into the field to face off against his arch enemy one last time, the characters duke it out between exploding vans and attempted murders. At one point, he is reunited with his dead wife’s spirit and makes love to her in a graveyard, spoofing cult favorites like Ghost.
Find out why these are everyone’s favorite films in the videos below:
Eddie Redmayne on the cover of W’s February 2016 issue.
Eddie Redmayne wears Burberry peacoat and T-shirt. Grooming: Burberry.
Grooming for Eddie Redmayne by Petra Sellge for Elemis. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists, Adam Slee for Rimmel London at Streeters.
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
“I was scared every single day on Brooklyn. I mean, you always get jitters, and you always get a little nervous before you do your first take, but there was something about shooting at home, so close to where I grew up. I was terrified.”
Vera Wang Collection dress and bandeau; Chopard earrings.
Michael Caine in Youth
“Youth was a complete surprise to me. My agent rang and said, ‘The director Paolo Sorrentino, who just won the Oscar for best foreign film, is sending you a script.’ I said, ‘Does he know who I am?’ She said, ‘Yes! He wrote this script for you.’ I nearly said, ‘You don’t have to send the script; I’ll do it for nothing,’ but I stayed cool and said, ‘I’ll be happy to read it.’ ”
Boss jacket and shirt.
Cate Blanchett in Carol
“All my life I’ve been playing dress-up, and now I get to do it for a living. In film, particularly, the costumes are a big part of my characters. When I first appear in Carol, in a fur coat, hat, and gloves, the audience immediately ascribes meaning to the person I’m playing. A certain scarf or handbag or a pair of glasses can reveal multitudes about someone’s persona.”
Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci dress.
Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight and Anomalisa
“I based part of my Hateful Eight character on Regan from The Exorcist. After she kills the priest, she doesn’t know what to do with her power. But she’s also completely lost—full of adrenaline and like an animal. Quentin Tarantino picked up on this right away. You can’t get any film reference past him.”
Rochas dress; Agent Provocateur bra; Chanel Fine Jewelry bracelet.
Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight
“I like being a villain. It’s fun to be unapologetically bad. I hate movies where the bad guy starts to say he’s sorry and explains why he’s doing bad stuff. I like to play men who say, ‘Look—this is just what I do.’ ”
Giorgio Armani sweater. Grooming by Autumn Moultrie for Dior at Exclusive Artists Management.
Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
“I have a crush on Christian Bale. Newsies was a really big deal to me. I haven’t watched it in a while, but maybe I’d still feel attracted to 15-year- old Christian. I definitely wanted to have sex with him when he was emaciated in The Machinist. I’ll take Christian any way I can get him.”
Giorgio Armani jacket; Julianne shorts from Journelle, New York; Wolford tights; Hermès shoes. Styled by Sarah M Richardson.
Richard Gere in Time Out of Mind.
“While I was in character as a homeless man, I would panhandle, and I was very bad at it. We shot for 42 minutes straight, and in that time, I made less than a buck and a half. No one recognized me or made eye contact with me. Their brains went ‘homeless guy’ from two blocks away, and they decided, ‘I don’t want to give to him.’ ”
Giorgio Armani coat, suit, shirt, belt, and shoes. Styled by Sarah M Richardson. Grooming by Birgitte for Acqua di Parma at Sally Harlor.
Bryan Cranston in Trumbo
“I’ve been in drag for several TV roles, and I make the ugliest woman in the world. As a man, I am not vain. But when brilliant makeup artists are making me into a woman, I become very concerned with my looks. ‘Can you soften my jaw?…Can you do anything about the wrinkles?’ Sadly, it’s a lost cause.”
Burberry trenchcoat; Balenciaga shirt.
Carey Mulligan in Suffragette and Far From the Madding Crowd
“I don’t know if I believe in chemistry on a film. I know loads of people who’ve had quite sexy onscreen relationships with people they hate. I think chemistry might just be actors doing their jobs well.”
Chanel blouse, dress, and bag; Anita Ko earring.
Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road.
“My character Imperator Furiosa, in Mad Max: Fury Road, is missing an arm, but in the film we never explain how that happened—she just is. I don’t think the character would have the same gravitas if she wasn’t broken like that. Instead, she’s an entire human being who just happens to be an amputee.”
Dior Fine Jewelry ring. Styled by Sarah M Richardson. Hair by Enzo Angileri for Infusium 23 at Cloutier Remix; makeup by Francesca Tolot for Dior at Cloutier Remix.
Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy
“At auditions, I was the type of person to dress for the part. Then a casting director told me, ‘Don’t dress like the character; just look as gorgeous as possible all the time.’ So then I realized, if you’re up for the part of a waitress, put on an apron over something you might wear to the Oscars. That’s when I started getting roles.”
Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane dress; Graff earrings; Bulgari bracelet.
Benicio Del Toro in Sicario
“At my 4th birthday party, I wore an astronaut costume and we had a cake shaped like a rocket. I remember being very excited about dressing up like someone else. That may have been the beginning of my acting career.”
Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina, Testament of Youth, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Danish Girl
“I was on a long-haul flight at night, and as I went down the aisle to the bathroom, I counted at least 14 screens that had Ex Machina on. I was walking past myself playing Ava, the android. I was tempted to go to the front of the cabin and look over my shoulder to the people watching her. I thought it would shock them to find Ava on their plane. There might have been screams.”
Louis Vuitton vest. Styled by Sarah M Richardson. Hair by Martin Cullen for Bumble and bumble at Streeters; makeup by Mary Greenwell for Chanel at Premier Hair and Make-up.
Joel Edgerton in The Gift and Black Mass
“I’ve never counted how many times I’ve died in movies. I’ve been shot on many, many occasions. I find dying easy. The hard part is trying to hold your breath, because, obviously, dead people don’t breathe. One of these days, I’d love to do a long, melodramatic, triple-death ending. It would be like a drum solo at the end of a rock song. You think the song is over, and then it kicks in again.”
Coach jacket; Simon Miller T-shirt; A.P.C. jeans; The Frye Company boots.
Joel Edgerton wears Coach jacket; Simon Miller T-shirt.
Brie Larson in Room
“I have always wanted to act. When I was around 7 I started auditioning, and I recall going up for a fish-sticks commercial. By then, I was completely committed to the craft of acting and had memorized a full monologue. The director was only looking for cute kids and wasn’t interested in hearing my speech. I started sobbing. ‘They won’t let me act!’ I wailed to my mother.”
Giorgio Armani coat.
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy and Youth
“I gained 30 pounds to play the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. When I showed up for my costume fitting, the director looked at me and said, ‘Um…I think you could lose a few pounds.’ I was so upset. I’m naturally a skinny guy, and it was not fun gaining that weight.”
Maison Margiela suit; Giorgio Armani shirt; Calvin Klein White Label tie.
Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter
“In college, I was hot for a girl and took an acting class to be near her. They had me do a role from a play called Bent. The scene was between two gay men during the Holocaust, and I felt enormous empathy from the people in the room who were watching. It was very seductive: In that instant, I fell in love with acting.”
Balenciaga jacket and shirt. Styled by Sarah M Richardson.
Jacob Tremblay in Room
“When people watch my movie, they cry. My mom told me that it was a very dark subject, so I didn’t read the whole script. But after we saw Room the first time, my mom was crying. People were a mess. Their mascara was falling off.”
Sogoodnight pajamas; Worth & Worth by Orlando Palacios hat.
Greta Gerwig in Mistress America
“My character, Brooke, is both a fraud and the genuine article, which is, I think, the truth: People can be both. To get anything done, you need a lot of crazy.”
Gap T-shirt; J Brand jeans. Styled by Sarah M Richardson.
Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw and Everest
“I had no idea how to box before Southpaw. In an early sparring session, I got hit in the face and then in the body, and that first body shot dropped me. In my work, I try to get into the real space of my characters, but at that moment, I thought, What the hell am I doing this for?”
Dior Homme jacket; Alternative T-shirt.
Mya Taylor in Tangerine. “Tangerine happened for me because I was in the right place at the right time. A very attractive person named Sean Baker walked up to me at the LGBT center in Hollywood, and we started talking. Our conversations about hustling and struggling with my gender transition became the basis for the movie.”
Adrienne Landau stole; Rosamosario bra; Tom Ford skirt; Nina Runsdorf earrings and cuff; Chanel belt; Manolo Blahnik clutch and pumps; Wolford stay-ups; Cornelia James gloves (on bed).
Jane Fonda in Youth
“On my 75th birthday—which was my favorite birthday—I had 150 people to my house, including several ex-husbands. It was December 21, 2012, which was, according to the Mayan calendar, the day there would be a major shift to a new paradigm and the world would change. I can’t say that I experienced any sort of turning point, but I had a good time. And the ex-husbands all got along.”
Salvatore Ferragamo coat; Vhernier ring. Hair by Matthew Shields; makeup by Elan Bongiorno at Exclusive Artists Management.