The 10 Best Orgasms in Movie History
The Daily Beast presents the best orgasm scenes in movies, from Jane Fonda in ‘Barbarella’ to the iconic diner scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally.’
1. Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally
Sure, it’s not a real onscreen orgasm, but what the hell. In Rob Reiner’s 1989 rom-com classic, penned by the late, great Nora Ephron, Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) are longtime friends who keep bumping into each other over the years. Both are terribly unlucky in love, and they’re clearly attracted to each other. One of their flirtatious episodes takes place at Katz’s Deli in Manhattan. Harry is convinced that he knows when a woman is faking an orgasm. Sally calls bullshit, and has the pipes to prove it. And the rest is history.
2. Kim Cattrall, Porky’s
Before she plowed through half of Manhattan on the acclaimed HBO series Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall portrayed Lynn “Lassie” Honeywell, a randy cheerleader, in the 1982 comedy Porky’s. And it wasn’t just a clever name. The “Lassie” was because she howled like a woman possessed during sex, and the “Honeywell,” well, that’s self-explanatory.
3. Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda
Kevin Kline won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his hilarious turn as Otto, an Anglophobe crook, in this 1988 comedy. While searching through their mark’s apartment, Otto seduces his partner in crime, Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), by speaking Italian. And when he climaxes, he exhibits the most ridiculously funny orgasm face in movie history.
4. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Nina (Natalie Portman) and Lily (Mila Kunis) are two dancers vying for the lead role in a prestigious New York ballet company’s rendition of Swan Lake. One night, Lily invites Nina for a wild night on the town. The two take Ecstasy and eventually end up back at Nina’s mother’s apartment, where Lily performs oral sex on the rigid Nina. During the act, Nina experiences weird visions, including the angel wing tattoos on Lily’s shoulder blades moving.
5. Mark Wahlberg & Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights
Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is a lowly dishwasher in 1970s Los Angeles. But he has a gift: a gigantic penis. Smut honcho Jack Horner eventually recruits him to perform in porno films, and Eddie assumes the name Dirk Diggler. In his first scene, he has intense sex with porn star Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), who’s a mother figure of sorts to him.
6. Ben Stiller, There’s Something About Mary
Hair gel. In 1985, nerdy Ted (Ben Stiller) somehow lands a prom date with Mary (Cameron Diaz), the hottest girl in school. But it’s cut short after a painful accident. Thirteen years later, he tracks her down in Miami and convinces her to go on a date with him. He’s nervous as hell. His best friend, Dom (Chris Elliott), convinces him to crank it before the date to alleviate the pressure. And the “result” ends up in…a very unexpected place.
7. "Fifteen," Amélie
In this 2001 French classic, Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) is an eccentric young woman with cute bangs and a very active imagination. To pass the time, she amuses herself with silly questions like “How many couples are having an orgasm now?” So, as she’s perched on her balcony overlooking Paris, we’re treated to a fantastic montage of animated climaxes. “Fifteen,” she counts.
8. Jane Fonda, Barbarella
In Roger Vadim’s relentlessly cheesy and fun 1968 sci-fi film, Barbarella (Jane Fonda, peak hotness) is an agent assigned by the Earth’s president to embark on a dangerous mission to retriev Doctor Durand Durand from the Tau Ceti region. At one point, she is captured and placed in the Excessive Machine—a device designed by Durand that stimulates a woman until she dies of pleasure. But the Excessive Machine ain’t got nothing on Fonda.
9. Joan Allen, Pleasantville
In Gary Ross’s underrated 1998 fantasy-drama, David (Tobey Maguire) and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) are two modern-day teens who are transported inside the world of Pleasantville, a 1958 black-and-white sitcom centered on the idyllic Parker family. Since it’s a 1958 TV show, none of the characters are experienced when it comes to sex—especially Betty Parker (Joan Allen), the family mom. So Jennifer fills her in on the art of self-stimulation, and the results are fiery-hot.
10. Diane Keaton, Sleeper
Woody Allen’s 1973 sci-fi comedy centers on Miles Monroe (Allen), a jazz musician who is cryopreserved—against his will—and awakens 200 years later. He eventually finds work as a butler in the home of Luna (Diane Keaton). In Allen’s future, everyone is either sexually unawakened or impotent, and to climax, couples merely get inside the cylindrical Orgasmatron, which brings them to orgasm in a matter of seconds.
And the Worst…
Katherine Heigl, The Ugly Truth
I’ll leave this one to Heigl’s Knocked Up director, Judd Apatow, who ripped her a new one after she trashed the film that made her a star for its apparent sexist attitude toward women: “I hear there’s a scene where she’s wearing...underwear…with a vibrator in it, so I’d have to see if that was uplifting for women.”