10 Classic Films Rife With Steamy Sexual Innuendos

Photo: Abbie Winters/Snap/Rex Shutterstock.
These days, an exposed crotch or marathon sex scene may make news, but it's hardly shocking. That's a big change from the Golden Age of Hollywood, when the Motion Picture Production Code, popularly known as the Hays Code, ensured that any content of an overtly sexual nature ended up on the cutting room floor.

That's not to say that all the films of the day were squeaky-clean. The Hays Code, which fizzled out in the '60s, may have censored the more explicit material in classic films — i.e. Casablanca's Rick and Ilsa never actually doing the deed — but writers like Billy Wilder were able to sneak in a few saucy innuendos and double entendres. Alfred Hitchcock used visual cues to hint at more provocative subtext. And Mae West, that bawdy babe, turned even the most mild lines into brazen come-ons. The censors didn't stand a chance.

If you thought Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were really just talking about whistling, these surprisingly racy film clips will set you straight. It turns out some feisty banter can be much sexier than full-frontal nudity, and that Cary Grant was something of a horndog, not to mention a bit of a slut-shamer.

This month, we're sharing steamy personal stories, exploring ways to have even better sex, and wading through the complicated dynamics that follow us into the bedroom. Here's to a very happy February. Check out more, right here.

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Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
I'm No Angel (1933)
This Mae West/Cary Grant film came out just before the Hays Code took effect, which explains West's saucy dialogue. P.S. We need this quote embroidered onto a T-shirt.
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Video: Courtesy United Artists.
To Be or Not to Be (1942)
Long before Unsolved Mysteries, Robert Stack was quite the stud. At least Carole Lombard thought so, resulting in some risqué banter. Eat your heart out, Samantha Jones.
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Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray engage in some racy repartee in Billy Wilder's film noir classic. And here you thought insurance was dull.
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Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
To Have and Have Not (1944)
It's been 72 years and that "you just put your lips together and blow" line is still fogging up windows. It's no surprise that Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall wed one year later.
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Video: Courtesy Warner Bros.
The Big Sleep (1946)
This detective story has yet another loaded scene between Bogart and Bacall, but let's not forget his little flirtation with a bookshop assistant who's up for an afternoon drink. God forbid she keep her glasses on, though.
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Video: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
To Catch a Thief (1955)
"Tell me you don't know what I'm talking about" indeed. Hitchcock builds the sexual tension with some suggestive conversation, constant cuts to ever-escalating fireworks, and a leading man with moves like a ninja cat. Hot.
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Video: Courtesy 20th Century Fox.
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Censors vetoed several scenes in Billy Wilder's comedy, but somehow this wink-wink fumble with a champagne bottle made it in. Bottoms up!
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Video: Courtesy Universal-International.
Touch of Evil (1958)
Um, it's not brothel owner Marlene Dietrich's chili that Orson Welles wants to sample.
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Video: Courtesy MGM.
North by Northwest (1959)
Where to begin? First, Cary Grant spends the night with Eva Marie Saint. When he senses she's double-crossed him, he lashes out. "She puts her heart into her work," he snarls. "In fact, her whole body." By the film's end, though, the two patch things up and get married. Once again, they get frisky on a train. Just to make sure the audience knows they're about to knock boots, Alfred Hitchcock cuts to a shot of the train zooming through a tunnel. So subtle.
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Video: Courtesy United Artists.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Billy Wilder went at it again, sneaking loaded lines into his classic comedy about two male musicians who dress like women to hide from mobsters. Here, a dolled-up Jack Lemmon gets hit on by a very persistent suitor. "Pull in your reel," he tells Osgood, but it's all for naught. "You don't get off that easy," the millionaire jokes, as the elevator dial more or less gets a boner.
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