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.