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Based on the book of short stories by Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus is an erotic drama (allllll the emphasis on "erotic") that definitely earned its NC-17 rating. The story takes place during WWII, and is about a writer's sexual adventures in Paris—including an affair with a married man. It's a great one for people who enjoy vintage fashion with their sex scenes.
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This film's NC-17 rating makes a lot of sense considering it's about a repressed journalist (played by Juliette Binoche) who starts researching the lives of college-aged prostitutes. Binoche had a much talked-about masturbation scene in the film, which she researched by watching a DVD of 40 women pleasuring themselves.
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Dame Helen Mirren was in an NC-17 movie,and not just any NC-17 movie, a NC-17 movie featuring cannibalism, not to mention Dame Mirren uttering the line, "you have a beautiful prick, Mr. Gynecologist." If this sounds interesting to you—and how could it not?—the movie is essentially about a woman who begins an affair with a guest at her husband's restaurant. Please be forewarned that the sex scenes are extremely '80s.
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Madonna is in this movie—and she plays a sex-obsessed man-killer on trial for murder. What's not to love? The film, which is perhaps the most '90s thing that's ever been made, involves all kinds of intimate moments between the Queen of Pop and Willem Dafoe—including an anal sex scene, which is a huge rarity on screen. (FYI, while this movie was originally rated NC-17, it was edited down in order to get an R rating.)
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Henry & June is yet another NC-17 movie based on Anaïs Nin's work—specifically, the autobiographical book Nin wrote about cheating on her husband and starting a sexual relationship with author Henry Miller and his wife, June. Here are two fun facts about the film: 1) It's one of just three NC-17 movies that have gotten Oscar nominations. And 2) it was the first movie to be crowned NC-17 by the MPAA—beforehand they were just doling out X ratings like there was no tomorrow.
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You know how Fifty Shades Freed tried to masquerade as a thriller, and you were like, "cool, but let's just cut to the chase and see the sex scenes?" Lust, Caution isn't like that. While the film is definitely erotic enough to warrant its NC-17 rating (director Ang Lee took 100 hours to shoot the sex scenes), it also has a riveting assassination plot—not to mention extremely good fashion.
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You probably remember The Dreamers as being that movie about two incestual siblings starring Eva Green. And while the film is absolutely beautiful, it's the erotic love triangle, bloody sex, and masturbation scene that earned it an NC-17 rating. But unlike many movies that see diminished ticket sales thanks to getting slapped with an NC-17, The Dreamers made a relative killing at the box office.
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Not only does 1991's Zandalee have an all-star cast including Nicolas Cage, Marisa Tomei, and Steve Buscemi, it's about a sexually frustrated store owner who cheats on her husband with his friend. The movie was released unrated after being given an NC-17, but an edited R version is also available to watch. Go ahead and choose your poison.
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If you like your erotic thrillers with a side of Angelina Jolie, please bless your life with 2001's Original Sin, in which Angie plays a con-artist who sails across the world to marry Antonio Banderas and arrives with a trunkload of devious secrets. Despite bad reviews, the movie is a lot of fun and very sexy—hence its original NC-17 rating. (It was later edited down to an R.)
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If you thought Fifty Shades was a sex-filled movie, meet Nymphomaniac. This one stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as a woman addicted to sex and features some extremely graphic content—including a sex scene with Shia LaBeouf. While the movie was indeed deemed NC-17 by the MPAA, producers decided to release it unrated.