I must confess, I have an an addiction. I am, and have been since childhood, a cinephile. Movies have always been a part of my life. From spending Saturday nights with my family as we rented and watched a new movie from Blockbuster Video, to seeing the latest big event flick at the local movie theater, to watching movies in the school classroom as part of learning a certain topic, to watching a movie to pass the time on a tour bus or airplane while traveling, to currently being a devoted member of Netflix, many of my most cherished memories are tied to watching movies. And naturally, as a lover and admirer of the female stomach and bellybutton, some of those cherished memories are tied to bare midriff scenes that took place within movies.
When it comes to my movie watching habits, it’s not a requirement that a movie have a scene in which an actress is in some kind of belly baring attire, or that her bellybutton is somehow made to be an important plot point of the movie, but it certainly does add icing to the cake if the movie is good. And in some cases, it can outright save the movie if it’s bad! Now, as a person who has watched thousands of movies over his lifetime, I can tell a good movie from a bad one. And for the most part, I don’t really go out of my way to see “great” movies, unless they have been nominated for or won major awards like Best Picture at the Oscars, or an Audience Award at the Sundance or Cannes Film Festivals. At the same time, I don’t go out of my way to see bad movies, unless it’s out of curiosity, just to see how bad said movie really is, or in other terms, to “hate watch” it (looking at you, Batman v Superman: Yawn of Justice).
I say this because for the most part, the movies on this list will not be of the “5 out of 5 stars” variety. These will be very 2 or 3 stars out of 5, middle of the road, take it or leave movies, with a handful of must-see movies mixed in. In some cases, unless you really want to see naked female navels, there might not anything else in these movies that’ll appeal to your own personal tastes. In other words, most of these flicks will be my guilty pleasures. Speaking of which, the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie is my all-time favorite guilty pleasure movie, with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze being a close second. That being said, in no particular order, here are my fifteen picks for the movies that provided the best navel gazing scenes and/or sequences.
One Million Years B.C. (1966)
As a child, there was nothing in existence that was cooler than dinosaurs. I was also a fan of the legendary Ray Harryhausen and his iconic stop motion animation effects. So naturally, while staying at my grandmother’s house during summer vacation, I wanted to watch this movie for the stop motion dinosaurs. Well, I quickly forgot all about the dinosaurs the nano-second Raquel Welch appeared on screen in her fur bikini. Until this time in my life, I had never seen a bellybutton that wasn’t a deep innie, so Welch’s complex looking outie completely blew my mind, and I spent the entirety of the movie focusing on the details of her outie. The movie also features Martine Beswick, who is also clad in a fur bikini, and has an outie bellybutton, so it was like a “two for the price of one” scenario for me.
There are two scenes that come to mind which stick out the most, and no, that wasn’t a pun based around outie bellybuttons. The first is when Welch and Beswick get into a catfight, ending with Welch pinning Beswick down with a large dinosaur bone. The second is when Welch is captured by a pteranodon, but is eventually dropped. She then lies on the ground, with her stomach rising and falling as she gasps for air. Needless to say, this movie was a little too stimulating for my young mind. Little Kid Mikey really liked that movie. Then again, Big Adult Mikey still likes that movie to this day.
Hot Shots (1991)
Another movie that blew my mind as a child, because I couldn’t believe a scene that revolved around a female bellybutton would ever be put to film. I clearly remember seeing the trailer to this movie in theaters, before seeing City Slickers. The movie itself is a parody of Top Gun, starring Charlie Sheen and Valeria Golino, who is otherwise best known from Rain Man. The scene in question is a spoof of 9 and ½ Weeks, in which Kim Basinger has a moment of foreplay where her bare stomach is caressed by an ice cube.
However, in the Hot Shot version of the scene, Sheen places an olive into Golino’s bellybutton, and pushes on her stomach, causing the olive to pop into her mouth. The scene then continues with Sheen having water droplets drip into Golino’s bellybutton, resulting in loud sound effects, as if the droplets are falling into a deep water well. The scene then takes a turn for the ridiculous, as Sheen slides the ice cube all over Golino’s tummy, and it sizzles as if her tummy were a frying pan that has been heated. If that wasn’t enough, Sheen outright cooks eggs, bacon, and cheese on Golino’s sizzling belly! And at the very end of the movie, they even joke about cooking T-bone steaks on her stomach.
Sure, the creative team behind the movie probably figured this scene was just good for a laugh, but for my young mind, which was slowly beginning to see the female navel as a sexual body part, those images of the olive and the water droplets being placed into Golino’s bellybutton would be forever burned into my brain.
Bring It On (2000)
Ah, here it is, the motherload. If there was ever a movie designed with navel fetishists in mind, it’s this the one. No, navels are the center focus of the movie, however, they do appear on screen in nearly every scene of the movie! Bring It On is the story of a cheerleader team who are on a winning streak in competitive cheerleading. However, they learn their routines have been stolen from an inner city cheerleading squad, and hijinks ensue as they try to come up with a new routine in time to keep their winning streak alive for the next cheerleading competition.
The film stars a pre-Spider-Man Kirsten Dunst (who I loved since Jumanji), Eliza Dushku (who I loved since the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer TV series), and Gabrielle Union (who I have loved ever since seeing this movie). Dunst is the newly chosen leader of the cheering squad, Dushku is a new replacement for an injured cheerleading member, and Union is the leader of the rival cheering squad. The movie as a whole is cute in a 90s The WB (or The CW, by today’s standards) kind of way.
However, let’s be honest, we’re here for the bellybuttons, and boy, does this movie deliver. With the exception of maybe three scenes, there is a bare female navel on screen at all times. Be it the cheerleader outfits, the cropped tops, the sports bras, underwear, or bikinis, the costume designer for this movie should have won an Oscar for finding ways for every girl to have her bellybutton showing at some point. It also helps that the director of photography made sure to always film the actresses from the waist up. And this is truly a movie with something for everyone, as there’s bellybuttons of every shape and size. Innies, outies, inbetweenies, they’re all here. And thankfully, not one navel ring in sight!
Bring It On has gone on to achieve cult classic status, and has been spun-off into a Broadway musical, and four direct-to-DVD sequels, featuring the likes of Rihanna, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Milian, and the mouthwatering abdominal muscles of Rachele Brooke Smith. Unfortunately, navel rings became way too common as the series continued.
Blue Crush (2002)
Chances are, if you want a movie that guarantees you’re going to be seeing lots of naked navels, go with a movie that takes place on a beach, or on a tropical island. This movie takes place on Hawaii, so it’s got you covered on both of those areas. It tells the tale of a young surfer girl, who dreams of one day going pro and escaping her mundane life as a hotel maid.
This flick stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sanoe Lake, and as I mentioned, since it takes place in Hawaii, and is a story about surfing, all three girls are in bikinis for 90% of the runtime. Like Bring It On, this is a movie that has something for every navel fetishist, be it Bosworth’s inbetweenie, Rodriguez’s innie, or Lake’s outie. Sadly, there’s no scene in which any of the girls are complaining about too much sand getting into their bellybuttons, but that might be asking for too much.
The movie did have a direct-to-DVD sequel, simply entitled Blue Crush 2. This sequel takes place in South Africa, and its three female leads don’t spend nearly the amount of screen time in bikinis as the original movie’s trio did. While it does feature the lovely Elizabeth Mathis, and the rock hard abs of Sharni Vinson (which she uses to rotate a spitfire grill at one point, I’m not kidding), I can’t in good faith recommend the movie, which lacks the overall drama, charm, and production quality of the original.
Bitch Slap (2009)
Classy title, I know. Piggybacking on the success of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse, this movie is a modern homage to the exploitation B-movies of the 1960s and 1970s. The film stars Erin Cummings, America Olivo, and Julia Voth, and if you don’t recognize any of those names, don’t worry, it’s because all three actresses are pretty much forever trapped in direct-to-DVD and streaming movie purgatory. The movie’s director worked on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, which is why Kevin Sorbo, Michael Hurst, Lucy Lawless, and Renee O’Connor all make appearances.
Out of all the movies on this list, this one is the most fetish-y. However, it’s not navel fetishism that they are pandering to. No, I mean fetish-y as in infatuation wear; lots of it. There’s the sexy Japanese school girl outfit, the sexy nurse outfit, the sexy jail inmate outfit, and even a sexy nun outfit. But hey, it certainly allows for plenty of bare navels to see, especially Olivio’s, which is naked in all but one scene of the movie.
And in true exploitation B-movie fashion, the movie is loaded with bloody violence and sexual themes. But for me, the shiny diamond hidden within this movie is Voth’s massive outie bellybutton. Seriously, it’s like she placed a ping-pong ball inside of her bellybutton, her stomach absorbed it, and it became part of her body. The best view of said outie happens while Voth’s character goes undercover as a stripper, and appears in an angel themed bikini. It also helps that Voth is a stunning blue-eyed brunette, which I am a sucker for. Oh screw it, Voth is the only reason to see this movie.
I’m not going to lie, the bare midriff of Milla Jovovich is the one and only reason for you to bother seeing this movie. The story is this muddied tale about a vampire plague, and Jovovich has to gun down or sword fight her way through wave after wave of nameless minions. Blah, blah, blah, not really important.
Thankfully, as mentioned, Jovovich spends the entire movie wearing a outfit that includes a cropped top, so her bare navel is on screen for all but three scenes, including a few close-ups every now and then. But as mentioned, the movie’s plot is forgettable, and the special effects are lackluster. Jovovich’s Violet just moves from one scene to the next, and each scene has her mowing down a dozen or more soldiers with ease, as if she’s playing a video game with an enabled “God Mode” setting. Needless to say, if you’re a die-hard fan of Jovovich due to The Fifth Element and/or the Resident Evil movies, and you love her bellybutton, this is the movie for you.
The movie also had a novelization, which goes into greater detail about the world building of this future, and a lot more character development. It also had an anime series based off of it, which was also lackluster. Oh, and the movie is a spiritual successor to the Christian Bale movie, Equilibrium. That movie was far better written, acted, and had far superior action sequences to it. However, it lacks a female lead in bare belly attire, so it doesn’t make this list.
Die Another Day (2002)
The final James Bond movie for Pierce Brosnan’s run as the character. Halle Berry stars as the love interest “Bond Girl”, and is featured in a bikini while exiting the ocean (because that’s never been done before). However, the best scene of the movie is saved for the very end. After saving a stash of diamonds from the movie’s villain, Bond and Berry’s Jinx have a romantic scene. Jinx is in her underwear, and Bond is playing with the diamonds. He places one of the tiny diamonds inside of Jinx’s bellybutton, complete with a close-up shot as he does this.
The most interesting part of this scene is the thought of Berry possibly suggesting for it to be in the movie. It has been well documented that Berry has a navel infatuation, and the movie might have not been fleshed out as it was being filmed. So she might have suggested “why not have a scene where he puts a diamond in my bellybutton?”. And so, that’s exactly what they did.
Of course, Berry’s filmography is full of other movies where she appears in cropped tops and/or bikinis, be it The Flintstones, BAPS, Bulworth, Swordfish, Gothika, Frankie and Alice, or Dark Tide. However, Die Another Die is the only one where her bellybutton gets its own scene. And as much as I love the idea of an action movie featuring a woman of color in the lead, and she is bare bellied throughout, I can’t in good faith recommend Catwoman, unless you enjoy torturing yourself, or can enjoy it in an ironic way.
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
An adaptation of a video game. That’s usually not a good sign, as video games are just not designed to be jammed into two hours worth of story. But then again, there’s not much story in the Dead or Alive video games to jam into a movie, so this movie just wings it. The movie features Devon Aoki, Holly Valance, Jaime Pressly, Sarah Carter, and Natassia Malthe. And yes, all five women wear some kind of bare midriff attire throughout the movie, be it cropped tops, sports bras, underwear, or bikinis.
If you love cheesy movies, this will entertain you. In terms of martial arts movies, Crouch Tiger, Hidden Dragon this is not. But there is fan service, so much fan service. And there’s also camp, so much camp. And as I mentioned, plenty of bellybuttons to feast your eyes on. The film’s villain is played by Eric “I Will Star in Anything For a Paycheck” Roberts, but he never really gets to chew up the scenery in an entertaining way. The third act of the movie also falls apart quickly if you try to apply any kind of logic to it.
I mean if you want to see a good, fun video game movie, watch 1995’s Mortal Kombat. Or for a truly entertaining, campy video game movie, see 1994’s Street Fighter. However, neither movie has its female cast wear bare midriff attire throughout, so they don’t make this list, while DOA does.
Here we go, the most success and praised movie on this list. And one to watch for reasons outside of bare navels, because it’s really that damn good. If you have been living under a rock for the past four decades, Alien tells the tale of a group of “space truckers” who are traveling on a commercial spacecraft. They are ordered to investigate a distress signal, and happen upon a brood of large eggs. One such eggs opens, and the alien hellspawn that’s inside attaches itself to one of the crew member’s face. The alien eventfully falls off, but then a second alien bursts from the crew member’s chest. The remaining crew then has to hunt down the alien, but are picked off one by one, as the alien has tripled in size.
However, the scene for which this movie is featured on this list is near the end. Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, believes she has escaped the alien, and charges out of her clothes before she dons a traditional astronaut’s spacesuit. And so we’re privy to Weaver slowly stripping down to a white cropped top, and tiny, white bikini bottoms. And Weaver looks amazing in said underwear, from both the front, and the back.
This movie would go on to become a huge franchise, featuring three sequels (one that’s awesome, one that’s polarizing, and one that should be avoided), two spin-off movies with the Predator franchise (Kristen Hager’s delicious v-line hips are the ONLY reason to see the second one), and now a prequel trilogy featuring…
Director Ridley Scott returned to the franchise after a 33 year absence. The end result is a mixed bag, thanks to an uneven screenplay. Sure, the movie’s visual effects are gorgeous to look at at, but the movie doesn’t answer any questions that were left open ended by the original Alien movie. In fact, this movie only creates more questions!
However, the movie does feature an all-star cast, including Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, and Idris Elba. Oh, and some guy who looks like Tom Hardy, because I guess Tom Hardy wasn’t available, so they got his understudy instead. And while Theron does appear in her underwear while doing push-ups early on in the movie, and Rapace lies in bed with her shirt lifted up in another scene, the “money shot” of the movie is not all that sexy in nature.
Keep in mind, this one scene is pretty much the only reason to see this movie, as it is a masterpiece in suspense and horror. Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw has been impregnated by an alien, and must get the fetus out as soon as possible. What follows is Shaw stripping herself down to her underwear, and hopping into a medical pod. She then gets a futuristic abortion, as her stomach shifts around with the alien inside. Granted, the scene is not for the faint of heart, as she’s cut open with a laser, and then stapled back together after the surgery is done. And we get another close-up of Shaw’s repaired belly as she gets dressed a few scenes later.
Again, Prometheus is unfortunately underwhelming in the story department, and the characters often come across as being dumb as rocks due to the stupid choices that they make. But Shaw’s makeshift adoration is easily the scene that makes this movie terrifying, in a watching from in between your fingers sort of way.
Weird Science (1985)
Written and directed by John Hughes when he was in his prime during the mid to late 1980s, this science fiction comedy is about a pair of unlucky nerds who create their own dream woman. Yeah, that would be living the dream. The end result of their labors is Lisa, played by Kelly Le Brock. Oh, and Lisa also has an endless amount of superpowers that vary depending on what the scene calls for her to do.
But the must-see segment of the movie is Lisa’s introduction scene. She was created with the aid of a Barbie-style doll, who was clad in a white cropped top, and blue bikini bottoms. So naturally, that is the clothing that Lisa appears in when she is brought to life. The boys’ bedroom door explodes, and there Lisa is in the cropped top and bikini bottoms.
Truth be told, I’ve never seen this movie from start to finish, because I’ve only watched it for this scene and only this scene. However, the movie did have a spin-off TV series from 1994 to 1998. This version featured Vanessa Angel as Lisa, and had an entertaining, tongue in cheek sense of humor.
Plans for a remake have been in the works for decades, but no movie has been made at the time of this writing. However, if for whatever reason, Universal Studios were to ask me to give any creative input, my choice for the modern Lisa would be Emily Ratajkowski. After all, she looks like a real sex doll that was magical brought to life, which is in line with what the movie is about.
The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)
Another cult classic, starring Helen Slater, who is best known for her role as Supergirl, in the movie of the same name. By the way, don’t actually watch Supergirl: The Movie, because it’s horrible. If you must watch something Supergirl related, watch the CW TV series instead.
Anyway, the scene I love the most from Billie Jean is early on into the movie, in which Billie goes swimming in a lake. She does this while wearing a blue cropped top, and red bikini bottoms. I do find that color scheme ironic, considering they are the same colors as Supergirl’s costume.
Needless to say, Slater looks heavenly, especially while she sunbathes in the very next scene, as her body glistens in the sunlight. She also wears a cropped top for the following two scenes. I must say, between this movie, Alien, and Weird Science, it’s no wonder that I consider a cropped top and bikini bottoms to be the sexiest thing a woman can wear!
Hollow Man (2000)
A science fiction horror movie, in which Kevin Bacon is made invisible due a science experiment. And of course, as any hot bodied, hetrosexual male would, he uses his newly gifted powers to have sex with women … and murder lots of people. Because, let’s face it, those are the only two practical uses of being invisible, at least according to this movie.
But for this list, the must-see (although kinda unsettling to watch) scene is when Elisabeth Shue is sleeping in her bed. Bacon’s Invisible Man enters her bedroom, and slowly removes Shue’s bedsheets. Shue’s undershirt is slowly unbuttoned as she continues to sleep, her stomach rising and falling with each breath. And then, her panties are yanked off … and she wakes up, and it turns out to be only a dream. Just the bedroom scene, not the entire movie.
This movie was among Paul Verhoeven’s movies that he tried to make a comeback with, after his flop, Showgirls. Starship Troopers being another. This flick did have a direct-to-DVD sequel, simply titled Hollow Man 2, starring Christian Slater. It also features a scene in which the lead actress, Laura Regan, appears in her underwear. Although, Shue’s rising and falling belly scene is far more erotic.
Finally, a movie with scenes where bellybuttons are literally a part of the plot! I’m not going to lie, I kinda hate The Matrix. Yes, I will agree that it was an very original movie in terms of its visuals and its scope as a movie universe. However, in the end, the movie was just a live action rip-off of the 1995 Ghost in the Shell anime movie. Producer Joel Silver has even admitted that the anime was shown during the pitching session for the movie, with the idea of “making a live action version of this” being part of the presentation. Not to mention that the character of Trinity was obviously modeled after the GitS lead character of Motoko Kusanagi. But the scene that really grinds me gears, is when a robotic insect borrows its way inside of Neo’s body, through his bellybutton. In a perfect world, this would have happened to Trinity instead. Not to mention, the scene is a plot hole when you think about it, as it’s never fully explained what the purpose of the insect was, and it’s never mentioned ever again within the trilogy. But with the news of a reboot being in the works, hopefully a young version of Trinity or Niobe (the latter preferably played by Zoe Kravitz) will be getting the bugging treatment.
That rant aside, this independent horror movie does its part to correct that mistake, by having a female be the one to have a monstrous insect enter her body through a her bellybutton. And frankly, it just makes more sense for it to happen to a woman, since the insect can then hide inside the woman’s uterus, but it has nowhere to go inside of a man’s stomach, especially when entered through the navel.
The actress in question is Marina Pasqua, and while the scene doesn’t have the attention to detail and suspense that The Matrix did, it’s appreciated that they at least tried. This has spawned as much fan fiction and fan art as The Matrix scene has. There’s also another scene with actress Robyn Ledoux, in which the demonic insect threatens to enter her navel, but doesn’t, due to Robyn drinking alcohol, the creature’s only weakness.
Keep in mind that logic is not the movie’s finest point. At first, it seems the creature’s hosts are targeting people who already have their navels exposed, but then the creature just forces its way through people’s clothing, and without even leaving a entry hole on the clothing! Not to mention, it doesn’t go into if the creature is able to enter through outie bellybuttons, or how it can get around navel rings that are in its way. But hey, at least we’ll always have those two scenes with Marina and Robyn, logic be damned!
The Return of the Jedi (1983)
Yes, I saved the best (or at least the most beloved) for last! This scene in question is easily remembered by any young boy during the 1980s. Captured by the evil Jabba the Hutt, Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, is forced to wear a metal bikini, inspired by the drawings of Frank Frazetta. At first, we’re treated to Leia sleeping in the bikini, with her stomach rising and falling with each breath. Later, we see her in full view, as she stands by and watches her allies are going to be forced into what can only be described a giant hole in the ground with teeth (I refuse to admit that the special editions happened). But then Leia frees herself, and chokes Jabba to death with the very chain that he used to hold her hostage. Yes, because there’s absolutely nothing sexual about being strangled to death by a bikini clad woman!
Needless to say, much like One Million Year B.C. and Hot Shots, the first half hour of RotJ blew my mind. While I did find Leia to be pretty, they turned her sex appeal up to full volume with this movie. It was too much for me to handle, and I often found myself only watching this portion of the movie, just for Leia in the metal bikini. Although I don’t hate RotJ as a whole, as I do love Luke’s new green lightsaber, which also blew my mind as a child, and instantly made green my favorite color. And, the movie is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Oh, and no, the Ewoks are not as bad as Jar Jar Binks, I don’t care what anyone says. At the very least, the Ewoks didn’t talk.
Sadly, Fisher passed away last year. May she rest in peace, and the Force be always with her. And Disney announced that they are removing any trace of the metal bikini from their merchandise. With that, and the changing of Princess Jasmine’s outfit into a non-belly baring one, Disney is deleting all of the bellybutton memories from our childhoods! Let’s be honest, we’re all hoping Daisy Ridley dons some kind of bellybutton baring outfit in The Last Jedi. I mean, the girl has been working hard on her core, you might as well let her show it off. She’s just too cute, and so is her little outie.
And those are my Top 15 picks. But if that’s still not enough, here are some honorable mentions: Ziyi Zhang in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Roselyn Sanchez in Yellow; Aishwarya Rai in The Mistress of Spices; Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Make It Happen; Kirsten Dunst and Taryn Manning in Crazy/Beautiful; Sienna Miller in Just Like a Woman; Naomi Watts and Robin Wright in Adore; Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond The Lights; Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson in Spring Breakers; Blake Lively in The Shallows; the cast of Fast Girls (Bring It On, but with women’s track and field); the cast of Stick It (Bring It On, but with women’s gymnastics); and literally ANY one of the Step Up movies.
That’s all, class, you have plenty of homework to do. If you are ever bored and need to get your bellybutton fix, you can’t say you don’t know of any movies out there that can scratch your itch. You can probably find any and all of these movies via On Demand through your cable provider, or through any number of streaming services. Or, there’s always torent sites, if you’re feeling bold and unruly. I guess I’m supposed to end with a clever saying while wishing you all farewell, so I’ll go with a classic. See you at the movies!
Photo credit: Die Another Day (2002), Eon Productions (presents) (as Albert R. Brocolli’s Eon Productions Limited), Danjaq, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), United Artists