Top 10 Seductresses in Film

The Temptress. The allure of female beauty and those characters who know exactly how to dominate their male counterpart through sexuality.

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For any teenage boy watching late night television, the genuine allure of mellow-lit, pillow-squeezing, duvet-contorting bedtime sports was far more exciting sex education than grey-haired professors pointing chalky fingers at the cross section of the “female part”. Thus Sylvia Kristel was of greater importance to us than Fred the Sperm.

Of course, this is long before the internet revolution changed the face of intimate alone time where the only company was a remote control with pause button and a box of Kleenex. Before the proliferation of free pornography made softcore erotica seem no more malevolent than the Teletubbies, these sexually provocative film characters were a teenage boy’s window on the promised land.

For this top 10 I’m regressing back to the 1990s when me and my friends were idealistic teenagers in high school desperately seeking first base!

10. Emmy (Kim Cattrall) – Mannequin (Michael Gottlieb, 1987)


“Didn’t I tell you, you’re the only one who can see me like this.”

Who is seduced: 1980s teen heartthrob Andrew McCarthy

9. Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) – The Girl Next Door (Luke Greenfield, 2004)


“Hi, I’m all wet. Can I come in?”

Who is seduced: A lucky high school senior played by Matthew Kidman

8. Nicole Mallow (Sylvia Kristel) – Private Lessons (Alan Myerson, 1981)


“What happened to him should happen to you.”

Who is seduced: Eric Brown who is so glad he got a babysitter despite being 15.

7. Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) – Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995)


“You can’t touch me, but I can touch you. I’d really love to touch you.”

Who is seduced: Everyone!

6. Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards) – Wild Things (John McNaughton, 1998)


“Can I play too? Or is it just for boys?”

Who is seduced: A high school guidance councillor played by Matt Dillon

5. Lana (Rebecca De Morney) – Risky Business (Paul Brickman, 1983)


“Now that’s quick Joel. Have you always been this quick, or is this something new?”

Who is seduced: Mr Top Gun himself Tom Cruise

4. Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates) – Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 1982)


“Did you see his cute little butt?”

Who is seduced: the entire school at Ridgemont High

3. Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) – Weird Science (John Hughes, 1985)


“So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?”

Who is seduced: It is a threesome – high school kids Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith

2. Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) – The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)


“Would you like me to seduce you?”

Who is seduced: Tootsie herself Dustin Hoffman

1. The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) – The Seven Year Itch (Billy Wilder, 1955)


“When it gets hot like this, you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox!”

Who is seduced: Publishing executive Tom Ewell

Written and compiled by Daniel Stephens.

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Your turn – …which female temptress had you befuddled as a hormone riddled teenager?

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    le0pard13 Reply

    Without question Angie Dickinson, Adrienne Barbeau, Pam Grier and Barbara Carrera would be on my list. Excellent compilation, Dan.

  2. Avatar
    Evan Crean Reply

    An excellent list. Agreed on every single entry.

  3. Avatar
    Frank Reply

    Great list! When I saw Mrs. Robinson at 2, I couldn’t imagine who number 1 would be. Great, great choice for The Seven Year Itch!

  4. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    Whatever happened to Phoebe Cates? One minute she was everywhere, the next she dropped off the planet…

    Still think she’s the hottest of the bunch, though.

  5. Avatar
    David Reply

    I don’t know if you can count Eva Green in The Dreamers in,she definitely has a seductive body.And maybe Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct should be included?

  6. Avatar
    Scott Reply

    WEIRD SCIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have nothing more to add, every boys wet dream from the 80s!! Awesome

  7. Avatar
    fuzzyian Reply

    Linda Fiorentino on ‘The Last Seduction’-Ultimate femme fatale or just a ****!?

  8. Avatar
    Ross McG Reply

    great idea for list.
    no Ava Gardner from The Killers though? come on!
    and not sure about Liz Berkley making this list – isnt there more to seductressising than getting your baps out?

  9. Avatar
    Raghav Modi Reply

    Great List… The Graduate I think is the most iconic seduction. Cheers!

  10. Avatar
    ruth Reply

    Ahah, Mannequin is such a guilty pleasure for me back in high school. Clearly Kim Cattral is always the seductress even decades later in Sex In the City.

  11. Avatar
    Claire Reply

    Love this line! – “Before the proliferation of free pornography made softcore erotica seem no more malevolent than the Teletubbies, these sexually provocative film characters were a teenage boy’s window on the promised land.”

    My boyfriend just glimpsed this post over my shoulder and said: “Is this Top 10 MILFs?” 😛

  12. Avatar
    Caz Reply

    Brilliant list! The top 2 are just fantastic, I would love to have seen some Mae West in the list!

  13. Avatar
    Ratnakar Reply

    Great list, some other choices of mine

    1) Sharon Stone as Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, one of the most dangerous one ever.

    2) Kathleen Turner in Body Heat, way she manages to play around with William Hurt just awesome.

    3) Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface, no wonder Al Pacino was bonkers over her.

    4) Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment, had to be the sexiest heist artist ever.

  14. Avatar
    Neal Damiano Reply

    Great list Dan…………….I would consider Linda Fiorantino in The Last Seduction.

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