Audrey Munson (a real-life model) first appeared artistically nude in George Foster Platt's controversial Inspiration (1915) from the Mutual Film Corporation, as a sculptor's model.It was the first known film in which a leading actress stripped down to be naked, making her the first nude film star.
The original vamp and first movie sex goddess, the full-bosomed Theda Bara, starred in a number of early silents for the Fox Film Corporation - her first lurid, slinky vamp appearance (and first lead role) was in Fox's melodramatic A Fool There Was (1915), in which she portrayed a worldly, predatory woman who stole a married man away from his wife and child.
Her most famous line in this film was: "Kiss me, my Fool!
A number of notable and successful films produced in the early 30s before the Code was strictly enforced -- so-called "bad girl" movies -- showed women using their sexuality to get ahead, such as in the taboo-breaking comedy Red Headed Woman (1932) starring Jean Harlow.
One of the earliest sex stars of the silver screen was smart-mouthed, 18-year old platinum blonde Jean Harlow, who shocked audiences as a sexy floozy with generous glimpses of flesh and her famous line of dialogue - "Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?
Another similar film was Fatima’s Coochie-Coochie Dance (1896) a short nickelodeon kinetoscope/film of a gyrating belly dancer named Fatima (well-known for her dancing shows at the Columbia World's Exhibition in 1893).
It became the first film in which a scene was censored - for her gyrating and moving pelvis - it was covered up by what appeared to be a white picket fence (a grid-like pattern of white lines).
[Arbuckle would continue to make films as a director under the pseudonym William Goodrich between 19.] Hays also approved the use of morality clauses in the standard actor's contract, to control the conduct of performers.
The Hays Office, with restrictions and guidelines on movie content to establish "correct standards of life," issued a self-regulating list of "Don'ts' and 'Be Carefuls' for film-makers in 1927.
She was also most notably seen nearly nude with the contours of her breasts held by two curving gold asps in her first film made in Hollywood - the very successful Cleopatra (1917).
Bara's 'come-back' picture, The Unchastened Woman (1925), was a remake of an earlier 1918 film.
One of the major difficulties with the repressive code was that it was open to varying interpretations.