Richard Gere chooses an outfit in American Gigolo: In this 1980 look at a high-priced male escort, Gere as Julian Kaye makes everything look glamorous: driving, the Blondie song Call Me, hanging upside-down in gravity boots. But it's the scene where a shirtless Julian lays out his suit jackets, shirts and ties while contemplating what to wear that is abtastic and Armani chic.
The volleyball game in Top Gun: Those Navy pilots might have felt the need, the need for speed in this 1986 time capsule of Reagan-era patriotism. But when Tom Cruise and the rest of the young, buff cast participated in a little cardio fun on the beach, it had pulses besides theirs racing.
Patrick Swayze's private lessons in Dirty Dancing: When Jennifer Grey's character, Baby, sneaks off to Swayze's cabin for a conversation, he holds her in his arms — just look at those guns — as she sways to Solomon Burke singing Cry to Me. This inevitably leads to more than the mambo.
Brad Pitt hitches a ride in Thelma & Louise: The former Dallas guest star went from relative unknown to overnight sensation after playing a lanky drifter who rocks Thelma's world with his washboard stomach and smooth talk in this 1991 classic. His best pickup line: "I may be an outlaw, darlin', but you're the one stealing my heart."
Diet Coke break ad: Remember Lucky Vanous? He was the star of the mid-1990s ad in which female office workers gather at precisely 11:30 a.m. each day to ogle a hunky construction worker as he takes a soda break. It's a classic example of reversing a sexist stereotype — the hard-hat whistling at women — for maximum pop.
The shirtless men of Dancing With the Stars: Never have so many muscular guys sacrificed so much cotton and polyester for the entertainment of female viewers. As exemplified by ballroom pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, the dancer most likely to go topless, and perfected last season by contestant William Levy, the strategy is clear: The road to ratings for this ABC series is paved with discarded clothing.
Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press