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Adaptational Modesty / Film

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  • In 300, plenty of people found something to joke about with the Spartans wearing leather speedos, but that was a step up from the original graphic novel where often they were completely nude (reflecting Greek art in depicting warfare).
  • In Æon Flux, Æon's Spy Catsuit is fairly sexy, but nowhere near the unbelievably Stripperiffic costume she wore in the animated series. The animation costume would probably not just have been rejected by all taste-and-decency policies, but would never have stayed in position in real life, even if adhesives were used.note 
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  • Very delicately played with in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, regarding Wonder Woman's appearance. Strictly speaking, it's a very close approximation of her iconic outfit, except with different coloration and looking more like armor. But several key differences make it into this trope. Her actress, Gal Gadot, has a much more modest bust than the comic version and that leaves the costume as not looking like she is being "strapped down." Instead of a skirt or leggings she still has a swimmer's cut on her legs, but with flayed strips of fabric to hide the seams. And instead of putting on shoulder straps for the bustier she is wearing a sword sheath on her back that wraps around her, creating a similar look while not changing the core appearance. It also helps the armor was designed by Michael Wilkinson who with a female perspective subverted the Stripperiffic expectations and made something that could be eye catching as well as practical. This costume would become her main costume in the comics by the time the movie came out and now most other adaptations use it too.
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  • The Big Sleep has Phillip Marlowe interrupting a porn shoot and finding a naked girl. Obviously this wouldn't fly on film in the 1940s, so the movie gets as daring as it could by putting her in a nightgown.
  • The infamous pre-teen group sex scene from Stephen King's IT was to the surprise of nobody omitted from both the 1990 and 2017 adaptions, despite King himself defending its place in the story. In general most of the sexual aspects of the book are toned down or just removed, however the original script for the 2017 film was more graphic with Stanley being lured and attacked by a naked woman/witch who springs from a Mikvah and poor Beverly getting explicit sexual abuse from her Pervert Dad. Thankfully all of this removed when the new director and writers came in.
    • Ironically the 2017 is still more risqué than 1990 version given the Loser’s Club strip down to their underwear and go swimming in the lake, a scene also not in the book where the kids kept their kit on the majority of the time.
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  • In the 1976 adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie, the titular character is fully nude when she gets her period in the school showers (as are many of the other girls). Both the 2002 and 2013 versions remove the explicit nudity, the latter even giving Carrie a Modesty Towel. This is because the 2002 version was a Made-for-TV Movie, while the 2013 version cast the 15-year-old Chloë Moretz in the role.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away has the Water Bowl segment from Zumanity, an adults-only show, which is made safe for a PG movie via 1) dropping the nudity and 2) changing it to a turn for a solo female performer, whereas onstage it's performed by a female duo.
  • In Greek mythology, Andromeda was to be sacrificed to the sea monster Cetus while fully nude. In both Clash of the Titans (1981) and Clash of the Titans (2010), she is wearing clothes. Likewise, Aphrodite is commonly depicted nude but appears clothed in both films.
  • In the 2004 live-action film adaptation of Cutey Honey, the heroine's main outfit looks more like an armor than the skin tight unitard of power that she wears in the original manga, and the few portions of visible skin are covered with a flesh colored undershirt. It's somewhat jarring considering that the original suit wasn't that revealing (only her shoulders and cleavage are exposed) and the actress playing her, Eriko Sato is a swimsuit model and even appears in some parts of the film wearing only underwear. Another change is that Honey is given an Age Lift so that she's no longer a teenager like she was in the manga and TV show.
  • The cinema adaptation of Ian Fleming's Dr. No had this problem in filming the iconic scene where Honey Ryder comes up out of the sea and walks up the beach. As generations of short-changed Bond fans have pointed out, in the novel she’s stark naked. In the film, Ursula Andress has to wear a bikini to meet the social conventions of early 1960's movies.
    • In Live and Let Die, the "Fillet of Soul" nightclub singer takes the place of, in the book, a full-on stripper. (It's a very minor plot point that Bond seems to actually be Distracted by the Sexy.)
  • In Ender's Game, the kids are frequently casually naked, though it's devoid of any sexual context. This includes Ender's introduction to Petra (who he doesn't notice is a girl), meeting the slobby Rose De Nose, and Ender's fight with Bonzo (who specifically strips because Ender is naked from showering, so Bonzo will make the fight even). In the film of the book, all the nudity was cut out, along with the kids being made older.
  • Flowers in the Attic:
    • Chris catches Cathy admiring herself in the nude in the bathroom. Specifically they're both noticing that she's finally got breasts. The TV film has her just wearing her underwear (probably because actress Kiernan Shipka was the same age as the character while filming). Likewise Chris's rape of Cathy is changed to a kiss and implied consensual sex.
    • The 80s film is technically this as well. Cathy is merely in the bath and Chris is only sitting in the room with her, not notably checking her out. Their actual Brother–Sister Incest is left out of the movie completely.
  • In Darren Aronofsky's accompanying graphic novel of The Fountain (which was released at the same time as the film, but started before it), Tommy and Izzy are both naked when they're seen together in the spaceship, and their sex life is depicted in a bit more detail than it was in the film; in particular, Brother Tomás is explicitly shown making love to Queen Isabella in the scene where she gives him her ring, and there's a flashback scene to the first time that Tommy and Izzy made love that didn't make it into the movie.
  • Amongst the changes to the Gor series for the films, the Beautiful Slave Girls go from naked (or very revealing clothes) to wearing bikinis.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In the final book, Harry's naked when he wakes up in the Afterlife Antechamber at King's Cross and doesn't get clothes until some materialize for him out of nowhere. In the film, he's already wearing clothes. Inverted with the locket scene; while in the movie the illusions of Harry and Hermione are clearly naked, no mention is made of how they're dressed in the book. Averted in the scene where Harry dives into the lake, where he wears boxers in both the book and the film.
    • Inverted with Hermione's dress at Bill and Fleur's wedding. In the book it's purple and presented as a She Cleans Up Nicely moment. In the film, it's a sexy red dress and Ron is seen staring at her with a rather lustful expression.
    • Another inversion in the fourth film. When Harry takes a bath in the Prefects' Bathroom, he's described as having foam up to his chin. In the film it's only to his waist - allowing Daniel Radcliffe to turn it into a Shirtless Scene. Moaning Myrtle is also far more obviously flirting with him in the film than she is in the book.
  • In The Hunger Games Glimmer is described as wearing a translucent gold dress when she goes on Caesar's talk show. In the film she has a more modest white dress with a poofy skirt.
  • In the John Carter of Mars novels, Mars has a nice climate and the inhabitants don't bother with clothes much; visual adaptations (including John Carter and The Asylum's Princess of Mars) always give them at least enough clothing to avoid trouble with the censors. In John Carter, Deja even feels the need to state that she feels that the skimpy wedding outfit she wears wasn't her idea and that she considers it vulgar...even though it's not much more revealing than the armor she wore in other scenes.
  • In the live-action Kim Possible film, Kim's mission outfit is based on her first outfit from the cartoon but it doesn't show her midriff.
  • In the book Life of Pi, Pi is Lost at Sea for several months. As time passes, his clothes degrade and he's naked by the time he's rescued. In the film, he loses his shirt and shoes, but not his pants.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: In the book, Frodo is stripped completely naked in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. In the film he has only lost his shirt. Yet Sam's line from the book, "You can't go walking through Mordor in naught but your skin", still remains.
  • The Lovely Bones:
    • Before Susie is murdered, she is raped by Mr Harvey - in graphic detail. The film omits the rape completelynote  - apart from one line about another of Harvey's victims "he had only wanted to touch her", which could imply some form of rape. But it's left ambiguous.
    • Also just before Harvey disposes of the safe with Susie's body in the sink hole, Ruth allows Susie to inhabit her body and have sex with Ray before she moves on. The film changes it to just a kiss between Susie and Ray.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • In Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, when ymbrynes transform into birds, they don't take their clothes with them. This was changed for the film. Justified in that, while Eva Green often gets naked in her movies, it is a family-oriented film.
  • The film adaptation of One Touch of Venus tried to avert this with the statue at least; one was constructed, modelled off the star Ava Gardner, accurately nude as Venus would have been in art. The Hays Code insisted that the statue be wearing clothes.
  • Perfect Pie has a much larger Rape Discretion Shot, the scene in the movie cutting away with the gang of teenage boys walking over to surround Marie as she started to panic; in the play, the scene only ended when they'd shoved her to the ground and were undoing their zippers as she began to have a seizure.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968) had the wild humans wearing loincloths, while they were nude in the book.
  • The costumes in the live-action Science Ninja Team Gatchaman movie are mostly faithful to the original anime, albeit with a more armored look. The major exception is Jun the Swan, who now wears pants like her male teammates instead of a skirt.
  • Sin City:
    • Exotic dancer Nancy Callahan does not dance with bare breasts and vulva as she does in the graphic novel, at the request of Jessica Alba, who plays her.
    • On the male side, Cardinal Roark, Dwight, and the Yellow Bastard all have clothes added to their nude scenes from the graphic novel (mostly to avoid Fan Disservice).
  • In-universe in Sirens. Norman Lindsey is doing a painting of the Sirens from Greek mythology, who are usually portrayed as naked seductresses. One of his models Giddy prefers to keep her clothes on, so her siren is to be wearing a dress. She later decides to pose nude afterall.
  • In Street Fighter, Cammy's outfit actually has pants this time.
  • In Summer Camp Nightmare, the boys of Camp North Pines swim around in swim trunks instead of naked as in The Butterfly Revolution, the book that the film was adapted from.
  • The Ten Commandments pushed the limits of the Hays Code in terms of the revealing dresses worn by Egyptian women (designed by legendary costume designer Edith Head). In actual fact, Egyptian women went around topless and wore little more than a skirt.
  • In Utøya: July 22, a reenactment of the Breivik Massacre (which happened on the island Utøya on 22. July 2011) from the perspective of the victims, nobody of the victims sheds any clothing, and it's implied the little boy died because he kept his bright jacket, the only exception being Kaja giving up her jacket in her attempt to help the wounded girl. In reality, many of the victims stripped down to their underwear, either because their upper clothing was too bright, or because they attempted to swim away, or to wade to the shore rocks.
  • Vampirella: They had to rework Vampirella's famous slingshot bikini costume for the 1996 movie to something slightly more modest because of its known propensity for Wardrobe Malfunction.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • In the original trilogy the main team wear black leather costumes that, while maybe tight, are generally covering the entire body. Other mutants tend to wear either casual street clothes or punk attire. This is all in contrast to the spandex, leotards and/or stripperiffic outfits that many characters use in the comics.
    • The exceptions are Mystique, who is actually less modest as they made her technically nude (naughty bits covered by her mutation) under the concept that she couldn't shapeshift her clothes, while her comic/cartoon counterparts typically wear something skimpy (interestingly, in the comics, her clothes even in her true form are also just made by her shapeshifting), and Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class (in which her classic look is almost restored; she wears what looks like lingerie in most of her scenes).
    • Storm is especially notable since most of her costumes either resemble leotards or bikinis, while her movie costumes rarely show any skin.
    • Rogue wears no bodysuit nor does she wear anything revealing at all.
    • Averted with X-Men: Apocalypse, where Psylocke wears a variant of her classic Jim Lee-designed thong from the 90s, while the X-Men themselves receive costumes with numerous nods to Lee's designs in the final scene. It would have been the case with her too, Bryan Singer planning on giving her a more modest black outfit. Her actress Olivia Munn, a huge fan of the character, insisted on having the famous Leotard of Power.
    • X-23 was introduced in NYX as an underage prostitute who very much dressed the part. She also tends to be one of the resident Ms Fanservices of whatever team she's serving on. Enforcing this trope was a deliberate consideration by James Mangold in the casting of 11 year-old Dafne Keen in Logan, as he wanted to avoid the trend of casting a hot twenty-something actress in a sexy costume.note 


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