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Belly Dancer / Live-Action Films

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  • Every. Egyptian. Movie. Ever. And most other Arabic-language ones too, come to think of it. A belly dance and dancer are to Arabic film what The Item Number and ItemGirl are to Bollywood.
  • Aladdin (2019)
  • A rare male example in the film Alexander; Bagoas, the Persian dancer who performs for Alex at one of the big banquets. (He was real, and so was that hot & steamy make-out session he has with Alex later in the film.)
    • A more traditional female example was Roxana's dance.
  • Around the World in 80 Days (2004), starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan, had a scene where Phileas Fogg, his assistant Jean Passepartout (played by Coogan and Jackie Chan respectively) and Monique were invited by a Turkish prince (played by the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger) into his palace. Fogg's group entered the palace and were met with dancers who performed to the prince's music from his oud.
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  • The 2011 documentary At Night, They Dance (original title: La nuit, elles dansent) shows the lives of a family of belly dancers led by a widow living in Cairo, Egypt.
  • In Batman: The Movie (the based on the tv show one from the 1960s), a belly dancer rises out a suspicious package and does the "dance of the seven veils" to distract several soldiers while she gasses them.
  • Bernard and Doris: After their trip from Sri Lanka, Doris takes a private moment with Bernard to explain the "inner meaning" of belly dance and sensuality, which possibly marks the first step of Doris trying to seduce Bernard for her own.
  • The 1966 Italian eurospy film Bob Fleming...Mission Casablanca (also released as Killers Are Challenged, original title being A 077, sfida ai killers) had a belly dancer twirl around for a few moments before grooving out to rock music with the attendees in the club she performed in.
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  • Cannonball Run 2. Scariest belly dancers ever.
  • From the British Carry On film series:
    • Carry On Columbus: When the Sultan of Turkey summons Fatima to his presence, she enters the main hall performing a quick dance, charming the Sultan before being handed her mission to stop Columbus from discovering the Indies.
    • Carry On Cruising: During the cruise's stop over at North Africa, Gladys and Flo end up purchasing belly dancer costumes as souvenirs and take a picture together, cosplaying as "harem girls of the Sultan".
    • Carry On Follow That Camel: Bo, Simpson and Knocker join together to enjoy a night at the Cafe ZigZig, where CorkTip, the local belly dancer, seduces Bo and Knocker into being captured by CorkTip's master, the Sheik Abulbul.
  • Used as part of a disguise/infiltration ploy in the first Charlie's Angels (2000) film.
  • In Charlie Wilson's War the congressman's girlfriend does a belly dance for some Egyptian bigwigs, one of whom comments that it doesn't resemble any belly dance he's ever seen (there are some definite pole-dancing moves).
    • Truth in Television: Egypt is one of the major traditional centers of belly dancing (see the main page), so the minister knew what he was talking about. Though the real woman also had a sword that made the bodyguards very nervous.
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    • The actress that played the belly dancer is Tracy Phillips, the daughter of the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, providing another tie between real-world Texas and the movie.
  • In the credits scene of The Comebacks, the team's star kicker, Jizminder Featherfoot, is shown to belly dance as a possible part of her exercise regimen. The scene would be considered out of place, had it not been for the film identifying itself as a sports film parody.
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) featured a dancer in a tavern, shortly after Conan (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) slayed a huge snake.
  • In Countess Dracula, a belly dancer from the circus performs in the tavern in an act of pure Fanservice.
  • One appears at the club where King, Annette and Bray enjoy their dinner in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb.
  • Dangerous Men: Before he is found by the police, Black Pepper and his mistress are entertained by a belly dancer before setting up for a session of making love.
  • The 2001 Turkish film Dansoz shows the daily life of a dancer and actually explores the social/cultural aspect of belly dancing in countries like Turkey, where belly dancing is not seen as simply an exotic art as much as it is really a rather huge social convention; in parties shown throughout the film, both men and women typically participate along with dancers in merriment.
  • One dancer is shown in Days of Wine and Roses.
  • Around the beginning of Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans, a topless dancer is shown inside a tavern, who continues to dance even when the tavern's occupants break out in a brawl.
  • The 1953 fantasy horror film Dracula in Istanbul (Drakula Istanbul'da in Turkish) features a dancer as a nightclub act.
  • One shows up in a really trippy sequence apparently involving drugged apples in the 1965 British comedy film The Early Bird.
  • The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) has a scene where a character dying of thirst hallucinates a belly dancer in the desert. It's all very trippy.
  • Goodbye Lenin: Alex walks in on his sister Ariane dancing in their living room one night, while Ariane's current boyfriend humorously joins in on the exercise, flailing his arms around to the beat.
  • The Great American Beauty Contest: In this 1973 satirical film, Farrah Fawcett's character performs a belly dance as her talent for the beauty contest.
  • The "Can You Dig It?" sequence in The Monkees' film Head takes place in a harem full of belly dancers.
  • The Beatles entered an Indian restaurant in their film Help!, where a dancer was performing before she was taken away by members of a suspicious cult.
  • The Hitman, featuring Chuck Norris, had one show up briefly right before Norris does what he does best: kicking butt and taking names.
  • In the Nazisploitation film Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, some of the servants of El Sharif perform whenever he has guests over in his palace. One of the belly dancers, however, turns out to be an American spy using her belly gem as a recording device, which is later discovered and dooms the spy to torture and eventually death.
  • In the 1976 Italian film Inhibitions, Carol and Anna finish a round of making love to each other before attending a Middle Eastern restaurant with a dancer performing.
  • The Invincible Six: One night, in the village that the six main leads are trying to protect, Zara performs a dance in the local bar, to the delight of Giorgio despite his drunkenness.
  • Several in the James Bond films:
    • Also in Casino Royale (1967) which was, err... a movie with James Bond in it.
    • From Russia with Love: There's one under the opening credits and another in a dance scene at a gypsy camp.
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: She was the lover of one of the villain's former victims, and after he died, started wearing the golden bullet used to kill him in her navel when she performed. Bond needed the bullet as evidence and... Well, suffice to say, getting it from her wasn't easy.
  • The 1965 Cold War spoof John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! is chockful of dancers, all who perform for the deranged Sultan of Fawzia. Shirley MacLaine and Nai Bonet were two of the dancers in this film.
  • The 2012 film Just Like A Woman had its two female protagonists drive across the country, performing as belly dancers in bars and nightclubs, while running away from a possible murder charge and a failing marriage.
  • One of the shadow puppets from Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
  • Killjoy 3: Once Sandy enters Killjoy's world, he forces her into a belly dancer's costume he conjured up with magic and has her dance for him. Sandy uses the opportunity to distract Killjoy and make Batty Boop envious.
  • The incredibly raunchy film King Frat has a dancer perform in the frat party that occurs after the main event of the film...a farting contest.
  • Adrienne Canterna in Life with Mikey.
  • Rhonda Flemming in the movie Little Egypt.
  • Several dancers are shown inside the Blue Fez restaurant in The Man with Bogart's Face.
  • Muttertag: A couple of the Austrian housewives hold a private dance session for their exercise regimen, which somehow escalates into a photo shoot shortly after.
  • One of the leads of the investigation of the main case is shown to be dancing in The Night Strangler.
  • No Way Out. Government agents are going through a list of every gift that's been received from foreign governments. One of the gifts listed is a dancing girl, with a note that this particular 'gift' was refused.
  • Paradise: In the beginning of the film, David goes out to fetch some water and overhears music and cheering nearby. He goes to investigate and is treated to the movements of a flirtatious dancer.
  • The Promise: Early in the movie, the protagonists watch a Turkish dancer perform in a club. She also invites Ana, an Armenian ballerina, to perform alongside her and they do it pretty well.
  • The 1969 Chinese thriller Raw Passions begins with a nightclub act, where the lead singer performs a number that quickly transforms into a belly dance performance once the singer discards her shawl.
  • There was a six-breasted alien in Jabba's palace who appeared to be a bellydancer in Return of the Jedi. In Tales from Jabba's Palace, we learn that she is actually 'fat dancer', a kind of performance that the Hutts prefer. She was selected for his performance because her species have fat cells that work like a sponge, allowing her to appear much, much fatter by absorbing water. This ability, plus the fake warts she is forced to wear, allow her to look like Jabba's mom.
    • Moving right along, Jabba's also got some more traditional examples in the human and twi'lek dancers. Although he seems to prefer feeding them to giant monsters.
    • Slave Leia anyone?
  • Sabah is a 2005 indie film about the titular character, who is a 40-year-old single Syrian immigrant living in Toronto, and her romantic adventure with a non-Muslim. When she finds interest with a Canadian man, she has her niece teach her how to dance in order to seduce her new lover. The next time Sabah meets with her lover, she dances (wearing regular clothes and not a bedlah) and it works, leading to a passionate night between the two.
  • In the Tunesian movie Satin Rouge, widowed Hiam Abbass lands in a cabaret (a raunchy, male only cafe featuring belly dancers) when she wants to confront her teenage daughters lover, who works there as a musician. She ends up dancing herself.
  • In The Secret of the Grain (original title La Graine et le Mulet) by Abdellatif Kechiche, the stepdaughter of an Arab restaurant owner, upon finding that the main course can't be served on time at the opening night, begins an improvised belly dance that has the entire audience transfixed. It provides the movie with its climax.
  • The opening scene of the 1965 film adaptation of She finds Leo, Holly, and Job in a Cairo bar taking in some belly dancers. One of the dancers apparently decided to up the Fanservice factor by going with pasties over her nipples rather than any kind of bra.
  • If a Sinbad movie does not feature one of these, be very surprised.
  • The leading female in Slumdog Millionaire wears a very beautiful midriff-baring outfit, complete with big amounts of jewellery while she's about to be rented for the first time (the dance was part of the advertisement) when the lead finds her again after being separated from her.
  • The 1983 Disney adaptation of Something Wicked This Way Comes had a troupe of belly dancers performing inside a tent as one of the attractions in a carnival.
  • In The Son of the Sheik, this is Yasmin's job with her traveling vaudeville troupe. Unbeknownst to her, the rest of the troupe has a profitable side business in kidnapping and robbery.
  • Ten Violent Women: By the end of the film, the fate of two of the team of thieves is as follows: to be separated from the rest of the group, drowning in debt and no jewels, only to be offered a chance aboard a sultan's yacht as the new belly dancers in his harem. Seeing no other way out, the women take up the offer.
  • In the 1964 heist film Topkapi, Walter and his group of thieves pass off as tourists and attend a Turkish sporting event while trying to steer clear of the Turkish police who are spying on them. Walter pretends to take photographs of the sporting event and the surrounding goings-on around the stadium; he notices a belly dancer mid-performance and takes photos of her, quickly leaving just in time for the sneaking Turkish officer to be humiliated by the dancer by being tripped by her veil.
  • Theatre of Death: The cut from the theatre to the party in Davras' home opens with a close up of the navel of a belly dancer who is performing.
  • Videodrome: A belly dancer shows up in the restaurant where Masha reveals more about Videodrome to Max.
  • In Waiting for Guffman, one is shown to be one of the people auditioning for the main musical of the film.
  • Anisa Guzman is even credited as such in Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman!
  • The sexiness is subverted in Where the Spies Are (1965), where the amateur spy played by David Niven watches a belly dance while listening to his veteran agent partner grumble about how he's met "more randy girls back in England than in the mysterious bloody East." Niven does get involved with the belly dancer though, who also turns out to be a spy.
  • In Wholly Moses!, featuring Dudley Moore, the city of New Sodom is filled with many a dancer, looking to partake in temptation with whomever they can seduce.
  • Parodied hilariously in Wild Wild West, after Kevin Kline has been captured by the big bad, Will Smith shows up to rescue him, dressed as a belly dancer. It's hilarious. Especially when his pasties turn out to be flame throwers.

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