The bath - is there no better place for complete relaxation? Many notable personalities over the years have thought so; sparing no expense to enjoy their downtime in the tub.

Lovers of spa baths

Hugh Hefner - Playboy

Hugh Hefner bath grotto

(Courtesy of Everett Collection)

The late Hugh Hefner was almost always in his bathrobe. The man lived in a hot tub when he wasn’t wading in the infamous grotto with celebrities and a posse of Playboy Mansion Playmates.

It would be hard to satisfy a man like Hugh. But if he was still with us today, he’d probably enjoy scrubbing up in a spa bath.


Tony Montana - Scarface

Scarface spa bath

(Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

 

Another man who would enjoy some bubbles is the cocaine kingpin himself - Tony Montana.

Montana, played brilliantly by Al Pacino, crosses business with pleasure in his lavish marble spa bath in Scarface; discussing his wealth and power while chomping on a fat Cuban cigar.


Julia Roberts - Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman spa bath

(Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures/Silver Screen Partners IV)

This 1990 take on the classic ‘Cinderella story’ features Julia Roberts in the luxurious spa bath of the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, multiple times.

In one scene, we see Roberts’ character, Vivian Ward, singing Prince at the top of her best bathroom singing voice. Who hasn’t been caught testing out those acoustics in the shower or bath?


Corner baths

Precogs - Minority Report

Minority Report precogs bath

(Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox/DreamWorks Pictures/Cruise/Wagner/Blue Tulip Productions/Ronald Shusett/Gary Goldman/Amblin Entertainment/Digital Image Associates)

The precogs from Minority Report didn’t need bubbles from a spa bath. They preferred the silence and serenity of still water.

A corner bath with room for a companion can be a good alternative to a large free standing bath or spa bath.


Free standing baths

Leonardo di Caprio - Inception

The free standing bath plays an important role in Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi blockbuster, serving as a device to awaken those from a surreal sub-conscious state of mind.

This resulting impact of this awakening kick is played out in the first part of the film in sensational fashion.


Brad Pitt - Fight Club

Fight Club bath

(Courtesy of Fox 2000 Pictures/Regency Enterprises/Linson Films/Atman Entertainment/Knickerbocker Films/Taurus Film)

 

Tyler, Brad Pitt, recuperates in the bath after a spontaneous fight precluding the beginning of the movie’s namesake. He loosely discusses life, philosophy and who the most desired opponent would be in a fight - all of the things some of us could be pondering in the bath.


Ernie - Sesame Street 

Really, who loves a bath better than Ernie from Sesame Street? His free standing bath is more than big enough to hang out with his favourite rubber ducky.

 

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Standard baths 

The Dude - The Big Lebowski

 

The Big Lebowski bath

(Courtesy of Polygram Filmed Entertainment/Working Title Films)

 

The Dude from The Big Lebowski didn’t need an extravagant bathtub in his modest LA flat. Jeff Bridges’ character has all the shelving space he needs for candles, shampoo and other relaxation essentials in his standard wall-mounted bath.

 

Then comes the interrogation by the group of nihilists with a vicious marmot…  

 

The Godfather: Part II - Frankie Pentangeli

The Godfather: Part II bath

(Courtesy of A Paramount Picture/A Coppola Company Production)

 

A more somber application for a standard bath is demonstrated in The Godfather: Part II. Before veteran Corleone capo Frank Pentageli has a chance to testify in front of a congressional hearing, he meets with consigliere Tom Hagen. He asks Tom for advice on what he can do now, after falling for a trap and informing on the Corleone family for the FBI.

Tom and Frankie discuss how the old Corleone family used to operate more like an army of the Roman Empire and how those plotting against the Empire could save their family from financial ruin, if they failed, by taking their own lives. Frankie’s fate is revealed shortly after.


Natalie Portman - Black Swan

More complexities of Natalie Portman’s character, Nina Sayers, are explored in this scene as she attempts to unwind from the stresses of securing the role of the black swan.

Just as she slips fully into the bath, a couple of blood droplets stir her before being confronted by the hallucination of Lily, played by Mila Kunis. It’s another moment in the film when Nina becomes more self-aware of her mental condition.


Jennifer Connelly - Requiem for a Dream

 

Requiem for a Dream bath

(Courtesy of Artisan Entertainment/Thousand Words/Sibling/Protozoa/Industry/Bandeira Entertainment/Requiem for a Dream/Truth and Soul Pictures)

 

In another one of Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller, a bathtub is used to depict the mental frailties and anguish of the drug-addicted Marion Silver, played by Jennifer Connelly.

Interestingly, Aronofsky had to have the filming rights bought from Satoshi Kon’s anime feature, Perfect Blue.


A Nightmare on Elm Street - Heather Langenkamp

 

Nightmare on Elm Street bath

(Courtesy of The Elm Street Venture)

 

It’s an iconic horror film scene, seeing Freddy Krueger’s hand reach for Heather Langenkamp’s character Nancy as she nods off in the bath. After she ignores her mother’s warning that she could drown in a soapy slumber, Freddy pulls her into the depths of his shared twisted fantasy realm.

 

She narrowly escapes the near-dream-death-experience and is able to struggle out of the bathtub.

 

Winona Ryder Ellen von Unwerth portrait

Winona Ryder bath

(Courtesy of Ellen von Unwerth)

Proof that a standard bathtub doesn’t have to be associated with murder, torture or mental instability is Ellen von Unwerth’s famous portrait of Winona Ryder.

Or maybe not, if it was a homage to Ryder’s standout performance during her face-off with Whoopi Goldberg in Girl Interrupted.