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36
4.4 out of 5 stars
Body Heat [Blu-ray] [2008] [US Import]
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
This film is simply top notch. With deft direction by Lawrence Kasdan, a stellar cast, and a clever, well thought out script written by the director himself, this is a moody, atmospheric film, reminiscent of those potboilers of the nineteen forties. Highly stylized, the film tautly maintains its tension and suspense.
The plot is simple, yet ingenious. In steamy, hot and sultry coastal Florida, a beautiful blonde, unhappily married socialite, Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner), a veritable man trap with her smoky voice and Venus de Milo curves, meets a womanizing chump, Ned Racine (William Hurt), a small town, not too successful lawyer. He can't believe his luck when he hooks up with the wealthy Matty, as most of the women with whom he consorts work as waitresses, nurses, or in other service occupations. Better yet, the sexy, alluring Matty seems to want him as much as he wants her, and a torrid affair ensues.
Matty is married to a rapacious business man, Edmund Walker (Richard Crenna), whom Matty wants to have permanently removed. He is definitely a man with whom to reckon and the type of guy that takes no prisoners. He is, quite simply, a ruthless businessman, and the type of guy one loves to hate. He is also rich, very rich. Matty claims that she cannot divorce him without losing her wealthy life style, due to a draconian pre-nuptial agreement. Matty, in between huge dollops of steamy sex, does not hesitate to tell Ned how much she loves and wants him and that, were her husband were to die, all that money would be theirs. Beneath her love goddess exterior, however, lies a mind like a steel trap.
As Matty slowly spins her web and ensnares Ned, like a mouse in a trap, he falls into lock step with Matty's homicidal plans. What he does not initially realize is the extent of Matty's perfidy and deceit, until it is too late. As the realization of what actually has happened begins slowly to dawn upon Ned, it is a thing of on screen beauty and an absolutely brilliant contrivance with which to push the film further along to its ultimate resolution. What initially appears to be just a film about sexual obsession turns out to be something quite different, with enough plot twists to keep the viewer riveted to the screen.
It is hard to believe that this was Ms. Turner's screen debut, so powerful a performance does she turn in. She is absolutely mesmerizing as the sexy siren with an agenda all her own. Just as she reels in Ned Racine, she reels in the viewer, as well, hook, line, and sinker. William Hurt is also terrific as the bottom of the barrel attorney who realizes too late that all is not what it seems. He approaches the role with the right amount of naivete, not letting the sleaze factor overwhelm the character. In the final analysis, there is a measure of sympathy for him, such as that for a little boy who is found with his hand caught inside the cookie jar, no easy feat given the nature of the character's actions.
A goofy looking Ted Danson is excellent in the small role of Peter Lowenstein, the State's attorney and Ned's friend, who suspects that Ned may be involved in the death of Edmund Walker. He, too, plays a game of cat and mouse with him. J. A. Preston is wonderful as Ned's friend and the detective investigator who follows the homicide investigation no matter where it leads. Mickey Rourke is very good as Ned's client and small time criminal, as well as a man who seems to have more sense than his lawyer.
This is a superlative film that is well worth having in one's collection. Bravo!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2000
One of my favourite films (others are The Usual Suspects, Apocalypse Now, The Sixth Sense, Diner and Diva).
This film sustains repeated viewing because of the atmosphere generated by the director, which conjures up the heady, sweaty Florida heatwave; the greed, lust and deviousness of it's two main protagonists, and the wonderful score by John Barry.
The script is superb, the performance of William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Mickey Rourke (it was Turner's and Rourke's debut) are exceptional, and the plot is just a dream come true.
If you like films that will entertain you, and then leave you feeling dumb at the end because of a plot twist, then this is for you.
See it, and drink in it's atmosphere, and I hope (like The Sixth Sense) that the first thing you want to do after watching it, is watch it again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2011
Written and Directed by Lawrence Kasdan Body Heat (1981) exploits the personal style of it's stars to insinuate itself. Body Heat is a movie about a woman who gets a man to commit murder for her. Kathleen Turner who in her debut role played a woman so sexually confident that we can believe her lover (William Hurt) could be dazed into doing almost anything for her.

Women are rarely allowed to be bold and devious in the movies; most directors are men, and they see women as goals, prizes, enemies, lovers and friends, but rarely as protagonists. Turner's entrance in Body Heat announces that she is the film's center of power. It is a hot, humid night in Florida. Hurt, playing a cocky (but lazy) lawyer named Ned Racine, is strolling on a pier where a band is listlessly playing. He is behind the seated audience. We can see straight down the center aisle to the bandstand. All is dark and red and orange. Suddenly a woman in white stands up, turns around and walks straight toward him. This is Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner). To see her is to need her. "You're not too smart," Matty tells Ned at their first meeting. "I like that in a man."

Matty is trapped in comfortable domesticity, married to a wealthy land speculator (Richard Crenna). But her ambition is "to be rich and live in an exotic land." The insurance money that would be hers with her husband's death represents air fare to that dream world. And Ned: lousy lawyer, good pal, nice guy & week-end stud may prove to be her passport.

Turner in her first movie role was an intriguing original. Slender, with hair down to her shoulders. Hurt was still unfamiliar: a tall, indolently handsome man with a certain lazy arrogance to his speech, as if amused by his own intelligence. It is important that the man not be a dummy; he needs to be smart enough to think of the plan himself. One of the brilliant touches of Kasdan's screenplay is the way he makes Ned Racine think he is the initiator of Matty Walker's plans.

Few movies have done a better job of evoking the weather (where performers routinely complain about how warm they are). The characters here are constantly in heat; there is a scene where Ned comes home, takes off his shirt and stands in front of the open refrigerator. The film opens with an inn burning in the distance ("Somebody's torched it to clear the lot," Ned says. "Probably one of my clients.") There are other fires. There is the use of the colour red. There is the sense that heat inflames passion and encourages madness and lust. Perhaps evoking pornographic connotations. The film and the other characters sweat with Matty Walker. Perspiration stains the satin sheets as Ned and Matty make love; and after, there is dew on the down of her back as she caresses and coaxes him - leading Ned on by his lust toward acts of passion and murder.

In many movies, the killers use self-justification and rationalisation to talk themselves into murder. There is a chilling scene where Ned flatly tells Matty: "That man is gonna die for no reason but...we want him to."

The plot and its double-crosses are of course part of the pleasure, I found the final pay-off less rewarding than the diabolical setup. The closing scenes are obligatory. The last scene that works as drama is the one where Ned suggests to Matty that she go get the glasses in the boathouse, and then she pauses on the lawn to tell him, "Ned, whatever you think...I really do love you."

Does she? That's what makes the movie so intriguing. Does he love her, for that matter? Or is he swept away by sexual intoxication - body heat?

Body Heat is good enough to make film noir play like we hadn't seen it before.
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I seriously recommend the region 1 Deluxe Edition dvd. If you don't own a multi region player you may want to try converting yours as I did. It's not always possible but just Google dvd hack codes and from there you can easily find out if your player can access a code (it is free & legal just in case your worried).
This edition features - new digital director approved transfer - lifted scenes - 3 new featurettes (2006) - vintage interviews with William Hurt & Kathleen Turner - theatrical trailer (this is actually well worth watching). All these features are worthwhile, most importantly the transfer.
As for the film itself, I guess all I can add to the previous reviews is my knowledge of Film Noir. I have had a small obsession with the subject for most of my adult life and the number of movies I've seen from the genre is extensive. I still have a great affection even for modern Noir but none have come close to Body Heat. I won't say it's better than some of the originals but it holds a solid place alongside and in my opinion is one of the very best films of the 80's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2014
This is a film I have watched at least three times in the past, so wanted it 'on the shelf'. The plot is brilliant and the atmosphere created during the hot summer nights as the plot builds is also very clever. William Hurt and Kathleen Turner work well together. It's an old film now in 2014, but never seems dated to me.
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on 6 December 2013
A wonderful film that really does keep you entertained right up until the credits run. Kathleen Turner and William Hurt give excellent performances and the plot and script are so clever that it makes you realise how few films measure up to Lawrence Kasdan's superb slice of neo-noir.
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on 31 December 2013
This film director went out to make a modern day classic film noir movie and succeeded ten fold. It has all the ingredients a film noir must have and more supported by an original film soundtrack score which I listen too all of the time. Get it or regret it later!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2012
I remember seeing this first in my late teens. The murder thriller is set in steamy Florida and the weather is only matched for its fire by the affair between William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. She involves him in a murder plot to kill her husband but only in the last 10 minutes does William Hurt find out the real truth about his love affair. The action between the 2 lovers is genuinely erotic without being explicit and given I had a real crush on a drop dead georgous Kathleen Turner at aged 19, this was a real trip down memory lane for me.
One for every man in late middle age who might dream of his youth and being targetted by a sexy married woman! Dream on!!!
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on 30 October 2014
The story of the film is good. Seems dated now. The sexual chemistry between the characters were good.
I haven't seen this film for many years so it was good to watch it again
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on 19 June 2015
Tempted to give it 4 stars because of the ending, otherwise a bit haphazard as it moves along, definitely suffers from being a bit of its time. May watch better in 10 yrs time.
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