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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Body Heat (1981)

A rather seedy lawyer (William Hurt) pursues the wealthy wife (Kathleen Turner) of a very rich but crooked businessman (Richard Crenna). Spurred on by passion and greed, they concoct a plan to murder the husband for his money. But the road to Hell is paved with unexpected twists and turns. This outstanding neo-noir, a clever updating of Billy Wilder's 1944 DOUBLE INDEMNITY, was the directorial debut of writer Lawrence Kasdan and the film debut of Turner. While it doesn't have the complexities or intricacies of CHINATOWN, the film is rich in mood and style and a killer performance by Turner, who was compared by critics to Lauren Bacall. But Turner gives us the real deal that Bacall faked. It's not all Turner's show by a long shot, she is matched every step of the way by her partner William Hurt, who plays the dupe to perfection. The cinematographer Richard H. Kline captures the muggy humidity of a hot Florida summer and John Barry's sensual score (one of his finest) propels the film forward. With Mickey Rourke, Ted Danson and J.A. Preston.

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