Body Heat (1981)

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Lawrence Kasdan directs Kathleen Turner, William Hurt and Ted Danson in this neo-noir erotic thriller where an incompetent lawyer starts an affair with a manipulative trophy wife. 

For sexiness and sultry-ness Body Heat cannot be beat. You feel the constantly visible steam from the screen scald your face in every scene. Turner’s conniving knockout makes everyone sweat. She does smart and wounded and aloof just as well as she seduces. Just like Kasdan is deftly modernising all the tired 40s noir tropes, Kathleen is vamping fearlessly through all the nearly forgotten femme fatale moves – Gilda but where the white dresses cling tighter, and come off easier. It is an iconic performance, one that retains all its playful mystery even when she is buck naked. Hurt is a shlubby foil, you don’t care enough about his mark. This hampers the film. But hidden away in the cracks of the roll call are neat experiments in casting. Both Danson and Mickey Rourke make early impressions as a tap dancing D.A. and friendly arsonist respectively.

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