7.4/10
23,813
156 user 79 critic

Body Heat (1981)

Trailer
1:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,354 ( 988)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A devious sexpot steals her husband's drug money and hides out in a small town where she meets the perfect dupe for her next scheme.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg, Bill Pullman
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis
Body Double (1984)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry
The Big Chill (1983)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow
Klute (1971)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi
Blow Out (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband. Once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway
The Grifters (1990)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening
Diner (1982)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A group of college-age buddies struggle with their imminent passage into adulthood in 1959 Baltimore.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon
Grand Canyon (1991)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Grand Canyon revolved around six residents from different backgrounds whose lives intertwine in modern-day Los Angeles. At the center of the film is the unlikely friendship of two men from ... See full summary »

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Edmund Walker
...
...
...
Teddy Lewis
...
Jane Hallaren ...
Lanna Saunders ...
Roz Kraft
Carola McGuinness ...
Heather Kraft
Michael Ryan ...
Miles Hardin
Larry Marko ...
Judge Costanza
Deborah Lucchesi ...
Beverly
Lynn Hallowell ...
Angela
...
Michael Glenn (as Thom J. Sharp)
Edit

Storyline

Ned Racine is a seedy small town lawyer in Florida. During a searing heatwave he's picked up by married Matty Walker. A passionate affair commences but it isn't long before they realise the only thing standing in their way is Matty's rich husband Edmund. A plot hatches to kill him but will they pull it off? Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As the temperature rises, the suspense begins. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 August 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuerpos ardientes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Lawrence Kasdan wanted unknowns to star in the film so there would be a sense of discovery as if they were real. See more »

Goofs

Fog depicted in some scenes, is unheard of along the South Florida coast in summertime. See more »

Quotes

Ned: How's the cop business, Oscar?
Oscar: Real good. Always starts hopping in weather like this. When it gets this hot, people try to kill each other.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Counselor (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Feeling
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Played in the score in a bar and at a concert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I'm sweating
19 September 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

This is a very cleverly contrived sexploitation thriller, penned and directed by the talented Lawrence Kasdan. It stars Academy-Award winner (Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1985) William Hurt with a mustache and a dangling cigarette as Ned Racine, a not overly bright Florida lawyer smitten by Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner in her steamy film debut) a rich housewife with a husband she hates, and a yearning to breathe free. Shades of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, both triangle murder tales made into film noirs.

Kasdan is cribbing, but I forgive him since in some ways his film is an improvement on both the novels and the films they inspired, plus his is a kind of satire on those films with numerous witticisms. I especially liked it when Matty describes her husband, Edmund, a hard-nosed and successful financier played repulsively by Richard Crenna: "I can't stand the thought of him. He's small and mean and weak." Ned gives this some serious thought and then kisses her on the head like she's a good little girl.

Not too much later, after the first mention of the murder, immediately in the very next scene, Kasdan does a little foreshadowing with lawyer Ned visiting the jail. The steel door clangs shut behind him, startling him and causing him to jump in fright. I also liked the fog on the night of the murder, and I especially liked it when Ned, after putting the body in the trunk, closes the lid to reveal Matty standing there directly in our line of sight, a kind of visual witticism. I also liked the scene in which the lawyers are sitting around the varnished wood with Matty and the woman she has shrewdly cheated, and the lead lawyer asks if anyone would like to smoke. Everybody (except Ted Danson) eagerly and immediately lights up. Ted says he'll just breathe the air. This is a little in-joke satire by Kasdan on the fact that Hollywood movies of the day were financially encouraged by the tobacco companies to show the players happily puffing away as often as possible.

William Hurt really is excellent, almost as good as he was in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and that was very good indeed. Turner is completely believable as a voracious and greedy femme fatale with a wondrous criminal mind. The dialogue is sharp and clever throughout; especially interesting are the dueling "pick-up" rejoinders by Ned and Matty when they first meet. Noteworthy is the performance of Ted Danson of TV's "Cheers" fame as a prosecutor in black-rimmed specs. He has some spiffy lines of his own and he does a great job, as does Mickey Rourke as Teddy Lewis, Ned's fire-bombing buddy.

The plot twists are in some sense anticipated, but the exact nature of their unfolding is fascinating to watch. Indeed, Kasdan's snappy direction of his diabolically wicked tale is practically seamless. This is not to say that it was perfect. I have to point out that the scene in which Matty is in the tub with Ned and he dumps more ice cubes in to cool her off is a little on the contrived side since they surely had air conditioning. She claims to a natural body temperature of 100, reminding me of the classic rock lyric, "I'm hot-blooded, check it and see/I've got a temperature of a hundred and three." Also Matty's seduction of Ned was a little too fortuitous. I don't think she would have left so much to chance. But I liked the beginning anyway because it led us to believe that this would be a tale of sexual obsession (which in part it is) and not just an adulterous murder thriller. I also could not, even though I rewound the video, catch what was said in the final scene. (Probably that's just my ears going the way of the waist line.)

Be advised that the sex is indeed steamy. If explicit sex offends you, you will be offended. Of course I was not. Indeed I found it somewhat refreshing to see a movie in which there is only sexual appetite without any pretense of love or redemption, just lust and its accompanying disillusionment.

This is film noir for 1981 just before the rise of AIDS and the sexual self-censorship that Hollywood embraced (as it switched to more explicit violence). See it with your mistress.


48 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Should be regarded as one of the greatest film noir movies of all time nextnamenottaken
Films like body heat rustynail925
'It is hot.' Meggie-3
In Memorable lines from the movie. bommerito1
Does anybody how the boathouse at the end of the movie blew up? abkatz687
Clown . ohara825
Discuss Body Heat (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?