Body Heat Movie Review

Cinematic debuts don't get much more impressive than Lawrence Kasdan had with Body Heat, a film that propelled William Hurt and Kathleen Turner into stardom, while setting a reference point for one of cinema's most reliable directors (the execrable Dreamcatcher notwithstanding).

The setup is classic noir that follows the rigid three-act screenplay structure that only a Hollywood newcomer could stringently abide by, and here it works. Body Heat is a reference thriller because it sticks so perfectly in the genre, dutifully throwing in the three twists we require to keep us on our toes, no more and no less.

Turner is Matty Walker, a sultry woman who woos semi-bumbling yet horny Florida lawyer Ned Racine into bed, noting that her body temperature runs "a few degrees hot." Apparently this has melted her brain just enough to turn her into a criminal mastermind. Soon she's got Ned (Hurt) in cahoots to kill her rich husband, and of course she's got him convinced that it's his idea... and that he'll end up with her on the beach when it's all over.

Need I suggest that things go sour? And that Matty might be playing Ned for a fool? Well the fun in Body Heat isn't in discovering that Matty's a bad girl, but in watching how her machinations play out. We know they're coming, we just don't know how.

Turner is incredibly good here in the usual kind of sultry role you see Rebecca de Mornay in, and she amazingly kept her career from drifting into B-movie vamp typecasting. Hurt is equally good and hard not to sympathize with. We know he's going to get burned, no matter how early he figures it all out. The sex is just too good. Kudos as well to a young Ted Danson, who turns what would normally be a boring investigator role into something unique by wearing a pale blue suit and practicing tap dancing any time he's waiting for other characters or walking to his car. Priceless.

The new, remastered DVD of the film includes several deleted scenes, three retrospective featurettes, and a 1981 interview with the stars.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : Fred T. Gallo


Body Heat Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: R, 1981


More William Hurt

Days And Nights Trailer

Elizabeth (Allison Janney), a young movie star is heading off to spend time with her family over Memorial Day in 1980s rural New England. She...

The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby Trailer

Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) play a couple who fall in love and get married, before hitting various hiccups in their relationship. However,...

'Midnight Rider' Director, Producer Surrender to Police over Freight Train Death

Midnight Rider director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savan have surrendered to police following their indictment in the death of film crew member Sarah Jones....

'Midnight Rider' Director Randall Miller Faces Charges Of Involuntary Manslaughter Relating To Sarah Jones' Death

The director of Midnight Rider, Randall Miller, and two other crew members have been indicted by a grand jury for involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass...


Manslaughter Charges For "Midnight Rider" Director And Producers Might Bring About A Positive Change In The Industry

Since a camera assistant working on the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider died during the production and director Randall Miller was charged with involuntary slaughter...

After Crew Member's Death, Director And Producers Of "Midnight Rider" Face Ten Years For Manslaughter

Ahead of the release of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider, the film’s director and producers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass...

Gregg Allman Drops Lawsuit Over 'Midnight Rider' Movie Rights

Gregg Allman has agreed to drop his lawsuit against the producers who were making a movie about his life until a freight train killed a...

Greg Allman Biopic 'Midnight Rider' On Hold After Crew Member Killed By A Train

Production has been suspended on the set of the Greg Allman biopic, Midnight Rider, after a member of the film crew was fatally injured by...