Film: Body Heat

Body Heat is a 1981 neo-noir erotic thriller. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan and stars William Hurt and Kathleen Turner.

Ned Racine is an incompetent and sleazy Florida lawyer who begins an affair with Matty, a seductive woman married to a wealthy man. Fearful that her husband would find out about them and leave her penniless, Matty convinced Ned to kill her husband so they can be together.


This film provides examples of:

  • Ambulance Chaser: Even before being seduced into a murder plot, it's clear that William Hurt's character is a particularly disreputable low-rent lawyer.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The manipulative villainess has effortlessly manipulated the dumb lawyer throughout the film and convinced him to murder her rich husband. She fakes her own death and leaves the country with her late husband's money, while the lawyer is left to take the rap for two homicides.
  • Black Widow: Matty/Mary Ann
  • Empathic Environment/Heat Wave: The film takes place during an especially hot Florida summer.
  • Tropical Epilogue: Kathleen Turner's character ends this way, whatever her name may be.
  • The Vamp: Mary Ann Simpson is explicitly labeled "The Vamp" in her high school yearbook. She's Kathleen Turner's character, which we've been lead to believe is Matty Tyler Walker, and is playing Ned Racine, the real Matty Tyler, and her husband for all they are worth.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Like Double Indemnity (which it's a vague remake of), it's based on the 1927 Snyder-Gray murder.