Body Heat

Film Title

Body Heat


Lawrence Kasdan


  • William Hurt as Ned Racine
  • Kathleen Turner as Matty Walker
  • Richard Crenna as Edmund Walker
  • Ted Danson as Peter Lowenstein
  •  J.A. Preston as Oscar Grace
  • Mickey Rourke as Teddy Lewis

A truly scintillating and wicked neo noir, Body Heat provides dark-hearted and sexy viewing as temperatures rise and danger lurks. As the directing debut of Lawrence Kasdan, he crafts a sultry tale of seduction and murder that burns with an erotic frisson and superb performances from the leads William Hurt and Kathleen Turner. With this being my first viewing of the film after hearing all the praise it had received, I’m happy to report that Body Heat more than lived up to my expectations.

The setting is Florida as a sweltering and unbearable heat wave grips the area. Body Heat PosterNed Racine is a sleazy lawyer who is bored and not exactly the sharpest guy out there. One fateful night while out, he encounters the seductive Matty Walker, a woman married to a very rich man. It is lust at first sight as Ned becomes entranced with the gorgeous Matty and soon begins a steamy affair with her while her husband is away. As the affair grows more intense, Matty begins to plant the seed of killing her husband. It appears that having signed a prenup, Matty wouldn’t inherit anything of her husbands fortune from a divorce. Only if her husband dies first does everything of value go to her. Matty and NedIncreasingly bewitched by Matty, Ned agrees to it hoping that his workings with the law will enable the two to escape from justice. Successfully going through with it, Ned kills and seems to cover up any sign of murder, staging it as an arson job that went wrong. Yet as events take a darker turn, the bewildered Ned begins to realise that the alluring Matty has other ideas of her own and for the whole time has used him for her own gain in a devious plan. Yet by this point, it could be too late for Ned as he becomes prime suspect in the case that Matty so cunningly orchestrated and ensnared him in.

Lawrence Kasdan, as writer and debuting director, is on fine form in both seats. Respectfully giving notice to the dark noir of the past and updating it with a sexy pulse, he makes sure Body Heat is deliciously dark and wicked as hell. As writer, he contributes a smart, crackling script laced with double entendres and a keen sense of events unraveling slowly but very surely in a suitably dark and dangerous style. Ned Racine Body HeatWith this movies, the talented Kasdan works utter wonders in the way he brings out the dangerous machinations that femme fatale Matty has crafted in a slow burning way and cloaks them in a sweltering and sexual ambience. There are some excellent moments of dark foreshadowing that are peppered through Body Heat as warnings for Ned that he misses as the plot becomes more sinister.The heatwave that grips steamy Florida almost becomes a character itself and as an audience, we can feel the sweat and steamy passion sizzling from every frame. I think it’s safe to say that after viewing Body Heat, you may need to cool down from the sizzling heat of it all. Body Heat Bath SceneAnd speaking of sizzling, no discussion of Body Heat would be complete without talking about the erotic encounters between Ned and Matty. Strikingly shot in bold oranges and shadows, they form the darkly passionate core of the movie and the chemistry between Hurt and Turner practically sets the screen on fire. A score accentuated with smooth jazz from John Barry goes a long way in helping set the sultry tone of this masterful thriller.

William Hurt is well cast as Ned, capturing the womanizing nature, easily lead and naive mannerisms of him as he quickly becomes trapped in Matty’s plan and can’t see no way out as he is clearly in over his head because of his blinding passion for her. Yet the biggest impression made in Body Heat is from Kathleen Turner, in what was her debut role. Matty WalkerSeductive, husky voiced and coldly calculating beneath the surface, Turner is marvellous at imbuing Matty with a dark sense of deception, masked by come hither glances and sexual energy. It is the definition of a star making role and Turner knows it as she creates a modern femme fatale who is bad to the bone and as manipulative as they come, constantly two steps ahead of all the other characters. Engaging supporting performances from Richard Crenna as the ill-fated husband, Ted Danson as Ned’s nerdy prosecutor friend and Oscar Grace as a detective thinking that Ned knows more than he’s telling all contribute their presence to the film. And watch out for an early performance from Mickey Rourke as one of Ned’s former clients who supplies him with the means to go through with murder.

Body Heat is an excellent example of how to successfully create a neo noir with just the right amount of hat-tipping to the past and the perfect contemporary setting for modern audiences.

Yield to the Night

Film Title

Yield to the Night


J. Lee Thompson


  • Diana Dors as Mary Hilton
  • Yvonne Mitchell as Matron MacFarlane
  • Michael Craig as Jim Lancaster
  • Geoffrey Keen as Prison Chaplain

A crime drama that also functions as an impassioned plea against the death penalty, Yield to the Night chronicles the last days of a murderess’ life by revealing what drove her to the act in flashback. Grimly powerful and featuring a truly convincing performance from Diana Dors, it really makes a startling impact and still holds up remarkably well today.

The movie begins with a beautiful young blonde woman calmly approaching a glamorous woman as she enters her London home. Yield to the Night OpeningWithout warning, the approaching blonde woman unloads the contents of her gun into the other woman and stands emotionless as a crowd gathers around the dead body. We soon learn that the blonde woman is Mary Hilton and that she has been sentenced to death for her crime, unless she is given a reprieve. As she shuts herself away, has no remorse for her crime and refuses the kind treatment of the matrons; Mary begins to think back on what lead her to killing the woman, whose name was Lucy. Through a series of flashbacks, a lot is revealed about the ultimately tragic story of Mary. Yield to the Night MeetingThe beautiful Mary was a sales girl who fell hopelessly in love with the charming Jim Lancaster. Crazy for him and holding onto the naive notion of true love, she leaves her own husband who is never really around to be with Jim. But while everything is initially idyllic for Mary, Jim begins to string her along as he grows attracted to the very rich Lucy. Mary can’t take this rejection and sinks into depression as the man she loves chases another woman, who it turns out is using him. It’s when events take a tragic turn, that Mary snaps and thoughts of revenge invade her mind. And while now in prison, as she begins to reflect on what she did, the hours begin to tick away with intent as her life hangs in the balance and at the hands of the justice system.

Yield to the Night is very much a movie that calls for the abolition of the death penalty, but it never feels preachy and in your face. Instead, director J. Lee Thompson employs an up close and personal story of a woman driven by her passion and sense of betrayal to kill. Mary HiltonHis visual style of unusual angles that frame Mary as a prisoner of her own desire and a vulnerable woman taken advantage of who snaps with jealousy with deadly results is striking to say the least. We are put like flies on the wall into this film, as the setting of her prison cell is confined and restrictive. It is like we are living through the turmoil of knowing that death is going to come very soon to her and the torturous wait endured. As a film, Yield to the Night doesn’t justify Mary’s actions as right. It shows us the sad circumstances that lead to it and gets us to sympathise with her as she has been used so much and feels the only way to deal with it is to take matters into her own hands. The black and white that the film is shot in is very beneficial to such a grim story and gives it a bleak sense of purpose. This is the kind of movie that wouldn’t be very effective in colour as it is so dramatic and gritty. A stark but dramatic score compliments the inevitable sadness of the tale with monotonous drums and brass.

Now before watching Yield to the Night, I only knew Diana Dors as being a glamour girl and buxom bombshell. Well I was so surprised at her performance here, that I want to check out more of her work. Diana Dors Yield to the NightShunning her seductive image, Dors digs deep into the romantic soul of a woman who couldn’t live without taking matters into her own hands as a result of the tragedy that devastated her. Virtually make up free, Dors exudes a weariness, sadness and numbness that gets the audience to feel for Mary as the time passes and we glimpse her sad tale. Her eyes have this haunting quality that is featured heavily throughout the film and I don’t think I will ever forget the look of fear in them. While Yield to the Night belongs to the convincing performance of great depth from Dors, the rest of the cast is very fine. Yield to the Night Mary and MatronYvonne Mitchell in particular stands out as the main matron who becomes fond of Mary and becomes very close with her in the weeks prior to her sentence. Michael Craig is a suitable louse as Jim, whose selfish stringing along of Mary and obsession with Lucy cost him very dearly. Geoffrey Keen is well cast as the prison chaplain, who is kind to Mary and wants to help her while she is still alive.

Striking but impassioned and very topical upon its release, Yield to the Night is a grimly powerful film that benefits from the immensely committed performance by Diana Dors and sympathetic direction.

Final Analysis

Film Title

Final Analysis


Phil Joanou


  • Richard Gere as Isaac Barr
  • Kim Basinger as Heather Evans
  • Uma Thurman as Diana Baylor
  • Eric Roberts as Jimmy Evans
  • Paul Guilfoyle as Mike O’Brien

A twisting neo-noir that alludes to the works of Hitchcock, Final Analysis is a good enough thriller that although derivative and more than a little flawed manages to keep the attention with glossy style and cast.

Isaac Barr is a dedicated psychiatrist in San Francisco who is treating a strange patient by the name of Diana Baylor. Final AnalysisThe unusual young woman is plagued by traumatic dreams that seem to stem from her childhood, but every time Isaac gets close to getting to the bottom of it, Diana somehow switches off and refuses to talk. Wanting to get to the root of Diana’s case, Isaac contacts her older sister Heather in the hopes of possibly discovering something. What Isaac gets is something he least expected. The gorgeous Heather captures his attention immediately and he feels for her because she is locked in a loveless marriage with Jimmy Evans, a hotheaded gangster who controls her every moved and exercises complete domination over her. Richard Gere Final AnalysisSoon enough, Isaac and Heather have entered into a steamy affair after the stunning Heather secures him, despite the implications of him going against medical ethics. Yet while their affair is dangerous, there is also the matter of a strange condition that Heather suffers from. If she consumes even a tiny bit of alcohol, she flies into a violent and uncontrollable rage after which she can’t recall any of her actions. Events for the unsuspecting Isaac get more complicated when the vicious Jimmy is killed by Heather during what appears to be one of her violent episodes. Put on trial for murder, Isaac acts as a help to her because of his desire for her and tries to aid her in getting off through his friendship with her defence attorney Mike O’Brien. Yet as the case begins to open, several things begin to test Isaac’s faith in Heather as he starts to suspect she may not be the vulnerable and abused woman she appears to be. Mystery and deception meet as Isaac digs into the twisting case that is not what it seems on the surface.

as aforementioned, Final Analysis owes a lot to the movies of the masterful Alfred Hitchcock. And while it can be neat counting the references to his work, especially Vertigo, it can grow a bit bothersome as it is a film that is never going to be put in the same category as his work. Kim Basinger Final AnalysisRegardless of that, director Phil Joanou keeps things very stylish and moving along nicely, and it’s not hard to see that he knows how to frame an enticing shot for this neo noir. Good examples of these skills are the opening credits that provide vignettes of what is to come being illuminated by a searching fog light, a tight close up of the haunted Diana recounting her dream and later a stormy climax at a rickety lighthouse. Derivative as Final Analysis may be, it still is sure as hell an entertaining mystery. Final Analysis Love SceneThe writing is good for the most part, yet while it builds a sense of unease in the beginning, it starts to squander it in the middle by revealing a bit too much information and throwing in some very incomprehensible twists. Thankfully, the tense climax makes up for the floundering middle half with panache and thrills. A string heavy score delightfully recalls the work of Hitchcock regular Bernard Herrmann with its romantic undertones and sense of passionate danger.

Richard Gere is very good as the unsuspecting Isaac, whose confidence in his beliefs and love for Heather are sorely tested as the case opens up. Gere successfully makes Isaac a character who finds himself caught in a web and tries to navigate his way out, only to uncover more deception. The beautiful and talented Kim Basinger sizzles as the mysterious Heather, who is by turns sad, beguiling and extremely seductive. Basinger brings energy to the part as we like Isaac, begin to witness how the afraid surface she projects may in fact hide something a lot more deadly.Final Analysis Uma Thurman A young Uma Thurman projects a haunted and almost ghostly quality to the role of the traumatised Diana, who may no more than she is letting on as the web of deceit intensifies. Eric Roberts may only be on screen for a short amount of time, but when he’s there he exudes an animalistic intensity and thuggish demeanor as Heather’s ultimately ill-fated husband. Paul Guilfoyle is very amusing as Isaac’s best friend and lawyer who showcases humour during the trial.

Flawed but still very entertaining, Final Analysis has enough visual flourishes and contributions from a game cast to make it watchable. It may not be going down as the best thriller out there, but it is still well done and effectively directed by Phil Joanou.

Blog Appreciation Post

blog appreciation postMy deepest thanks go to Richard for nominating me for this honor. He has crafted a wonderful thing so that bloggers can learn more about each other, share information and highlight the brilliance they view. It is truly amazing that he should think of me and I’m forever grateful to him for that. And with Christmas approaching, it’s like an earlier gift and later some of this post will be in the Christmas spirit. So here is my Blog Appreciation Post.

3 facts about myself that my fellow bloggers may not know:

  1. I’m an Everton FC supporter.
  2. I’m something of a hopeless cook.
  3. I have no piercings to talk of.

My First Ever Post :

It feels like ages ago when I posted my review of The Godfather and kick started my blog.

My Favourite 3 Blog Posts :

Stand by Me:

I so enjoyed writing this review because the film is so personal to me and very close to my heart. I just wanted to express my love for it in the best way I know how.

Happy Birthday Monica Bellucci :

The response to this post was overwhelmingly positive and I’m super happy about that. It was wonderful to showcase the beauty and depth of Monica Bellucci and voice my opinions of her talent.

I’m Feeling Good :

This little tribute I did to my followers for all their support was a post unlike anything I’d really done before. I just felt I needed to thank everyone for putting me in a good mood after some darkness.

My 3 Favourite Posts from Other Bloggers :

Magic Mike XXL : As written by the sassy Emma, she unashamedly writes with wit and style about fawning over the pecs and muscles of the actors in the movies. But she does it in such a way that is funny rather than sleazy. You rock Emma.

Significant Songs 94 : The evergreen Pete does another one of his splendid posts about a specific song and he deserves kudos for giving me an idea for a future post.

Happy International Friendship Day: Marvelous Kim posted this heartwarming tribute to the power of friendship and did a stellar job with her knack for using cool gifs.

Books and Films I’m Ashamed to Say I haven’t Read or Seen :

  1. Casablanca
  2. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  3. Cool Hand Luke
  4. The English Patient
  5. Atonement by Ian McEwan

And now for some Christmas Questions :

  1. What film are you looking forward to watching over the Christmas Period? Chicken Run, what a feel good movie that always seems to be on in the month of December.
  2. What is top of your Christmas list? A signet ring.
  3. Favourite Christmas Song? Winter Wonderland.
  4. Favourite present you ever got? A new computer.
  5. Weirdest Christmas present you received from someone? A leopard thong from a friend, which was supposed to be a joke.

And now finally my 10 nominations for this honor:

  1. Emma
  2. Kim 
  3. Mel
  4. Mark
  5. Jordan
  6. Keith
  7.  Ivan
  8. Marta
  9. Caz
  10. Eric

I hope everyone has enjoyed this post. And if I’ve nominated you, it is fine to follow the same format as me or if you won’t choose different questions.






Posts You Should Check Out

Blogging CommunityThis will be another new feature to spread the love of blogs to everyone out there, much like my Blogs You Should Follow Posts. Every so often, I’ll link to posts that have really captured my interest and that you should check out.

Here we go:

The splendid and magnificent Zoe has recently been watching the Bourne movies and doing some stellar work for them. Here’s her review of The Bourne Ultimatum.

The bad ass dude known as James took an interesting look at the trailer for the movie Now You See Me 2. He makes me want to catch up with the first one.



Rosemary’s Baby

Film Title

Rosemary’s Baby


Roman Polanski


  • Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse
  • John Cassavetes as Guy Woodhouse
  • Ruth Gordon as Minnie Castevet
  • Sidney Blackmer as Roman Castevet
  • Maurice Evans as Hutch
  • Ralph Bellamy as Dr. Sapirstein

Unraveling at a deliberate pace and bristling with macabre intent, Rosemary’s Baby is a psychological horror, that under the talented hands of Roman Polanski really gets your mind working and leaves a haunting impact with ambience, excellent work from the cast and creepy atmosphere.

Rosemary Woodhouse, a sweet-faced young woman and her struggling actor husband Guy move into the Bramford apartment in New York. Rosemary's Baby PosterThough they are warned that the place has a very sinister history by good friend Hutch, they ignore it with Rosemary stating “Awful things happen in every apartment house” and move into the old building. The young couple intends on starting a family and set about settling into their new home. Soon enough, Minnie and Roman Castevet; two elderly neighbours who are very inquisitive and eccentric, introduce themselves into the lives of Rosemary and Guy. Guy finds the couple endearing and harmless, but Rosemary feels uneasy around them as they become increasingly nosy and overtly friendly. It’s around this point that strange events begin to occur to the innocent Rosemary. Guy becomes strangely distant when he acquires a plum role in a prestigious play after the lead actor who originally had the part goes blind. Rosemary begins to hear weird chanting from her neighbour’s apartment. Guy begins to spend an unusual amount of time with the Castevets. And finally, Rosemary discovers she is pregnant. Though happy about the news of her pregnancy, she is plagued by a recollection of a very vivid dream she experienced after eating something prepared by the oddball Minnie. In the harrowing dream, she was raped by a demonic presence. Rosemary WoodhouseRosemary soon becomes very isolated, frightened and convinced something is wrong as her symptoms of pregnancy don’t add up( she starts to look gaunt, has deeply severe pains in her abdomen, her new doctor prescribes bizarre remedies and she seems to be losing weight rather than gaining it) and her neighbours become more and more ingrained into her life. And with the unusual nature of her conception at the forefront of her mind, she begins to feel as though there is a dark, sinister plot against her and her child of the supernatural kind and that Guy knows something about it. Are Rosemary’s fearful behaviour and concerns for herself and her unborn child for a good reason? Or are they simply the alarming delusions of a naive mind?

Roman Polanski wonderfully writes and directs this creepy psychological horror that knows the meaning of slow burning terror. He builds paranoid tension by utilizing the setting of the apartment to craft a sense of isolation as Rosemary becomes more convinced that sinister designs are planned for her baby. Polanski knows exactly how to exploit audience fears by cranking up the ambiguity of the piece. Is Rosemary imagining it all? Or are her beliefs that something supernatural is a foot real? Guy and RosemaryPolanski just brings so many possibilities to the piece but despite the overtones of something not of this world, he makes it all very realistic because of the seemingly normal setting. There’s little gore in Rosemary’s Baby, but this is the kind of horror film that is all about sinister suggestion and is all the more effective for not resorting to blood-soaked carnage. The camerawork is predatory in its movement, creating tension and unnerving suspense as it continues to follow the slowly terrified Rosemary. A devilishly crafted and often deceptive score of unwinding menace provides many chilling pieces of music, most prominently a lilting lullaby that repeats in creepy fashion, sung by star Mia Farrow.

heading the impressive cast is Mia Farrow in a hugely convincing and harrowing performance. As Rosemary, Farrow imbues her with such a waifish innocence that it is hard not to sympathise with her and twinned with her elfin appearance of large, haunted eyes and iconic pixie cut, she is a character who you genuinely want to shield as the morbid plot unravels. Mia Farrow Rosemary's BabyAnd as the story goes on, Farrow essays the sheer amount of escalating panic and fraught emotion with deft skill, as we witness the tortured Rosemary slowly becoming more paranoid of events around her. I think it’s fair to say this is Mia Farrow’s best performance of her career. John Cassavetes has just the right amount of slimy arrogance to keep you guessing whether Guy is in on the plot that Rosemary believes is meant for her. Minnie Rosemary's BabyIn a well deserved Oscar-winning role, Ruth Gordon perfectly plays the dotty Minnie, who starts off as a nosy neighbour dressed in garish clothing and then evolves into something more devilishly sinister thanks to her morbid humour and kooky peculiarities. Sidney Blackmer excellently compliments Gordon as Minnie’s husband Roman, who for all his eccentricity, can be very creepy indeed. Maurice Evans in the supporting cast is great as Rosemary’s friend who becomes very concerned for her well-being, while Ralph Bellamy is unusual as the doctor who prescribes strange remedies for her and may know more than he is letting on.

Slow burning terror and psychological games make Rosemary’s Baby a masterpiece of mood and atmosphere that insidiously gets under your skin.