Tuesday, February 15, 2011

“You Aren’t Too Smart, Are You? I Like That in a Man”


Ed here: Great post on the film on the TCM movie blog on the film "Body heat."

“You Aren’t Too Smart, Are You? I Like That in a Man”
Posted by suzidoll on January 31, 2011

If this isn’t my favorite line of dialogue in a film, it’s at least in the top five. Fans of the modern-day film-noir classic Body Heat will recognize this oft-quoted line from the scene in which femme fatale Matty Walker first meets the clueless protagonist, Ned Racine. The line is not only witty but also reveals Matty’s opinion of Ned and serves as a warning of her intentions to use him. That Ned ignores the subtext of her joke proves her opinion of him to be true. The line becomes richer upon repeated viewings of Body Heat because we know how Matty and Ned’s story plays out. Clever viewers familiar with the film noir genre may not need repeated viewings to predict the end game. As soon as Matty strolls across the screen in her deceptively white dress, we know that she is the predatory femme fatale, and Ned’s days are numbered. Her provocative line of dialogue merely clinches it. I recently watched Body Heat again, and it made me long for those days of well-crafted Hollywood films with appealing adult characters, particularly strong women—even if they were bad to the bone.

Unbelievably, this year marks the 30th anniversary of Body Heat, which introduced a new generation to film noir, launched the careers of stars William Hurt and Kathleen Turner, and marked the directorial debut of Lawrence Kasdan. With its brazen sex scenes, cynical tone, and rich atmosphere, Body Heat became a hit with modern audiences who had lost touch with the original noir cycle of the 1940s and 1950s. Kasdan, who had mined the serials and adventure films of the 1930s and 1940s to cowrite Raiders of the Lost Ark, similarly borrowed from the original cycle of film noir to construct Body Heat. The film’s story of small-time lawyer Ned Racine who is seduced by Matty Walker into killing her husband for the money is classic noir wrapped in a new package.



Charlieopera said...

Great movie; sexy as hell ... and wasn't Mickey Rourke a good-looking guy back in the day?

Steve Lewis said...

To me at the time, this was the equivalent of a Gold Medal novel brought to life. Absolutely wonderful.

But for whatever reason, I've seen the movie only once. Can it really be 30 years ago? (And well before VHS and DVD came along.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great line, great movie, great acting. Those were the days. And I am home.

Stretch Marks said...

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