Body Heat [1981]

While scoring high-profile credits as a screenwriter (including The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark), Lawrence Kasdan made his directorial debut with this steamy, contemporary film noir in the tradition of Double Indemnity and other classics from the 1940s. In one of his most memorable roles, William Hurt plays a Florida lawyer unwittingly drawn into a web of deceit spun by Kathleen Turner (in her screen debut) as a married socialite who plots to kill off her husband with Hurt's assistance. Kasdan's dialogue is a hoot (sometimes it borders on satire), and the sultry atmosphere is a perfect complement to the perspiration-soaked chemistry between Hurt and Turner, whose love scenes caused quite a stir when the film was released in 1981. John Barry's score sets the provocative mood, and both Ted Danson and Mickey Rourke are splendid in memorable supporting roles. --Jeff Shannon

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