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Episode 226 - Body of Evidence: LIVE!

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Recorded live from Washington, D.C., Paul, June and Jason discuss the 1993 erotic thriller Body of Evidence starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe. They talk about the sassiest judge of all time, the houseboat, the parking garage sex scene, and much more.

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Not only is the Portland police department incompetent, I would also throw in the DA’s office and the defense team. 

DA

Yes, the arrest of Madonna was far too soon, because at that time they had no concrete evidence. But what was even more egregious, is when Joe Mantegna decides to have Anne Archer disclose, in a meeting with the defense, that she witnessed Madonna snort cocaine. Why would the DA reveal this major bomb and not hold the reveal for when she’s in front of the jury! The DA only has to show the defense who they are calling to the stand, not what they are going to reveal. 

Defense

If cocaine use on Madonna’s part was such a big “what if,” why didn’t Willem Dafoe make her do a drug test? A hair test can find cocaine with up to 90 days of use. Yes, Madonna may have in fact used cocaine… but she was so adamant she did not and this would be a win for the defense if that test came back negative. 

 

And one off topic comment… did anyone else think that Anne Archer was going to be the person who shot Madonna at the end??? That would have been far more interesting since she did in fact love her boss and received a far less payout in the will. I mean this would have been a big “Who did that?!" moment since the doctor was knocked out from the fall. To me that was a huge missed opportunity. 

 

 

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I think Madonna was so excited to see the birthday cake during the dinner scene because it had burning candles on it, and she new hot candles were in her and Willem Dafoe’s futures.

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I'd like to think that Amazon synopsis of the movie was written by someone who read the novelization of Body of Evidence rather than actually watching it.

So was Madonna's relationship with Dafoe real on her part or was it manipulative?  The movie seems to suggest that every relationship she has involves an ulterior motive, but in his case I don't know what she had to gain unless she thought he'd take his lawyering up a notch if they were sleeping together.  And who is getting that 8 million dollars now Madonna's next of kin or the dead millionaire's?

 

 

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So not to be creepy with the visual reference below, but hey... we all watched this film.... but did anyone else wonder if the driver in the background ever noticed what was going on at parking level P4.

I was surprised there wasn't the lone "honk" from the car. 

If anything, this just proves how much Dafoe is ready to be so cavalier and not give a shit on being possibly disbarred. 

sb8CFne.png

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Mantzoukas is totally right about Body Heat... which is a remake of Double Indemnity but since DI was made under the strict Hayes Code it could barely even hint at sex between Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. The only thing that could even be a possible clue was that Barbara Stanwyk visits Fred MacMurray at his apartment, closes the door behind her and then there is a fade as if some time had passed and she exits the door. Soooo steamy!
Body Heat takes that great plot and adds all the sex that should be happening between the two characters.
The first sex scene between Dafoe and Madonna is pretty much a crappy remake of the first sex scene between John Hurt and Kathleen Turner in that movie.

Unfortunately I can't find the complete scene on Youtube but it's HOT AF.

Body Heat lead up to sex scene.

It's real good y'all.

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2 hours ago, pscudese said:

I was surprised there wasn't the lone "honk" from the car. 

haha an "awooga" old timey horn would be perfect

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Classic lines from Ebert's .5 star review.

Quote

It's an excruciatingly incompetent entry in the "Basic Instinct" genre, filled with lines that only a screenwriter could love, and burdened with a plot that confuses mystery with confusion.

Quote

When it comes to eroticism, "Body of Evidence" is like Madonna's new book. It knows the words but not the music. All of the paraphernalia and lore of S & M sexuality are here, but none of the passion or even enjoyment. We are told by one witness that sex with the Madonna character is intense. It turns out later he's not a very reliable witness.

 

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Can someone help me on the joke and/or symbolism of why Joe Mantegna gives Willem Dafoe the last doughnut during that pre-trial hearing?

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16 minutes ago, DrGuts1003 said:

Can someone help me on the joke and/or symbolism of why Joe Mantegna gives Willem Dafoe the last doughnut during that pre-trial hearing?

I think the joke is, Joe always eats the donuts even when he brings them. This was set up just prior to walking into the meeting. 
 

so I’m assuming the joke is, Joe is in on this and figures with the bombshell he just dropped... well Dafoe has nothing left. So hey... here’s the last donut cause you’re fucked now. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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The judge’s name is Mabel Burnham.  Is this meant to be a warning to Willem Dafoe that Madonna “may burn him”, either figuratively by helping her get away with murder (allegedly) or literally with the candle wax?

Also, I was glad to see the hosts love the judge so much, but was disappointed they didn’t mention the one moment where she yelled “Keep your rude mouths shut or get out of my courtroom!” to the people watching the trial.  Rude mouths?  I guess lightly murmuring when big revelations occur is considered rude.

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For what it's worth, director Uli Edel had a pretty solid career going until Body of Evidence. His 1981 film Christiane F. is a major cult classic in Europe and based on a very popular biographical novel (available in English as "Zoo Station"). It's kind of a druggy downer but the lead performance is great and you get a real feel for early 1980s Berlin. I can't recommend it enough, if you enjoy that sort of film.

Edel's first English language film was 1989's Last Exit to Brooklyn with Jennifer Jason Leigh and based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr (who you may know as the writer of Requiem for a Dream). As you might expect, it's a depressing drama about working class struggle among the 1950s Brooklyn nightlife. It was a critical hit and led to interest in Selby's writing, who at that point had been an unknown primarily read by beatniks and junkies, and likely led to the adaptation of Requiem for a Dream.

So you have two great films based on semi biographical novels, with the screenplays cowritten by the director. Body of Evidence was a vehicle for Madonna though, and Dino De Laurentis shopped around until he found a script he thought suited the pop star's oversexed persona. It was written by a nobody (Brad Mirman, who went on to cowrite Highlander 3) and Edel wasn't allowed any input on it. He probably jumped at the chance to work with De Laurentis and Madonna. You can't blame him. I think this film is directed reasonably well, although the script outright sucks and Madonna is aggressively mediocre. If anything, it's a weird portrait of a time when Madonna absolutely ruled pop culture with her sexy sexy sex🙄. (It's also a rare film to prominently feature Portland, Oregon.)

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5 hours ago, PollyDarton said:


The first sex scene between Dafoe and Madonna is pretty much a crappy remake of the first sex scene between John Hurt and Kathleen Turner in that movie.

You mean William Hurt.

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22 minutes ago, SlidePocket said:

You mean William Hurt.

Oops, yes.
John Hurt is known for on screen penetration, too... just a bit differently

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36 minutes ago, PollyDarton said:

Oops, yes.
John Hurt is known for on screen penetration, too... just a bit differently

Penetrating my heart with his sensitive portrayal of The Elephant Man. 

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13 hours ago, pscudese said:

So not to be creepy with the visual reference below, but hey... we all watched this film.... but did anyone else wonder if the driver in the background ever noticed what was going on at parking level P4.

I was surprised there wasn't the lone "honk" from the car. 

If anything, this just proves how much Dafoe is ready to be so cavalier and not give a shit on being possibly disbarred. 

sb8CFne.png

I've never gotten why the elevator door opens and closes at the end of this scene. I always forget how this movie ends and assume someone important sees them screwing or that it'll be crucial to the plot but no, just phantom doors opening and closing. Maybe it's the phantom person who keeps cluing Julianne Moore into Dafoe's whereabouts.

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The hosts kept talking about how that was Willem Dafoe’s stepson that we see early on in the film, but I don’t recall anything explicitly said that would indicate he is not actually his own son.  The awkwardness of their conversation seemed more a case of Dafoe being the stereotypical clueless, workaholic dad.

The one thing I did notice, however, is when Dafoe and his son leave the restaurant, the kid puts on a Chicago Bulls hat.  That is a bold move considering they live in Portland and the Trail Blazers had just just to the Bulls in the NBA Finals in 1992.  I assume we never see the kid again for the rest of the film because he was beaten to death by the repressed residents of Portland who weren’t having kinky sex as a way of releasing their energy and frustration.

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3 hours ago, Baron said:

Is this related to the novel of the same name? 

Nope. The trailer even lists it as "Not based on the novel by Patricia Cornwell".

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Lawyer here, 

Conflict of interest issues may arise if you sleep with a new client or any client whether a relation existed before or not. In general, probably not a good idea to represent a spouse or a close family member, especially if the stakes are high. 
 

While I have helped out some close family members and friends in the past without issues, there have been a few issues when it comes down to payment, or even how much time you put into the case. Demands can get high and sometimes unrealistic just because they may think you’ll treat them extra special and use some special law you don’t use on others. 
 

So, as the gentleman said on the recording, it depends on timing of relationship, but even then would you want to? I say it depends on the case, and the attorneys level of comfort with the area of law. 

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Dying of a heart attack while having sex? Well, that sounds like it's time for Former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to enter the ring!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Rockefeller#Speculation_surrounding_death

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nelson-rockefeller-death-spin-truth-article-1.808749

The story is simple--Rocky died having sex with his 25 year old aide Megan Marshack. Allegedly. The official story in him dying in his office fell apart almost immediately but no one, including the family and the authorities, have said anything one way or the other since.

So it does happen.

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After Unforgettable, we have another movie that ends with the female villain in a flowy, all white outfit.  You just knew she would be shot and become a bloody mess when she appeared in that outfit.

There seems to be a lot of odd connections like that in these tour films after the hosts brought up the houseboat connection between this and DDF.

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If it had been revealed at the end that Madonna and Anne Archer were lovers the movie would've fallen into "The Dead/Evil Lesbian Cliche."

Which as the name suggests, is that when gay women appear on film or tv they end up dead, evil or both.  There are long lists of examples.

Hollywood's record of this has improved slightly in recent years but in 1993, the year after gay protests against Basic Instinct, it could've been extra offensive.

I do not suggest that the filmmakers avoided that twist *for* that reason, but it's probably for the best that they did.

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As a Portlander, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed that for the live show here we got the perplexing 2:22 instead of Body of Evidence, a film produced during a particularly dismal era of movies shot or taking place in Portland (there was also Dr. Giggles, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and The Temp... we did get Drug Store Cowboy, though, so it wasn't all bad during the '90's). Still, I'm glad this movie finally made it onto the Podcast.

Okay, not to get all Bullitt chase scene on this film, but the opening bridge crossing scene was, from a local perspective ...interesting. One of Portland's nicknames is "Bridge City," as we have quite a few bridges linking the east and west sides of the city over the Willamette River. Towards the beginning of the film, we see Willem Defoe's character driving across the Fremont Bridge (a raised suspension bridge with these distinct triangle-shaped trusses) from the north/northeast going west into the city. That's all well and good, but then the very next shot shows him driving east across a two-way cantilever bridge which is named the Hawthorne Bridge, and is geographically four bridges southward from the Fremont Bridge. This scene is cut in a way to make it look like he's driving on the same bridge, but in reality he's essentially driving across one bridge and going through downtown to get to another bridge to go back almost in the direction he came from, and doing in a matter of seconds what Google maps approximates would take 15 minutes to accomplish (traffic permitting). Even odder still, it appears that, in an establishing scene, Defoe's character's law office is in Downtown Portland (located in the southwest section of the city), so why is he driving from the north/northeast area in the evening to get to the southeast section of the city?

The 90's-era neo-noir with Linda Fiarntino Jason was trying to remember is The Last Seduction, and it is an underrated and amazing film. It's a must-see along with Red Rock West , A Simple Plan, Devil In a Blue Dress, and One False Move.

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