Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


BODY OF EVIDENCE (1993.) Director: Uli Edel.

Rebecca Carlson (Madonna of Die Another Day) enjoys kinky sex with her elderly lover, Andrew (Michael Forest). When he dies, cocaine is not only found in his system, but in a nasal spray by the bed, and an autopsy confirms that the combination of the coke and his bad heart led to his death. Rebecca is put on trial for first degree murder with Frank Dulaney (Willem Dafoe of American Psycho) as her lawyer, and Robert Garrett (Joe Mantagna) as the prosecutor. Predictably, Rebecca initiates Frank -- who is married to Sharon (Julianne Moore) -- into some mild "bondage and discipline" sex. Meanwhile other suspects emerge during the trial, including Andrew's ex-lover and secretary, Joanne (Anne Archer), and Rebecca's ex-lovers, Dr. Paley (Jurgen Prochnow) and Jeffrey Roston (Frank Langella). It seems she had a habit of bedding older men with heart conditions and big bank accounts. But did Rebecca murder Andrew or not, and what will the verdict be? It would be easy to pick apart Body of Evidence (which was pretty much excoriated when it first came out), but despite its flaws, I found the movie suspenseful and entertaining. As the very bad girl, Madonna gives a competent performance, but it has no shadings; Mantagna, Dafoe and others are far superior. The protracted sex scenes in the movie will either stimulate or nauseate the viewer depending on whether or not you find Madonna and Dafoe especially attractive (I don't), but they seem to go on forever. One sequence could be described as borderline rape. Rebecca's home and gallery is so large and luxurious that one wonders why she needs anyone else's money (mortgages, perhaps). Michael Forest  [The Money Jungle], the tall, handsome. well-built actor who had numerous film and TV roles in the sixties and who played Adonis on Star Trek, has no lines but simply plays Andrew as a corpse. The film is well-directed by Uli Edel, and looks good as well. Frank Langella again plays an apparently bisexual character as he did in Diary of a Mad Housewife.

Verdict: No Paradine Case, certainly, but on its own terms, a fun junk movie that often resembles softcore porn. ***.


angelman66 said...

This is a fun trashy watch, I agree, and of all Madonna's film appearances (other than her debut in Deperately Seeking Susan), this is her best film so far...not saying much, but I have watched and enjoyed this more than once. HATED her as Evita and was so disappointed in that one she did with Rupert Everett about the gay man having a baby with his best female friend. Putrid!
But this has some drama, some plot and lots of sex and heavy breathing...Madonna in her element.

Itsme Movies Collections said...
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William said...

Good points about both this movie and Madonna in general, Chris. I can't even bring myself to look at the film she did with Rupert Everett! She at least seems to be having fun in this one!