Taglines: This is the murder weapon. Her name is Rebecca.
A millionaire is found dead of heart failure handcuffed to the bed with a home video tape of him and his lover. When cocaine is found in his system, and his will leaves $8 million to his lover, they arrest her on suspicion of murder. Her lawyer succumbs to her charms, and he begins a torrid and kinky affair with her. As new evidence turns up during trial, he begins to wonder if he’s defending a murderer.
Body of Evidence is a 1993 American erotic thriller film produced by Dino De Laurentiis and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and originally had the rare NC-17 rating. It was directed by Uli Edel and written by Brad Mirman. The film stars Madonna and Willem Dafoe, with Joe Mantegna, Anne Archer, Julianne Moore and Jürgen Prochnow in supporting roles.
The first theatrical release was censored for the purpose of obtaining an R rating, reducing the film’s running time from 101 to 99 minutes. The video première, however, restored the deleted material. Madonna’s performance in the film was universally derided by film critics and it marked her fourth film acting performance to be widely panned, following Shanghai Surprise, Who’s That Girl and Bloodhounds of Broadway.
About the Story
An older man, Andrew Marsh, views a homemade pornographic tape. It is later revealed the man died from complications stemming from erotic asphyxiation. The main suspect is the woman who has sex with Marsh in the film, Rebecca Carlson, who after being charged with murder is represented by lawyer Frank Dulaney. The trial begins in Portland, Oregon, and it is not long before Carlson and Dulaney enter a sadomasochistic sexual relationship behind the back of Dulaney’s unsuspecting wife.
During their first sexual encounter, Dulaney, overcome by lust, notices too late that Carlson is tying his arms behind his back using his own belt. Carlson pushes him onto the bed, removes his underwear, and while he is restrained, she humiliates him by pouring hot candle wax on his chest, stomach, and genitals, amused by the frustration and increasingly desperate reactions she is eliciting from Dulaney. The two then have sex with Carlson in complete control, an obvious counterpoint to their relationship in the courtoom, where Dulaney is the one in control.
Carlson proclaims her innocence to Dulaney in private and in court, but district attorney Robert Garrett seeks to prove that Carlson deliberately killed Marsh in bed to receive the $8 million he left her in his will. The testimony of Marsh’s private secretary, Joanne Braslow, reveals that he had a sexual relationship with her that could have contributed to his death, casting a reasonable doubt as to Carlson’s guilt.
Dulaney can not resist Carlson sexually but does not trust her. He maligns Carlson with accusations of her withholding information from him. She plays off timid and upset while he gets angry at her. He makes it clear their affair needs to end and implies he may drop her as a client. That night he goes to the restaurant where his wife works, and she appears clearly upset. She tells him Carlson called her and accuses him of sleeping with her. Dulaney initially plays it off as if she is paranoid, but when she reveals telltale evidence, it is clear he can no longer deny it. She storms off.
Dulaney goes to Carlson’s home and angrily demands she tell him what she told his wife. At first she acts innocent, but then she taunts and teases him, which angers him even more, and throws her to the ground. They stare angrily at each other, but it quickly turns to excitement. The two have rough sex again. When Carlson pulls out handcuffs, it angers Delaney. He cuffs her hands to her bed post and roughly initiates sex her, though she enjoys it.
Body of Evidence (1993)
Directed by: Uli Edel
Starring: Madonna, Willem Dafoe, Joe Mantegna, Julianne Moore, Charles Hallahan, Anne Archer, Ross Huffman-Kerr, Richard Riehle, Frank Roberts, Aaron Corcoran
Screenplay by: Brad Mirman
Production Design by: Victoria Paul
Cinematography by: Douglas Milsome
Film Editing by: Thom Noble
Costume Design by: Susan Becker
Set Decoration by: Jerie Kelter
Art Direction by: Michael Rizzo
Music by: Graeme Revell
MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and a scene of sexuality.
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date: January 15, 1993