Body of Evidence (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Sadism and masochism in mainstream films

Body of Evidence (1993) is an American erotic thriller film directed by Uli Edel and starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe.

The first theatrical release was censored for the purpose of obtaining an R certificate, reducing the film's running time from 101 to 99 minutes. The video premiere, however, restored the deleted material. The original music score was composed by Graeme Revell. The film was marketed with the tagline "An act of love, or an act of murder?"


After her much older, wealthy lover dies following an intense session of sadomasochistic sex, dominatrix Rebecca Carlson (Madonna) finds herself charged with his murder. Desperate for freedom, she slowly seduces her attorney, Frank Delaney (Willem Dafoe), and embarks on a dark and dangerous affair with him.

This story has a lot in common with Basic Instinct, another erotic thriller about a sexually charged woman accused of murdering her lover midway through sex, and who then goes on to seduce a troubled law enforcer.

Reception and controversy

The film was almost universally panned by critics and was nominated for a record six Golden Raspberries, including "worst actress" for Madonna, which she won. It also appeared on the 2005 list of Roger Ebert's most hated films. The screenplay and performances were especially disparaged.

Body of Evidence also exacerbated an already burgeoning controversy about Madonna's frequent association with pornography. Before its release she had already published her soft-core coffee table book Sex, and the film features her and Dafoe performing graphic scenes of simulated rape, cunnilingus, anal and public intercourse.

Main cast

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Body of Evidence (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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