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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Movies for a Hot Summer's Day

Blow Job: One of the Cinemas Most Iconic Images
  • Wilder
  • Blow Job: One of the Cinema's Most Iconic Images

We're fixing to cross 100° again today, with no relief in sight.

Our favorite thing to do on a hot summer day?

Watch movies.

Here are five great movies that bring the heat on the screen:

The Seven Year Itch
Billy Wilder's 1955 comedy stars Tom Ewell as a married publisher in New York, solo for the summer after sending his wife and kid off to Maine to beat the NYC heat, and Marilyn Monroe as the bombshell neighbor on whom he fixates and about whom he fantasizes. In addition to keeping underwear in the refrigerator to keep it cool, Marilyn Monroe also knows that the city offers lots of helpful ways to beat the heat. If you get my drift.

Sometimes a camera is just a camera, right?
  • Hitch
  • Sometimes a camera is just a camera, right?

Rear Window
It's hot hot hot in the village as apartment-bound action photographer Jimmy Stewart spends his day spinning tales about the private lives of his neighbors.

Though many credit Warhol's fixation on celebrity, it may in fact have been Hitchcock who pre-saged reality TV.

Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee's masterpiece turns up the heat on the so-called melting pot, and scalds liberal idealism into a sloppy, overflowing mess. By ramping up the emotional intensity, Lee lays bare the tenuousness of racial harmony in late 80's New York, and exposes deep seeded racial tensions brewing right beneath the surface. (The Treyvon Martin case asks those of us who want to flaunt our 21st Century post-racial superiority why there are still no brothers up on the wall.)

Dog Day Afternoon
Lumet's take on a real-life bank robbery follows his masterful evocation of stifling hot weather in 12 Angry Men, and presages Lee's use of heat as an emotional amplifier in Do The Right Thing. As the intensity of the situation increases, the mercury rises, sweat beads form, ties come off, shirt sleeves roll up, and buttons

Body Heat
Lawrence Kasdan's decidedly R-rated retelling of Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (call-back y'all!) is set in the stifling heat and humidity of Florida with hot and bothered Kathleen Turner in full femme fatale mode looking for a mark (William Hurt) to knock off her husband.

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