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10 Cool Facts About Body Heat

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After penning The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Lawrence Kasdan took advantage of his newfound fame by asking for—and receiving—the opportunity to make his directorial debut with Body Heat. The 1981 neo-noir classic that's celebrating its 35th anniversary starred Kathleen Turner in her feature film debut as Matty Walker, a woman who has an affair with weak-willed lawyer Ned Racine (William Hurt). In true femme fatale tradition, she convinces Ned to murder her husband, Edmund, and make him think it was his idea.

1. GEORGE LUCAS HELPED GET IT MADE.

Though Lawrence Kasdan had made a name for himself as a writer, he was an untested director. So George Lucas agreed to sponsor Kasdan, but he wouldn't put the Lucasfilm name on Kasdan's movie because it was too dirty. Lucas gave Alan Ladd, Jr.—whose The Ladd Company was producing the film—$250,000 to use if Kasdan went over budget. Lucas also helped Kasdan by spending one day in the editing room and giving him "the most useful" pep talk.

"Making movies has nothing to do with the technical stuff," Lucas told Kasdan. "It has everything to do with what kind of person you are." Kasdan said it was the most important thing anyone ever told him about directing.

2. CHRISTOPHER REEVE TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF NED.

"I put myself down too much," Reeve told The Washington Post of the missed opportunity. "I didn't think I'd be convincing as a seedy lawyer." Reeve later regretted the decision, but was happy that his friend, William Hurt, was cast in the role instead.

3. INITIALLY, KATHLEEN TURNER WAS NOT ALLOWED TO AUDITION FOR IT.

As Turner remembered it later to Playboy, the filmmakers refused to let her audition for the role of Matty. "I happened to be in L.A. to read for some female mud-wrestling film—thank God I was not right for that part at all—and there was a woman casting Body Heat there," Turner explained. "I was able to see her and read for her and she got quite excited."

When Turner came back the next day to read a new scene, Kasdan admitted to her that he never thought he would ever hear the scene as he heard it in his head until just then.

After 20th Century Fox gave up on Kasdan and dropped the project because he wouldn't cast known stars, The Ladd Company wasn't convinced that Turner could handle the "lightness" of the movie. So she had to audition for them, too.

"I went into this room at The Ladd Company," Turner recalled. "It was all white on white on white—white sofa, white rug, blonde wood—and there was this huge ashtray in the middle of the table that was filled with cigarette butts—it was as if they had been sitting there all day, smoking and talking about [macho voice] the girl. I was standing there with the script and one of the vice-presidents said, 'Do drunk.' So I was doing drunk and I threw the script onto the table and it knocked into the ashtray and I watched it fly across the room. The butts went all over this white rug, scattered. I got down on my hands and knees and started picking them up—'This is the most embarrassed I’ve ever been in my life.' And they laughed. I swear to God that turned them around."

4. ALAN LADD DEMANDED THAT WILLIAM HURT SHAVE HIS MUSTACHE.

Kasdan once again showed gumption and stood up to an executive, despite his greenness in the industry. Hurt kept the caterpillar.

5. IT WAS SHOT IN FLORIDA—AND IT WAS VERY, VERY COLD.

The film was shot during a cold Florida winter. Turner and Hurt had to put ice cubes in their mouths before each take so their breath wouldn't show. Their sweat was sprayed on. When the two shot their sex scene, the crew was dressed in duffel coats and scarves.

6. THEY TRIED TO BREAK THE TENSION ON SET, BUT IT WAS SOMETIMES TOO MUCH.

When the tension got to be too much, Turner said that she and Hurt would have races up and down the lawn and/or jump into the water. But she also admitted that she would shake and cry in her dressing room after shooting almost every "heavy" scene. "It was just powerful stuff," she said.

7. RUMORS FLEW ABOUT TURNER, HURT, AND KASDAN.

One day while shooting, Turner was told by her agent that he heard she was having an affair with both Hurt and Kasdan. "I thought, Jesus Christ, this is what people are saying?" she said. "And it ruined something for me. It really hurt, because every time the three of us went off to talk and to rehearse, I’d be thinking, Who’s seeing this? You know—what are they thinking? It was rotten. I’ll never forgive this person for breaking my bubble. But I realized, this is the real world. So I’m much more careful not to allow myself to be in that kind of position anymore. But it hurt a lot then."

8. IT WAS MICKEY ROURKE'S BIG BREAK.

Mickey Rourke had already appeared in 1941 (1979) and Heaven's Gate (1980), but told Larry King that his breakthrough came from playing Teddy Lewis in Body Heat. When Rourke got the one-day gig, he was able to quit his job as a bouncer at a transvestite nightclub.

9. KASDAN HIRED EDITOR CAROL LITTLETON BECAUSE HE WANTED A STRONG FEMALE PERSPECTIVE.

Out of all of the editors Kasdan met for Body Heat, Littleton was the only one who used the term "film noir" in their discussion. That and the fact that Kasdan specifically felt he needed a female editor began a long professional relationship between the two. "The sexual nature of the screenplay convinced me I should have a strong female perspective throughout the process," Kasdan wrote in a tribute to Littleton for Editors Guild Magazine. "As a bluffing novice, I was making up ideas like that as I went along. I didn’t know any better. I wildly underestimated the influence Carol would have on me from that day forward. In the course of doing eight films together, she has been my teacher, moral touchstone, slave driver, confidante and friend."

10. TED DANSON'S ROLE IN THE FILM GOT A SLY NOD ON CHEERS.

Ted Danson, who played the dancing lawyer Peter Lowenstein, started his career-defining run as Sam Malone on Cheers one year after the release of Body Heat. In the series premiere, some of the bar patrons began debating what the sweatiest movie of all time was. Cliff Clavin offered Body Heat as his guess, to the knowing smile of Sam.

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8 of the Weirdest Gallup Polls
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Born in Jefferson, Iowa on November 18, 1901, George Gallup studied journalism and psychology, focusing on how to measure readers’ interest in newspaper and magazine content. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion to scientifically measure public opinions on topics such as government spending, criminal justice, and presidential candidates. Although he died in 1984, The Gallup Poll continues his legacy of trying to determine and report the will of the people in an unbiased, independent way. To celebrate his day of birth, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, funniest Gallup polls over the years.

1. THREE IN FOUR AMERICANS BELIEVE IN THE PARANORMAL (2005)

According to this Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Specifically, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception (ESP), 37 percent believe in haunted houses, and 21 percent believe in witches. What about channeling spirits, you might ask? Only 9 percent of Americans believe that it’s possible to channel a spirit so that it takes temporary control of one's body. Interestingly, believing in paranormal phenomena was relatively similar across people of different genders, races, ages, and education levels.

2. ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS THINK THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH (1999)

In this poll, Gallup tried to determine the popularity of heliocentric versus geocentric views. While 79 percent of Americans correctly stated that the Earth revolves around the sun, 18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth. Three percent chose to remain indifferent, saying they had no opinion either way.

3. 22 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT A MORMON (2011)

Gallup first measured anti-Mormon sentiment back in 1967, and it was still an issue in 2011, a year before Mormon Mitt Romney ran for president. Approximately 22 percent of Americans said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, even if that candidate belonged to their preferred political party. Strangely, Americans’ bias against Mormons has remained stable since the 1960s, despite decreasing bias against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and women.

4. MISSISSIPPIANS GO TO CHURCH THE MOST; VERMONTERS THE LEAST (2010)

This 2010 poll amusingly confirms the stereotype that southerners are more religious than the rest of the country. Although 42 percent of all Americans attend church regularly (which Gallup defines as weekly or almost weekly), there are large variations based on geography. For example, 63 percent of people in Mississippi attend church regularly, followed by 58 percent in Alabama and 56 percent in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. Rounding out the lowest levels of church attendance, on the other hand, were Vermont, where 23 percent of residents attend church regularly, New Hampshire, at 26 percent, and Maine at 27 percent.

5. ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY AMERICA GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM (1999)

Although 76 percent of Americans knew that the United States gained independence from Great Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War, 24 percent weren’t so sure. Two percent thought the correct answer was France, 3 percent said a different country (such as Mexico, China, or Russia), and 19 percent had no opinion. Certain groups of people who consider themselves patriotic, including men, older people, and white people (according to Gallup polls), were more likely to know that America gained its independence from Great Britain.

6. ONE THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN GHOSTS (2000)

This Halloween-themed Gallup poll asked Americans about their habits and behavior on the last day of October. Predictably, two-thirds of Americans reported that someone in their house planned to give candy to trick-or-treaters and more than three-quarters of parents with kids reported that their kids would wear a costume. More surprisingly, 31 percent of American adults claimed to believe in ghosts, an increase from 1978, when only 11 percent of American adults admitted to a belief in ghosts.

7. 5 PERCENT OF WORKING MILLENNIALS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE ELEMENTS OF WELL-BEING (2016)

This recent Gallup poll is funny in a sad way, as it sheds light on the tragicomic life of a millennial. In this poll, well-being is defined as having purpose, social support, manageable finances, a strong community, and good physical health. Sadly, only 5 percent of working millennials—defined as people born between 1980 and 1996—were thriving in these five indicators of well-being. To counter this lack of well-being, Gallup’s report recommends that managers promote work-life balance and improve their communication with millennial employees.

8. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE (2014)

If you seem to feel more stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain than ever before, Gallup has the proof that it’s not all in your head. According to the company’s worldwide negative experience index, negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and anger have increased since 2007. Unsurprisingly, people living in war-torn, dangerous parts of the word—Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Sierra Leone—reported the highest levels of negative emotions.

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11 Times Mickey Mouse Was Banned
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Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mickey Mouse, who turns 89 years old today. A number of countries—and even U.S. states—have banned the cartoon rodent at one time or another for reasons both big and small.

1. In 1930, Ohio banned a cartoon called “The Shindig” because Clarabelle Cow was shown reading Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, the premier romance novelist of the time. Check it out (1:05) and let us know if you’re scandalized:

2. With movies on 10-foot screen being a relatively new thing in Romania in 1935, the government decided to ban Mickey Mouse, concerned that children would be terrified of a monstrous rodent.

3. In 1929, a German censor banned a Mickey Mouse short called “The Barnyard Battle.” The reason? An army of cats wearing pickelhauben, the pointed helmets worn by German military in the 19th and 20th centuries: "The wearing of German military helmets by an army of cats which oppose a militia of mice is offensive to national dignity. Permission to exhibit this production in Germany is refused.”

4. The German dislike for Mickey Mouse continued into the mid-'30s, with one German newspaper wondering why such a small and dirty animal would be idolized by children across the world: "Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed ... Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal.” Mickey was originally banned from Nazi Germany, but eventually the mouse's popularity won out.

5. In 2014, Iran's Organization for Supporting Manufacturers and Consumers announced a ban on school supplies and stationery products featuring “demoralizing images,” including that of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and characters from Toy Story.

6. In 1954, East Germany banned Mickey Mouse comics, claiming that Mickey was an “anti-Red rebel.”

7. In 1937, a Mickey Mouse adventure was so similar to real events in Yugoslavia that the comic strip was banned. State police say the comic strip depicted a “Puritan-like revolt” that was a danger to the “Boy King,” Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was just 14 at the time. A journalist who wrote about the ban was consequently escorted out of the country.

8. Though Mussolini banned many cartoons and American influences from Italy in 1938, Mickey Mouse flew under the radar. It’s been said that Mussolini’s children were such Mickey Mouse fans that they were able to convince him to keep the rodent around.

9. Mickey and his friends were banned from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a roundabout way. As they do with many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Disney had contacted American favorites to win in each event to ask them to say the famous “I’m going to Disneyland!” line if they won. When American swimmer Matt Biondi won the 100-meter freestyle, he dutifully complied with the request. After a complaint from the East Germans, the tape was pulled and given to the International Olympic Committee.

10. In 1993, Mickey was banned from a place he shouldn't have been in the first place: Seattle liquor stores. As a wonderful opening sentence from the Associated Press explained, "Mickey Mouse, the Easter Bunny and teddy bears have no business selling booze, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has decided." A handful of stores had painted Mickey and other characters as part of a promotion. A Disney VP said Mickey was "a nondrinker."

11. Let's end with another strike against The Shindig (see #1) and Clarabelle’s bulging udder. Less than a year after the Shindig ban, the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America announced that they had received a massive number of complaints about the engorged cow udders in various Mickey Mouse cartoons.

From then on, according to a 1931 article in Time magazine, “Cows in Mickey Mouse ... pictures in the future will have small or invisible udders quite unlike the gargantuan organ whose antics of late have shocked some and convulsed others. In a recent picture the udder, besides flying violently to left and right or stretching far out behind when the cow was in motion, heaved with its panting with the cow stood still.”

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