director: Roger Spottiswoode; screenwriters: Duncan Gibbins/Yale Udoff; cinematographer: Alexander Gruszynski; editor: Garth Craven; music: Charles Gross; cast: Treat Williams (Scott Weston), Virginia Madsen (Anne Scholes), Richard Masur (Clay Reynolds); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Fredda Weiss; HBO; 1989)

“Nothing that happens will make you want to remember this film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Third Degree Burn is a made for TV movie. It’s a Body Heat rip-off. Director Roger Spottiswoode and co-screenwriters Duncan Gibbins and Yale Udoff fail to make this low-budget wannabe noir film into anything much but a film that never becomes as bad as it could have been, especially since it’s filled with plot holes and clichés.

Treat Williams stars as Scott Weston, a tough ex-policeman who is now a private investigator up to his eyeballs in murder and infidelity. The womanizer has been hired by a millionaire businessman to check out whether or not his beautiful wife Anne Scholes (Virginia Madsen) is fooling around and ends up seducing her. Weston gets framed for the murder of Anne’s husband, and it becomes a question if he got set-up by the femme fatale or was there someone else involved. My attitude reflects what Clark Gable said in GWTW to Scarlet, “Frankly, I don’t give a damn.”

It was shot in Seattle and Tucson. It builds to its predictable conclusion with the usual plot twists expected of the genre. But nothing that happens will make you want to remember this film.