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Cleaning up a ''Body of Evidence''

Cleaning up a ”Body of Evidence” — MGM tones down Madonna’s raunchy film for an R rating

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To no one’s surprise, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Dino DeLaurentiis Communications have trimmed some of the steamier scenes between stars Madonna and Willem Dafoe in Body of Evidence, due in January, thus reaping the publicity of a threatened NC-17 rating, then avoiding the box office anathema at the last minute.

None of the sex scenes in Body, which centers on a murder defendant (Madonna) who seduces her married lawyer (Dafoe), have been ”totally removed,” says executive producer Stephen Deutsch. Those that have been edited include scenes of nudity, masturbation, bondage, and oral sex.

But one of the stars is not happy with the sanitized version of Body, which will run here with an R rating while Europeans see a different edit — and it’s not who you think. The singer’s reaction? ”I’m happy with the R-rated version,” Madonna says. Dafoe, however, says that he was initially attracted to the film because he thought ”the erotic scenes would be explicit…I’ve performed without clothes before (The Last Temptation of Christ). It taps into my narcissistic and exhibitionistic sides.” His point, however, is moot. Dafoe has no fully frontal nude scenes in either version. His costar, on the other hand, has an estimated half dozen in both.

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