The film makes no attempt to hide its indebtedness to noir tradition.
Ned Racine (William Hurt) is a seedy, womanising lawyer who works in a small town in Florida. In the midst of a terrible heatwave, he accidentally meets Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner), a rich married woman from a nearby suburb. A steamy affair quickly develops.
Soon enough, Matty has convinced Ned to murder her husband (Richard Crenna) so they can be together (and rich) forever – and to think it’s his idea.
After the murder, Ned gets double-crossed in various ways, discovering he was picked out and set up by Matty from the very beginning.
After Matty fakes her own death, Ned is sent to jail, where he does some research and learns that she had actually taken on another woman’s identity. But it’s too late to do anything.
The last shot shows Matty sunbathing on an anonymous tropical island.
The extended soft-core sex scenes between Hurt and Turner are shocking and risqué even by today’s more promiscuous standards.