Fatal Attraction (1987) Poster

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Terrific, tight thriller
fleagles14 February 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I had never seen Fatal Attraction until yesterday, but I had already heard about the famous pet rabbit and the closing scenes. No matter – this is one heck of a thriller that combines terrific acting from Michael Douglas and Glenn Close with a thought-provoking story. Douglas' married Dan Gallagher and Close's Alex Forrest have a steamy affair while his wife is away. Except that Alex decides that it's not over. Her Alex is a maniacal nutcase who isn't above anything to keep Dan for herself, including terrorizing his family and kidnapping his daughter. Anne Archer plays Dan's wife; it's a role that many actresses can play in their sleep. She does a fine job, but it's similar to her roles in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

There is a larger issue here, though, and one that was discussed when the film was released: Aside from the moral problems of adultery, doesn't Alex have a point ? Isn't she entitled to something besides simply being used for a night or two ? The tension in this film is constant, although a lot of it seems too easily foreshadowed. Overall, though, a terrific thriller and a justifiably huge hit.
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Close Call For Douglas
twanurit21 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've re-watched it on DVD and it's still an amazing, unforgettable nightmare film, spawning countless imitators and a multitude of discussion. Glenn Close will forever be identified as the unhinged colleague of married with child Michael Douglas who have a brief fling that Douglas lives to regret. Close should have won the Academy Award for her electrifying portrayal of an attractive, seemingly ground woman who eventually lashes out in acid-spewing, bunny-boiling, knife-wielding hysteria. Douglas is equally effective, beautifully conveying increasing angst and guilt (later he looks sick when he finds his wife chatting with Close). The subject was done before in at least "Possessed" (1947) and "Play Misty For Me" (1971), but not quite as effective and engrossing as this well-directed thriller. I definitely prefer the panic-stricken theatrical ending to the overly low-key and unexciting original cut. See it with a significant other!
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One Of The Most Memorable Movies Of The '80s
ccthemovieman-128 January 2007
You don't hear much about this film anymore, but in its day, this was the most-talked about movie of the year. It was a 'favorite topic of conversation about the office water cooler' for a number of weeks. At the time, it was a shocker. Nowaways.....who knows? As we become more and more desensitized to violence, sex and profanity, it takes a lot more to shock us.

Still, this movie had memorable moments that have stayed with us who first saw it at the theater 20 years ago. Most of those memorable scenes, if not all of them, involve Glenn Close's character, "Alex Forrest." Man, this is a woman who would not be denied what she wanted: in this case, married man Michael Douglas.

No sense going into all the details. Everyone knows them by now, anyway. Looking back, I think the film was a good lesson for men (or women) thinking about cheating on their spouses and assuming nothing bad will happen as a result. Men may commit more crimes, but that old adage about a "woman scorned" certainly is demonstrated here in spades! Douglas' character, "Dan Gallagher," certainly can attest to that, but he is anything but a sympathetic character. Both actors do a superb job in here, but kudos also to the rest of the Gallagher family, played by Anne Archer (wife "Beth") and Ellen Hamilton Latzen (daughter "Ellen.")

Also, the cinematography shouldn't be overlooked. The widescreen DVD certainly brought out how nicely this film was shot and directed. This two-hour film keeps your attention all the way. The only thing I would change is the language, toning it down a bit. Otherwise, it's a classic thriller and one of the most famous films in the '80s.
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awpangle2 December 1998
This is an excellent movie about a pschyo(Close)who falls in love with Douglas and once he begins to realize he's doing the wrong thing she just won't leave him or his family alone. It is an excellent suspense thriller that moves like a rollercoaster and and keeps your attention from the beginning credits to the end credits, because the suspense never lets up once Douglas says to Close that he has to leave. This was one of Douglas' first in the "falling in love with pschyos movies" and it's the best. Some say Basic Instinct(which was basically all sex and very little suspense)was better, but this one has only one short sex scene and then it is suspenseful for the last hour and a half. It is definitely the best in his string of these kind of movies. Watch and judge for yourself. Ann Archer plays an excellent role as the determined and suspicious wife of Douglas(who pairs up perfect with pschyo Close). After the ending all you can say is WOW. ***1/2 out of ****
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An unforgettable movie
Kristine13 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
One of the most talked about films of all time, Fatal Attraction, where married men learned a very valuable lesson: keep the pants zipped. I don't think there was a more talked about film in the 80's than Fatal Attraction, it made so many people think. It was a very intelligent thriller with great characters and a terrifying story. How many women get rejected by a man and haven't fantasized about just ruining their lives as revenge? Alex Forrest was the woman who didn't just fantasize, but lived it. How many men have a woman who won't let go of them no matter what they do? Even vice versa, but this was the movie that scared men right back into their wife's arms.

Dan Gallagher is a successful, happily-married attorney living in Manhattan when he meets Alex Forrest. While his wife, Beth, and daughter are out of town for the weekend, he has a passionate affair with Alex. Though he thought it was understood to be a simple fling, she begins clinging to him. Dan explains that he must go home and Alex cuts her wrists in a suicide attempt. He thinks the affair is forgotten, but she shows up at various places to see him. She continues to call until he tells his secretary that he will no longer take her calls. She then phones his home at all hours, and then confronts him saying that she is pregnant and plans to keep the baby. Although he wants nothing to do with her, she argues that he must take responsibility. She will do anything at this point to make him be with her, even if it means destroying his family.

Glenn Close who had only played the nice girl roles blew everyone's mind when she played Alex Forrest. What passion she put into the role and part of you couldn't really hate her. She brings up a great point to Dan "Because I won't allow you to treat me like some slut you can just bang a couple of times and throw in the garbage?". Your heart does break for her but at the same time you want to scream at her to let go of Dan and not hurt his family. Michael Douglas as Dan plays the role extremely well. He gives Dan a sense of realism, he's not a major jerk who just looks for random women, he makes a mistake and owns up to it. He's still very smart, but very frightened and rightfully so when he learns what Alex can do to him. You believe that he loves his family, he made a bad choice and don't we all? The consequences were a bit extreme this time. Ann Archer as Beth was not only beautiful, classy, but incredibly intelligent. She makes Beth so real and I loved her line that I found out was improvised when Dan tells her that he cheated "What is the matter with you?!", how many women or men have screamed that when getting hurt? Ellen Hamilton Latzen as Ellen, their daughter, is one of the best child actors you could imagine. She doesn't make her character annoying and when she sees her parents crying, she breaks down and you just want to hold her so badly. What talent at such a young age. Fatal Attraction was made so well and the reason why I think it holds up is because it is a very intelligent movie with great characters. You could relate in one way or another. Just a side note, I do wish they stuck with the original ending since it would have made more sense with Alex's character, I won't give it away, but it also would have been ironic with her and Dan's love for "Madame Butterfly". But people wanted to see Alex get what she had coming after her being named a "bunny boiler". But trust me when I say this is one of the best movies to come out of the 80's and I still love watching it.

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lucas_dunaway30 September 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I swear, I have seen Fatal Attraction at least 15 times, and each time I watch it, I am on the edge of my seat. Glen Close does an AMAZING job as Alex, a psychopath, who becomes obsessed with a married man (Douglas.) The first time I saw this movie, I was shocked... Every second something happened that made me become more and more trapped into this movie. Theres the slitting of the wrists, the baby, the Volvo... and who could forget the bunny?? (poor bunny fu fu.) Anyway, for any one who loves thrillers, one-night stands, or thrillers... this is the KING of all others...
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Close Personifies A Woman Scorned.
nycritic23 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The back story goes that Glenn Close couldn't do sexy to save her life. She, of course, being the great actress she is, set herself out to prove her detractors wrong, and has gone down in history for having single-handedly made "love in an elevator" a household name and something horny lovers would look forward to, especially in a semi-deserted building after hours. Never dressed in anything other than black or white (in a nod to Lana Turner's own femme fatale wardrobe in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE), and with long, curly hair enhancing her cold, Connecticut looks, she lights up the screen in her hotly sensual, sympathetic introduction, and just as the black she wears later on as she turns into the psycho she really is, makes the audience completely hate her -- so of course, killing her off was in order to please the crowd who despite having the logics of plot thrown out the window demanded her death in a steamy bathtub at the hands of Anne Archer. That's the power of acting, people. She is the film down to its illogical but emotionally satisfying ending, and anything else is just a false 80s "family values" hogwash. When you think FATAL ATTRACTION, you think Glenn Close, dressed in white, sexual fury personified, holding that huge cleaver in hand.
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Made me squirm
Ralpho9 September 2001
Although I found myself checking the elapsed time during this movie to get some idea of when it would end, the final scenes made me squirm with sympathetic fright for the characters.

Roger Ebert says the filmmakers ruined a perfectly good psychological thriller by attaching a "Friday the 13th" ending. The IMDb Trivia page says the movie originally had a different ending in which Glenn Close's character commits suicide and Michael Douglas' character is arrested for her murder. Ebert and most serious film lovers would likely have preferred that ending. But making profitable movies sometimes means making them unpalatable for highbrow students of film.

Nevertheless, the "flawed" film resonated with women. I have vague memories of female friends and acquaintances in the late '80s seeing "Fatal Attraction" as an example of what SHOULD happen to any man who cheats on his wife. The movie found a place in our culture for a while, and the title was a euphemism for similar happenings in real life.

One wonders how much this movie had to do with the near universal creation of "stalker laws" in the 1990s.
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Great Movie!
elizleem-128 February 2006
This was a magnificent thriller - Douglas was great, Close was marvelous, but Ann Archer was the greatest. Great concept, excellent filming, perfectly executed acting. What more could one desire? Definite edge-of-the-seat pace - NOT a waste of time to see. I own the video, and I do not own many videos; this was the perfect see-it-over-and-over film. Even now, at age 50+, there are scenes that are the best I have ever witnessed in a movie. Douglas portrayed many men who finds his lover pregnant, though perhaps a bit more understanding in his initial attempt to support the woman. Close portrayed the unexpressed emotions of many women who have been in this situation, anger personified and vengeance motivated. The fact that her mental makeup was destroyed prior to her affair makes no difference in the expression of emotions, until, of course, she takes her emotions out on the family. Men, take notice! This could happen to you if you choose to have an affair. :)
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