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Fatal Attraction (1987)

A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director:

Adrian Lyne

Writers:

James Dearden (screenplay), James Dearden (short film)
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Popularity
861 ( 956)

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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Dan Gallagher
Glenn Close ... Alex Forrest
Anne Archer ... Beth Gallagher
Ellen Latzen ... Ellen Gallagher (as Ellen Hamilton Latzen)
Stuart Pankin ... Jimmy
Ellen Foley ... Hildy
Fred Gwynne ... Arthur
Meg Mundy ... Joan Rogerson
Tom Brennan Tom Brennan ... Howard Rogerson
Lois Smith ... Martha
Mike Nussbaum ... Bob Drimmer
J.J. Johnston ... O'Rourke
Michael Arkin Michael Arkin ... Lieutenant
Sam Coppola ... Fuselli (as Sam J. Coppola)
Eunice Prewitt Eunice Prewitt ... Receptionist
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Storyline

Happily married New York lawyer Dan Gallagher has an affair with his colleague Alex, and the two enjoy a love weekend while Dan's wife and kid are away. But Alex will not let go of him, and she will stop at nothing to have him for herself. Just how far will she go to get what she wants? Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On the other side of drinks, dinner and a one night stand, lies a terrifying love story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Affairs of the Heart See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,602,740, 20 September 1987

Gross USA:

$156,645,693

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$163,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital (5.1 surround)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This marks the first time that director Adrian Lyne and cinematographer Howard Atherton collaborated on a film. See more »

Goofs

Before the final scene, there is an outside shot of the Gallagher home. It is supposed to be late Fall (Christmas decorations seen while Beth is driving, Ellen practicing for her Thanksgiving play) yet the trees outside the home are all in full bloom. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Beth Gallagher: [to Dan] You better get going kiddo, we're gonna be late.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Barbara Harris is sometimes credited under the name Barbara Iley. In the final credits here, under 'Party Guests', she is credited under both names. See more »

Alternate Versions

AMC version uses alternate takes of the bedroom scene with Alex covered with a sheet over her chest before she kicks out Dan in order to avoid editing out nudity. These takes were originally rejected by Adrian Lyne because he did not think the performances were up to par. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: PhDead (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

ITSUKI NO KOMORI-UTA
Arranged by Hideaki Shibata
Courtesy of King Record Co., Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Still has the power to shock and awe
28 June 2014 | by rogerdarlingtonSee all my reviews

In th winter of 1987/88, "Fatal Attraction" was a sensation: the most viewed and the most debated movie on show. Directed by Adrian Lyne, who had made the lighter "Flashdance| and "9 1/2 Weeks", this taut thriller stars Michael Douglas as married lawyer Dan Gallagher who has a weekend of passion with causal acquaintance Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) while his wife Beth (Anne Archer) ans young daughter are out of town.

Close is terrific as the spurned lover who turns increasingly vengeful and manic in a performance reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's "Play Misty For Me" (she even sends Dan a tape labelled 'Play me'). As the tension ratchets up, there are more and more shocking and memorable scenes with perhaps that involving the daughter's pet rabbit as the most disturbing. Given the time of its release, many viewers saw this as a moral tale against sexual infidelity with the Alex character as the personification of AIDS.

Viewing it again almost three decades later, it still has the power to shock and awe, but we now know that the ending - so satisfying to audiences and conducive to box office records - was changed as a result of test screenings. So the frequent references to the opera "Madam Butterfly" and Dan's handling of a knife hint at the finale intended by screenwriter James Deardon and indeed a recent stage version of the film presents a more nuanced treatment of Alex and offers a different resolution.


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