6.9/10
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227 user 108 critic

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
1,193 ( 332)

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

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Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Marion Davies, Holbrook Blinn, Harrison Ford
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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:

$320,145,693
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

Sally Field was considered for the role of Alex Forrest, but she immediately turned it down because she feared that her fans would not accept her playing a antagonist. See more »

Goofs

When Alex calls Dan in the middle of the night, from where she is we can clearly see that it is broad daylight, although it should be 2:00 in the morning and dark outside. 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 Barbara: Rivals (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

WHEN I FALL IN LOVE
(1952)
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
Performed by The Bill Evans Trio
Courtesy of Riverside Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
holds up over time... except...
23 September 2016 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

It's amazing to think that dozens - maybe hundreds(?) - of movies, especially from the Lifetime channel, can trace their lineage to this film (and people like John Carpenter and Brian De Palma turned this down in part as they saw it as unoriginal, taking from Clint Eastwood's great debut, Play Misty for Me). I think that makes this hold up is the acting, pure and simple. Douglas and Close and also Anne Archer as the wife really make this material work as strong as it can - they sell every minute they can, and they have to. This is even in knowing that the movie doesn't really have a very firm moral leg to stand on; we should be on Michael Douglas' side, but he's the one that screwed up.

Sure, Glenn Close is crazy, or a victim of abuse as well if one wants to dig a little deeper (who knows what happened with dear old dad before he died of that heart attack), but, and this is important, she's right (certainly initially) or at least has a point that should matter about how he's just tossing her to the wayside after a night or two of "fun". I like that Lyne and the writer have underlying implications that make it more harrowing and that it paints the two sides as neither right or wrong (though of course one is more wrong than the other, the wrongs don't make anything right) up to varying degrees. What makes it not stand up over time is the ending, or even the last act.

From a writing perspective it should have ended how it was originally supposed to, with Alex killing herself and framing Dan as if it was murder. It calls back to the mention of Madame Butterfly, which is the set up and pay-off. But because the producers acquiesced it turns into the template for countless s***y movies where the character has one last hurrah to mess with the supposed heroes and blood is spilled and one more life is lost. In a sense my criticism is the same as Ebert's, that it kind of turns into a Friday the 13th movie. But at least for 85% of the running time, maybe 90%, it is a provocative, terrifying drama that has a simple moral message: don't cheat.


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