7.0/10
174,651
356 user 130 critic

Basic Instinct (1992)

Trailer
1:10 | Trailer
A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Writer:

Joe Eszterhas
Reviews
Popularity
568 ( 100)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Detective Nick Curran
Sharon Stone ... Catherine Tramell
George Dzundza ... Gus Moran
Jeanne Tripplehorn ... Dr. Beth Garner
Denis Arndt ... Lieutenant Walker
Leilani Sarelle ... Roxy Hardy
Bruce A. Young ... Andrews
Chelcie Ross ... Captain Talcott
Dorothy Malone ... Hazel Dobkins
Wayne Knight ... John Correli
Daniel von Bargen ... Lieutenant Nilsen (as Daniel Von Bargen)
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Dr. Lamott
Benjamin Mouton ... Harrigan
Jack McGee ... Sheriff
Bill Cable Bill Cable ... Johnny Boz
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Storyline

A former rock star, Johnny Boz, is brutally killed during sex, and the case is assigned to detective Nick Curran of the SFPD. During the investigation, Nick meets Catherine Tramell, a crime novelist who was Boz's girlfriend when he died. Catherine proves to be a very clever and manipulative woman, and though Nick is more or less convinced that she murdered Boz, he is unable to find any evidence. Later, when Nilsen, Nick's rival in the police, is killed, Nick suspects of Catherine's involvement in it. He then starts to play a dangerous lust-filled mind game with Catherine to nail her, but as their relationship progresses, the body count rises and contradicting evidences force Nick to start questioning his own suspicions about Catherine's guilt. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Catherine's last name comes from Alan Trammell, the longtime star shortstop for the Detroit Tigers. Sharon Stone discovered that a trammell was a Scottish death shroud, and complimented Joe Eszterhas on his subtlety with the choice, not believing the truth. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, several characters use the word "alibi" in a wrong sense. They use it to refer to the argument that Catherine would not have committed a crime very similar to one described in a novel of hers. But that is not what the word alibi means. It refers to a piece of evidence which shows that a suspect could not have been at the scene of a crime at the time of that crime (the literal translation of the Latin word "alibi" is "elsewhere"). The description of the ice pick murder in Catherine's novel does not prove anything of that sort. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gus: Who was this fuckin' guy?
Nick: Rock and roll, Gus. Johnny Boz.
Gus: Never heard of him.
Nick: Before your time, cowboy.
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Alternate Versions

A special Network TV version of the film was prepared by director Paul Verhoeven substituting alternate non-explicit footage and close-ups for all violent and sexually explicit shots. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Langt fra Las Vegas: Michel (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Movin' on Up
Written by Jeff Barry and Ja'net DuBois (as Janet DuBois)
Courtesy of ELP Communications
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User Reviews

 
What A Film!
18 September 2001 | by btbshiningSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite films, even though it has some problems.

The film caused controversy with some of the gay crowd (who didn't like the negative press) and for the graphic sex (with bedroom violence). It became a box office winner, that made Sharon Stone a star, and yet was basically p****d on by the critics! The word is the film is better than your average B movie skin flick, only by the quality of the actors, and Verhoeven's ability. I feel the film is still not given the respect it's due.

I first saw the R-rated version, which is very good, but now you can get the even better Unrated Director's Cut, which has even more graphic content! If you don't like erotic-thrillers, then don't see it. But anyone with taste will enjoy the thrill ride of events that take place in Basic Instinct. The script by Joe Eszterhas was highly thought of in Hollywood, and if not for the graphic nudity, a top star like Michelle Pfeiffer would have taken the role made famous by Sharon stone.

Does the script go too far at times? Yes, but that's part of the films charm, and after all, the now 'classic film moment' of Sharon Stone's leg spread interrogation, likely would have been dropped in a conventional film. Still though, I wouldn't have minded seeing a few less people getting killed off, to keep even more suspense and realism.

The score is also beautiful, and fans of Hitchcock's great "Vertigo" can appreciate the homage that Paul Verhoeven has included. The film has a lot of eye candy, but Jeanne Tripplehorn deserves special mention for her impressive supporting role (sadly she hasn't done much of note since). Michael Douglas does a solid job also, but I can't help wondering if a better actor like Clint Eastwood could have brought more to the table. The dialogue is not up to the level of "Pulp Fiction", but it's still interesting and fun.

I highly recommend this film for fans of adult mystery.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Hurts See more »

Filming Locations:

Carmel, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$49,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,129,385, 22 March 1992

Gross USA:

$117,727,224

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$352,927,224
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carolco Pictures, Canal+ See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | LC-Concept Digital Sound (France)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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