Taglines: On the other side of drinks, dinner and a one night stand, lies a terrifying love story.
Dan Gallagher is a successful, happily married Manhattan lawyer whose work leads him to meet Alexandra “Alex” Forrest, an editor for a publishing company. While his wife, Beth, and daughter, Ellen, are out of town for the weekend, Dan has an affair with Alex. Though it was initially understood by both as just a fling, Alex starts clinging to him.
Dan stays on a second unplanned evening with Alex in which she persistently asked him over. When Dan tries to leave, she cuts her wrists in a suicide attempt. He helps her to bandage them and later leaves. He thinks the affair is forgotten, but she shows up at various places to see him. She waits at his office one day to apologize and invites him to a performance of Madame Butterfly, but he politely turns her down.
She then continues to telephone 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 claiming 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 shows up at his apartment (which is for sale) and meets Beth, feigning interest as a buyer. Later that night, he goes to her apartment to confront her, which results in a violent scuffle. In response, she replies that she will not be ignored.
Dan moves his family to Bedford, but this does not deter Alex. She has a tape recording delivered to him filled with verbal abuse. She stalks him in a parking garage, pours acid on his car, and follows him home one night to spy on him, Beth, and Ellen from the bushes in their yard; the sight of their content family literally makes her sick to her stomach.
Her obsession escalates further. Dan approaches the police to apply for a restraining order against her (claiming that it is “for a client”), to which the lieutenant claims that he cannot violate her rights without probable cause, and that the “client” has to own up to his adultery.
At one point, while the Gallaghers are not home, Alex kills Ellen’s pet rabbit, and puts it on their stove to boil. After this, Dan tells Beth of the affair and Alex’s supposed pregnancy. Enraged, she demands that he leave. Before he goes, Dan calls Alex to tell her that Beth knows about the affair. Beth gets on the phone and warns Alex that if she persists, she (Beth) will kill her. Without Dan and Beth’s knowledge,
Alex picks up Ellen at school, takes her to an amusement park, buys her ice cream and takes her on a roller coaster. Beth panics when she realizes that she does not know where Ellen is. She drives around frantically searching and rear-ends a car stopped at an intersection. She is injured and hospitalized. Alex later takes Ellen home, asking her for a kiss on the cheek. Following Beth’s release from the hospital, she forgives Dan and they return home.
Fatal Attraction is a 1987 American psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne and written by James Dearden. It is based on Dearden’s 1980 short film Diversion. Starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer, the film centers on a married man who has a weekend affair with a woman who refuses to allow it to end and becomes obsessed with him.
The film was a massive hit, finishing as the second highest-grossing film of 1987 in the United States and the highest-grossing film of the year worldwide. Critics were enthusiastic about the film, and it received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture (which it lost to The Last Emperor), Best Actress for Close, and Best Supporting Actress for Archer. Both lost to Cher and Olympia Dukakis, respectively, for Moonstruck.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Directed by: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer, Ellen Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Tom Brennan, Mike Nussbaum, Anna Levine
Screenplay by: James Dearden
Production Design by: Mel Bourne
Cinematography by: Howard Atherton
Film Editing by: Peter E. Berger, Michael Kahn
Costume Design by: Ellen Mirojnick
Set Decoration by: Ellen Mirojnick
Art Direction by: Jack Blackman
Music by: Maurice Jarre
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: September 18, 1987