Fatal Attraction (1987)
Review by HTQ4

Written by James Dearden and Nicholas Meyer
Directed by Adrian Lyne
Starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, Stuart Pankin


Released by: Paramount.
Rating: R
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Own it.

Dan Gallagher (Douglas) is a successful lawyer who has a lovely wife (Archer) and daughter (Latzen). He has no particular problems in his marriage (yet), but a woman (Close) he runs into at a party intrigues him--and eventually, while the family's out of town, he has one night of passion--and wants to leave it at one night. However, the woman he flung with, Alex, has ideas of her own--nutso ones. He won't get off that easy, and she wants him to herself--no matter what it will take to have him.

Wow. This is a powerhouse of a film. There is no wonder that it has remained so ingrained in the minds of everyone who has ever seen it. Alex's line, "I will not be ignored, Dan!" is one of those that will seemingly forever be placed into great movie montages. This movie is a perfect example of everyone being in the right place at the right time. Let's face it, this movie would probably not have done as well if it had come out even five years earlier. The public was ready for it and so were the cast and crew involved. I think that everyone agrees that this is one of the finest performances of Close's career. She was stunningly sexy and eerily dangerous...sometimes at the same time. After this movie, Douglas seemed to make a career out of this type of character, whether he was the one who was cheating or being cheated on. Anne Archer is one of the best "secondary" players that we've seen in films in some time. This is just a wild ride of a movie; you have to just have to hang on tight, because it doesn't let up.

That having been said, Paramount has released a fantastic DVD for this movie. First of all, Lyne's commentary is really well done. Even though he is revisiting the movie after nearly fifteen years, he does a very good job of keeping the comments on topic and interesting. Next we have the Forever Fatal segment which features interviews with the cast and crew. It is very well put together and the one thing that becomes obvious is that everyone involved was deeply committed to this project. The Social Attraction and Visual Attraction segments feel like they are parts of a larger whole in that they are formatted the same way and the interviewees are all pretty much the same. Granted, they are talking about the specific topics that each segment is supposed to cover, but I got the feeling from them that the DVD masterminds broke one long bit up into different segments to make it look like there are more features to the disc.

The real gems of the features of this DVD are the collections of rehearsal footage. These look like they are shot on VHS, but they are scenes of Douglas and Close improvising some scenes that are similar to the ones in the movie. Watching this footage, it becomes blatantly obvious why they chose these two actors to play these parts. There simply was no one else who could pull it off. Finally, there is the alternate ending that they had originally put into the movie. Historically, we know that when the tested the movie, the test audiences didn't like the ending because they didn't feel that Close's character got what she deserved, so they changed the ending and then released what everyone has seen in the theaters and on television and VHS for years. It's nice to have it included on the DVD because it shows what the original intent of the filmmaker was and how it was changed.

All in all, this is a wonderful DVD from Paramount and a fitting tribute to the film that audiences are still talking about to this day. If you are a fan of the film, this DVD should be on your shelf permanently. If you have never seen the movie, this is the second best way to make sure you see it (first being in theaters).

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