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Drama - Police, Drama -Erotic

Basic Instinct (1992)

Duration2h 7m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R and the Director’s Cut unrated., 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorPaul Verhoeven
Writers/ScriptJoe Eszterhas
StarringMichael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Leilani Sarelie, Dorothy Malone, Wayne Knight, Stephen Tobolowsky, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.0 by 176,651 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 55% by 66 critics.

Elevator Pitch: Nick Curran is a San Francisco detective, who has accidentally shot two tourists in the past and is therefore involved in psychiatric treatment with police psychologist Beth Garner. He and his partner are investigating the murder of a rock star, who has been dispatched with an ice pick apparently during sex. They have a line on an author, Catherine Tramell, who has written a book describing an identical murder. Tramell admits having sex with the singer, but also has a lesbian partner. Nick suggests that she come in for questioning and she agrees. He initiates an affair with Tramell and in a frenzied interaction has sex with Garner, who he also suspects might be the murderer.

Content: Well! The film opens up with a scene of a couple having sex, and it implied that while she is climaxing she stabs the man with an ice pick. Later there is the famous interrogation scene, viewers disagreeing on what can actually be seen. Nick survives an attempt on his life and has sex with both the suspect and Beth Garner which some have described as a rape. There are one or two car chases as the detectives try to find out where Tramell goes and it seems that she is visiting ex serial killers, and also one in which the driver of a Lotus attempts to kill Nick.

A View: This is a very well known film. Pretty steamy even for today, never mind 1992. It made a lot of money even though it was not liked that much by the critics. Roger Ebert for instance found that it was like a crossword puzzles, holds your interest till you solve it. Actually I thought that the scattering of clues, particularly in relation to Beth Garner was particularly misleading, it just seems so unlikely that two women, known to each other have both been involved in previous murders. But there it is, a sexy film noire. Probably worth a view.

Additional Info: There is a lot of stuff available about this film, but probably worth note is the fact that neither young woman used a body double. Sharon Stone was paid $500,00, Jeanne Tripplehorn probably less.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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