Basic Instinct (1992)

R | 122 mins | Drama | 20 March 1992

Writer:

Joe Eszterhas

Producer:

Alan Marshal

Cinematographer:

Jan de Bont

Production Designer:

Terence Marsh

Production Companies:

Carolco Pictures , Le Studio Canal+
Full page view
HISTORY

       Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, and Richard Gere were among the actors considered for the role of “Nick Curran,” which ultimately went to Michael Douglas, as announced in a 16 Jul 1990 HR brief. Douglas’s salary was estimated to be between $10.5 and $15 million “plus percentage,” according to the 19 Jul 1990 DV. Producer Irwin Winkler stated the film would cost under $40 million. However, a 13 Mar 1992 Screen International item listed the budget as $43 million.
       Paul Verhoeven signed on to direct in late Jul 1990, according to a 30 Jul 1990 DV item, which noted that filming would begin in Jan 1991. However, on 21 Jan 1991, DV reported that screen testing for the female lead was still underway. Actresses under consideration for the role of “Catherine Tramell” included Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Melanie Griffith, Geena Davis, Mariel Hemingway, and Sharon Stone, although, according to a 21 Jan 1991 New York brief, some actresses turned down the role on the basis that the script was too misogynistic. Verhoeven fought for Sharon Stone, who had appeared in his 1990 film Total Recall (see entry), “against everybody’s advice,” as she was a lesser-known performer. Stone was initially tested months before casting began, and was hired by the end of Jan 1991, according to a 10 Feb 1991 LAT brief.
       In Aug 1990, Joe Eszterhas and Irwin Winkler left the project over creative differences with Carolco, Paul Verhoeven, and Michael Douglas, according to a 22 Aug 1990 DV news item. Eszterhas and Winkler initially asked for ... More Less

       Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, and Richard Gere were among the actors considered for the role of “Nick Curran,” which ultimately went to Michael Douglas, as announced in a 16 Jul 1990 HR brief. Douglas’s salary was estimated to be between $10.5 and $15 million “plus percentage,” according to the 19 Jul 1990 DV. Producer Irwin Winkler stated the film would cost under $40 million. However, a 13 Mar 1992 Screen International item listed the budget as $43 million.
       Paul Verhoeven signed on to direct in late Jul 1990, according to a 30 Jul 1990 DV item, which noted that filming would begin in Jan 1991. However, on 21 Jan 1991, DV reported that screen testing for the female lead was still underway. Actresses under consideration for the role of “Catherine Tramell” included Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Melanie Griffith, Geena Davis, Mariel Hemingway, and Sharon Stone, although, according to a 21 Jan 1991 New York brief, some actresses turned down the role on the basis that the script was too misogynistic. Verhoeven fought for Sharon Stone, who had appeared in his 1990 film Total Recall (see entry), “against everybody’s advice,” as she was a lesser-known performer. Stone was initially tested months before casting began, and was hired by the end of Jan 1991, according to a 10 Feb 1991 LAT brief.
       In Aug 1990, Joe Eszterhas and Irwin Winkler left the project over creative differences with Carolco, Paul Verhoeven, and Michael Douglas, according to a 22 Aug 1990 DV news item. Eszterhas and Winkler initially asked for the script to be returned to them, but Carolco refused, instead agreeing to pay their full fees despite unfulfilled commitments, as noted in the 23 Aug 1990 LAT. In the wake of Eszterhas’s departure, Gary Goldman was brought in for a re-write. Verhoeven’s proposed changes, according to the 19 Mar 1992 HR “Hollywood Report” column, included the addition of a lesbian sex scene, an idea that Eszterhas had rejected as exploitative. A 1 Apr 1991 LAT article noted that Winkler was offended by Verhoeven’s intention to show certain body parts “in various stages of excitement.” Verhoeven and Gary Goldman worked on four drafts, but the director later claimed his proposals turned out to be “really stupid” and “undramatic.” By the fifth draft, Verhoeven had reverted to a script very close to Eszterhas’s original, with small changes to dialogue and some added visual elements. Producer Alan Marshall, who replaced Winkler, sent Eszterhas the new script in Mar 1991, and Eszterhas approved it. He and Verhoeven, who had fought similarly on their previous collaboration, Total Recall, reconciled in person at Morton’s restaurant in Los Angeles. Although Eszterhas was expected to return to the project as an executive producer, he received no such credit, but was given sole writing credit.
       According to the 9 Apr 1991 HR production chart and production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began 5 Apr 1991 in San Francisco, CA. There, five weeks of filming took place in various locations around the city, including Raw Hide II Country & Western Bar, an alley below TransBay Terminal Deck, Tosca’s Café, Dominican College in Marin County, and Kearny Street on Telegraph Hill, where a car chase was filmed on steep sidewalk steps. Michael Douglas, a former racecar driver, opted to perform most of his own driving. Shooting also took place in the towns of Oakland, Rohnert Park, and Petaluma, before the company moved to the Monterey Peninsula for two weeks of filming at a beachfront estate that stood in for Catherine Tramell’s beach house. Interiors, including the San Francisco police headquarters and “Johnny Boz’s” nightclub, were shot on soundstages at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles. Finally, cast and crew returned to Carmel, where beach sequences that had been delayed due to bad weather were completed.
       At the start of production, homosexual activist groups, including Queer Nation, ACT-UP, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), met with Joe Eszterhas, Paul Verhoeven, and Alan Marshall, to demand script revisions. Claiming the story was homophobic, they wanted, among other things, for “Nick Curran” to be changed into a female character, and for a “date rape” scene between Curran and “Dr. Beth Garner” to be eliminated, as noted in a 29 Apr 1991 LAT article. The 30 Apr 1991 DV stated that Eszterhas made several script changes based on the activists’ proposals, including rewriting Nick Curran as a female and the addition of a disclaimer at the beginning of the film, stating: “The movie you are about to see is fiction. Its gay and bisexual characters are fictional and not based on reality.” On 29 Apr 1991, with Verhoeven, Douglas, and Alan Marshall’s endorsement, Carolco and Tri-Star rejected Eszterhas’s proposed changes, stating that they undermined the strength of the original script and weakened the characters. An anonymous crew member was quoted in a 1 May 1991 LAT article as saying Eszterhas’s proposed changes were nothing more than an attempt to come across as a “sensitive good guy,” as filming had already begun and the revisions would be impossible to accommodate, given time and budget constraints.
       In addition to demanding script changes, homosexual activist groups staged protests and attempted to disrupt filming at various San Francisco locations, as noted in the 13 May 1991 issue of Time. Filmmakers were granted a temporary restraining order, requiring that protestors stay 100 feet away from the set. Several arrests were made, including a citizen’s arrest of producer Alan Marshall, by someone who claimed that Marshall had had protestors “falsely imprisoned.” Marshall was not held by police, as noted in the 9 May 1991 LAT. Filmmakers were not the only targets of the protests. A 29 Apr 1991 LAT article reported that Ray Chalker, owner of Raw Hide II Country & Western Bar, was also attacked. Chalker’s business, house, and car were vandalized, he received threatening phone calls, and, as noted in a 29 Apr 1991 LAT article, signs reading “Kill Ray” were posted around the Castro district.
       The conflict continued after production ended, when representatives of Queer Nation passed out flyers denouncing the film at the American Film Market (AFM), where foreign distribution deals were being made. By that time, a campaign called “Catherine Did It” had been launched, with a San Francisco billboard, T-shirts and stickers that spoiled the film’s ending in an effort to thwart future ticket sales, as noted in a 16 Feb 1992 LAT item. A 9 Mar 1992 HR brief announced the National Organization for Women (NOW) had joined the dissent, stating that in addition to being homophobic, Basic Instinct had an agenda against women, portraying them as “dangerous liars who are not to be trusted and who are to be used sexually.” Verhoeven responded to the outcry by stating, “You can expect a script to be politically correct but you cannot expect characters to be politically correct. That is not what drama is.” The 1 Apr 1991 LAT article noted that the director had previously received praise from the homosexual community for his portrayal of a gay character in the 1983 Dutch film, The Fourth Man.
       A 4 May 1991 NYT article argued that Basic Instinct had become “the boiling point for an issue that has long been simmering in Hollywood.” Other films that drew similar criticism around that time included JFK and The Silence of the Lambs (1991, see entries). Creative departments at studios, including Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Columbia Pictures, had recently enacted sensitivity training programs with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance, to increase awareness of the way homosexuals were being portrayed in the media, and address concerns over the correlation between gay bashing, violence against homosexuals, and negative portrayals of gay characters in film and television. The 21 Mar 1992 LAT noted that critics of such “political correctness” campaigns believed they represented “an effort to mute artistic freedom.”
       On the night of 18 Mar 1992, members of GLAAD handed out leaflets to drivers entering the Sony studio lot, where the film’s premiere was taking place, according to the 20 Mar 1992 LAT. Two days later, opening night demonstrations took place at theaters throughout the country, with various groups chanting “Catherine did it,” and distributing leaflets that gave away the film’s ending. A 26 Mar 1992 HR item speculated that the controversy only contributed to the opening weekend box-office take of $15.1 million, making Basic Instinct the year’s second-biggest opening after Wayne’s World (1992, see entry). The film went on to become an overwhelming commercial success. An 18 Jan 1993 DV advertisement named it “the number one film of 1992,” with a cumulative worldwide box-office gross of $353 million. Despite mixed critical reception, the picture received Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing and Music (Original Score), and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Sharon Stone), and Best Original Score – Motion Picture. Of his nine screenplays that had been produced, to that time, Joe Eszterhas was quoted in the 27 Mar 1992 HR as saying Basic Instinct was the first one that he “genuinely, viscerally loved” as a finished film.
       In May 1992, a director’s cut with roughly forty seconds of added footage opened the Cannes Film Festival, as reported in the 11 May 1992 Var. The additional footage had been previously cut from the U.S. version to achieve an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which initially rated the film NC-17. Var stated the additional footage amounted to “a few moments of added explicitness in the sex and violence making essentially no difference.”
       The ice pick prop used by Catherine Tramell was donated to the Planet Hollywood restaurant in New York City, according to a 27 Apr 1992 People brief, and the white dress worn by Catherine Tramell during an interrogation scene was auctioned at a fundraiser for All Babies Count, an organization benefitting HIV-positive children, as stated in the 29 May 1992 LAT.
       Three years after its release, Basic Instinct made headlines in Aug 1995, when a British woman named Vanessa Ballantyne stabbed a man with a serrated kitchen knife directly after watching the film, as noted in an 18 Aug 1995 The Times (London) article. Ballantyne, a mother of two, confessed her guilt to police a week after the attack. She was found to be psychotically depressed, and committed to a mental hospital.
       Sharon Stone received a $15 million “pay or play” contract to reprise the role of Catherine Tramell in a sequel, according to the 18 Feb 2001 issue of Parade, which stated that Kurt Russell had recently turned down a $5 million offer to co-star. David Morrissey was ultimately cast as the male lead, and the sequel, Basic Instinct 2 (2006, see entry), was released shortly after the home video release of an “unrated, remastered” edition of Basic Instinct, as noted in a 26 Mar 2006 LAT item.
       End credits include the following statements: “This motion picture was made with the help of: Robin Eickman; Lt. Dennis Schardt and the San Francisco Police Department; Ranger Warren White and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Monterey County Film Commission”; “The producers gratefully acknowledge: Lotus cars furnished by Lotus Cars U.S.A., Inc.; Jewelry by Barry Kieselstein-Cord; Dell Publishing-Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.; People Weekly Magazine logo and trademark used with permission of The Time Inc., Magazine Company; Paintings by Pablo Picasso ©1992 ARS N.Y./Spadem; Cerruti 1881, Paris.” Additional acknowledgments read: "Clip from The Jeffersons courtesy of Columbia Pictures Television © 1992 by: ELP Communications. All rights reserved."; "Clip from Hellraiser courtesy of Trans Atlantic Entertainment"; and, "Filmed on location in San Francisco, Carmel and at Warner Hollywood Studios."
      After a bidding war between roughly ten major and independent studios, Basic Instinct became the highest-selling screenplay, to that time, when Carolco Pictures bought it for $3 million, as reported in the 26 Jun 1990 LAT. Irwin Winkler was paid $1 million to produce. An Aug 1990 issue of Var reviewed the script prior to production, describing it as “devoid of any noticeably redeeming social merit” but with sufficient action and plot twists, according to an item in the 12 Aug 1990 LAT. Although Var editor Peter Bart acknowledged that a review of Joe Eszterhas’s first-draft script was “unorthodox,” he argued that the high-priced screenplay had achieved its own stature as “a cultural event.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1990
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1990.
---
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1990
p. 1 ,26.
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1991.
---
Daily Variety
30 Apr 1991
p. 1, 12.
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1992.
---
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1992.
---
Daily Variety
3 Mar 1992.
---
Daily Variety
16 Mar 1992
p. 3, 14.
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 1990
p. 1, 22.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1992
p. 3, 24.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 1992
p. 9, 44.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
26 Jun 1990
Calendar, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
12 Aug 1990
Calendar, p. 30.
Los Angeles Times
23 Aug 1990
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
10 Feb 1991
Calendar, p. 36.
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 1991
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
29 Apr 1991
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
1 May 1991
Calendar, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
9 May 1991
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
16 Feb 1992
Calendar, p. 23.
Los Angeles Times
20 Mar 1992
Section E, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
20 Mar 1992
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
21 Mar 1992
Metro, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
29 May 1992
p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
26 Mar 2006
Calendar, p. 9.
New York
21 Jan 1991.
---
New York Times
4 May 1991.
---
New York Times
20 Mar 1992
p. 8.
Parade
18 Feb 2001.
---
People
27 Apr 1992.
---
San Francisco Focus
Aug 1991.
---
Screen International
13 Mar 1992.
---
The Times (London)
18 Aug 1995
p. 1.
Time
13 May 1991.
---
Variety
16 Mar 1992
pp. 58-59.
Variety
11 May 1992.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Mario Kassar presents
A Carolco/Le Studio Canal + production
A Paul Verhoeven film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir, Los Angeles crew
Dir, 2d unit - San Francisco
1st asst dir, 2d unit - San Francisco
2d asst dir, 2d unit - San Francisco
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op, Los Angeles crew
1st asst cam, Los Angeles crew
Steadicam® op, Los Angeles crew
1st asst cam, Los Angeles crew
2d asst cam, Los Angeles crew
Video playback op, Los Angeles crew
Gaffer, Los Angeles crew
Key grip, Los Angeles crew
Still photog, Los Angeles crew
Rigging gaffer, Los Angeles crew
Best boy elec, Los Angeles crew
Elec, Los Angeles crew
Elec, Los Angeles crew
Elec, Los Angeles crew
Elec, Los Angeles crew
Best boy grip, Los Angeles crew
Dolly grip, Los Angeles crew
Rigging grip, Los Angeles crew
Grip, Los Angeles crew
Grip, Los Angeles crew
Grip, Los Angeles crew
Grip, Los Angeles crew
Elec, San Francisco crew
Elec, San Francisco crew
Elec, San Francisco crew
Elec, San Francisco crew
Grip, San Francisco crew
Grip, San Francisco crew
Grip, San Francisco crew
Dir of photog, 2d unit - San Francisco
Cam op, 2d unit - San Francisco
1st asst cam, 2d unit - San Francisco
1st asst cam, 2d unit - San Francisco
2d asst cam, 2d unit - San Francisco
2d asst cam, 2d unit - San Francisco
Best boy, 2d unit - San Francisco
Gaffer, 2d unit - San Francisco
Key grip, 2d unit - San Francisco
Grip, Carmel crew
Grip, Carmel crew
Grip, Carmel crew
Grip, Carmel crew
Grip, Carmel crew
Elec, Carmel crew
Elec, Carmel crew
Elec, Carmel crew
Wescam tech, Aerial unit
Wescam tech, Aerial unit
Wescam opt, Aerial unit
Title des
Opt by
Opt by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir, Los Angeles crew
Illustrator, Los Angeles crew
Art dept asst, Los Angeles crew
Art dir, San Francisco crew
Art dept asst, San Francisco crew
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed, Los Angeles crew
2d asst ed, Los Angeles crew
Apprentice ed, Los Angeles crew
Ed prod asst, Los Angeles crew
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec, Los Angeles crew
Prop master, Los Angeles crew
Set des, Los Angeles crew
Asst set dec, Los Angeles crew
Lead man, Los Angeles crew
Swing gang, Los Angeles crew
Swing gang, Los Angeles crew
Swing gang, Los Angeles crew
Stand-by painter, Los Angeles crew
Asst prop master, Los Angeles crew
Asst props, Los Angeles crew
Painter, Los Angeles crew
Propmaker, Los Angeles crew
Const coord, Los Angeles crew
Gen const foreman, Los Angeles crew
Const foreman, Los Angeles crew
Const foreman, Los Angeles crew
Const foreman, Los Angeles crew
Const foremen, Los Angeles crew
Const foremen, Los Angeles crew
Paint foreman, Los Angeles crew
Const estimator, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Const coord, San Francisco crew
Set des, San Francisco crew
Asst const coord, San Francisco crew
Set dressing asst, San Francisco crew
Swing gang, San Francisco crew
Swing gang, San Francisco crew
Swing gang, San Francisco crew
Leadman, San Francisco crew
Asst props, San Francisco crew
Gen foreman, San Francisco crew
Scenic artist, San Francisco crew
Stand-by painter, San Francisco crew
Asst props, 2d unit - San Francisco
Asst props, Carmel crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv, Los Angeles crew
Women's cost supv, Los Angeles crew
Men's costumer, Los Angeles crew
Men's costumer, San Francisco crew
Ward seamstress, San Francisco crew
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Asst sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Mus ed, Los Angeles crew
Mus rec and mixed by, Los Angeles crew
Mus rec at, Los Angeles crew
Mus supv, Los Angeles crew
Mus coord, Los Angeles crew
Mus researcher, Los Angeles crew
Club mus consultant, Los Angeles crew
Club mus consultant, Los Angeles crew
SOUND
Prod sd supv, Los Angeles crew
Supv dial ed, Los Angeles crew
Dial ed, Los Angeles crew
Dial ed, Los Angeles crew
Asst dial ed, Los Angeles crew
ADR supv, Los Angeles crew
ADR ed, Los Angeles crew
ADR ed, Los Angeles crew
ADR asst, Los Angeles crew
ADR mixer, Los Angeles crew
ADR mixer, Los Angeles crew
ADR voice casting, Los Angeles crew
Supv sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Foley ed, Los Angeles crew
Foley ed, Los Angeles crew
Asst sd eff ed, Los Angeles crew
Foley mixer, Los Angeles crew
Foley rec, Los Angeles crew
Foley by, Los Angeles crew
Foley by, Los Angeles crew
Sd eff rec, Los Angeles crew
Sd eff rec, Los Angeles crew
Spec sd eff, Los Angeles crew
Re-rec mixer, Los Angeles crew
Re-rec mixer, Los Angeles crew
Re-rec mixer, Los Angeles crew
Rec, Los Angeles crew
Rec, Los Angeles crew
Dubbing eng, Los Angeles crew
Re-rec at, Los Angeles crew
Re-rec at, Los Angeles crew
Sd rec, Los Angeles crew
Cableman, Los Angeles crew
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec makeup eff des and created by
Opt consultant, Los Angeles crew
Opt consultant, Cruse & Co., Los Angeles crew
Spec eff coord, Los Angeles crew
Spec eff gang boss, Los Angeles crew
Spec eff asst, Los Angeles crew
Spec visual eff by
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
Rob Bottin visual eff crew
DANCE
Club choreog, Los Angeles crew
Club choreog, Los Angeles crew
MAKEUP
Makeup artist, Los Angeles crew
Hairstylist, Los Angeles crew
Addl hair stylist, Los Angeles crew
Body makeup, Los Angeles crew
Public relation, Los Angeles crew
Makeup and hair, 2d unit - San Francisco
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Script supv, Los Angeles crew
Prod accountant, Los Angeles crew
Prod coord, Los Angeles crew
Assoc to Mr. Verhoeven, Los Angeles crew
Asst prod coord, Los Angeles crew
Post prod supv, Los Angeles crew
Post prod coord, Los Angeles crew
Projectionist, Los Angeles crew
Projectionist Los Angeles crew
Asst to Mr. Douglas, Los Angeles crew
Asst to Mr. Marshall, Los Angeles crew
Asst to Ms. Stone, Los Angeles crew
Asst to Mr. Goldsmith, Los Angeles crew
Prod secy, Los Angeles crew
Casting asst, Los Angeles crew
Asst accountant, Los Angeles crew
Asst accountant, Los Angeles crew
Asst accountant, Los Angeles crew
Set prod asst, Los Angeles crew
Set prod asst, Los Angeles crew
Prod asst, Los Angeles crew
Prod asst, Los Angeles crew
Prod asst, Los Angeles crew
Prod asst, Los Angeles crew
Craft service, Los Angeles crew
Extras casting, Los Angeles crew
Publicist, Los Angeles crew
Public relation, Los Angeles crew
Paramedic coord, Los Angeles crew
Prod placement services, Los Angeles crew
Transportation coord, Los Angeles crew
Transportation captain, Los Angeles crew
Transportation Co-capt, Los Angeles crew
Transportation asst, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Driver, Los Angeles crew
Casting, San Francisco crew
Loc mgr, San Francisco crew
Addl loc mgr, San Francisco crew
Addl loc mgr, San Francisco crew
Addl loc mgr, San Francisco crew
Loc scout, San Francisco crew
Loc asst, San Francisco crew
Loc asst, San Francisco crew
Key set prod asst, San Francisco crew
Asst accountant, San Francisco crew
Set prod asst, San Francisco crew
Set prod asst, San Francisco crew
Prod asst, San Francisco crew
Prod asst, San Francisco crew
Prod asst, San Francisco crew
Driver, San Francisco crew
Driver, San Francisco crew
Driver, San Francisco crew
Driver, San Francisco crew
Driver, San Francisco crew
Caterer, San Francisco crew
Caterer, San Francisco crew
Caterer, San Francisco crew
Caterer, San Francisco crew
Craft service, San Francisco crew
Paramedic coord, San Francisco crew
Loc security, San Francisco crew
Unit supv, 2d unit - San Francisco
Prod coord, 2d unit - San Francisco
Asst prod coord, 2d unit - San Francisco
Loc mgr, 2d unit - San Francisco
Script supv, 2d unit - San Francisco
Loc scout, 2d unit - San Francisco
Loc asst, 2d unit - San Francisco
Transportation coord, 2d unit - San Francisco
Prod asst, 2d unit - San Francisco
Prod asst, 2d unit - San Francisco
Prod asst, 2d unit - San Francisco
Caterer, 2d unit - San Francisco
Caterer, 2d unit - San Francisco
Driver, 2d unit - San Francisco
Driver, 2d unit - San Francisco
Driver, 2d unit - San Francisco
Driver, 2d unit - San Francisco
Loc scout, Carmel crew
First aid, Carmel crew
Craft service, Carmel crew
Helicopter pilot, Aerial unit
Helicopter pilot, Aerial unit
Fuel truck driver, Aerial unit
Dailies adv
Financial services
Financial services
Completion bond services provided by
Prod insurance provided by
STAND INS
Mr. Douglas' double
Ms. Stone's double
Ms. Stone's double
Ms. Sarelle's stunt double
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
ANIMATION
Illustrator, Los Angeles crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Movin’ On Up,” written by Jeff Barry and Janet DeBois, courtesy of ELP Communications
“Rave The Rhythm,” performed by Channel X, written by Van Lierop, Khan and Adams, courtesy of Beat Box/Antler-Subway Records
“Glowing In The Ashes,” performed by The Doo Wah Riders, written by Ken Liebenson
+
SONGS
“Movin’ On Up,” written by Jeff Barry and Janet DeBois, courtesy of ELP Communications
“Rave The Rhythm,” performed by Channel X, written by Van Lierop, Khan and Adams, courtesy of Beat Box/Antler-Subway Records
“Glowing In The Ashes,” performed by The Doo Wah Riders, written by Ken Liebenson
“Looking For The Summer,” written and performed by Chris Rea, courtesy of ATCO Records/Warner Music U.K. Ltd., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Blue,” written and performed by LaTour, courtesy of Smash Records.
+
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 March 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 18 March 1992
Los Angeles and New York openings: 20 March 1992
Production Date:
began 5 April 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Carolco Pictures, Inc., & Le Studio Canal+, S.A.
Copyright Date:
20 April 1992
Copyright Number:
PA561820
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
122
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
France, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31380
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In San Francisco, California, a wealthy nightclub owner and former rock and roll star is tied to his bed and murdered mid-coitus by a woman with blonde hair. Detective Nick Curran and his partner, Gus, investigate the crime scene, and learn that the murder weapon was an ice pick. They seek out Catherine Tramell, the girl friend of murder victim, Johnny Boz. Catherine, a wealthy heiress and novelist, reacts coolly to news of Boz’s death and claims their relationship was purely sexual. Although she was seen leaving Boz’s nightclub with him, Catherine denies they went home together. That afternoon, Nick Curran meets with police psychologist Beth Garner. He reports that he has quit drinking, smoking, and taking drugs, and has not had sex outside their recent fling. Nick asks Beth to tell the Internal Affairs department that he no longer needs counseling, and she agrees. Confirming that Catherine Tramell is a murder suspect, police lieutenant Walker notes that she has no prior convictions, is worth $110 million, and was formerly married to a professional boxer who died in the ring. Under the pen name “Catherine Woolf,” she wrote a novel called Love Hurts. Ironically, the story is about a former rock and roll star murdered by his girl friend. Nick obtains a copy and discovers the fictional murder weapon was also an ice pick. Dr. Andrew Lamott, a specialist on psychopathic behavior, suggests Catherine is either the killer or the target of someone who wants to do her harm. If she did commit the murder, he predicts she will use her book as an alibi ... +


In San Francisco, California, a wealthy nightclub owner and former rock and roll star is tied to his bed and murdered mid-coitus by a woman with blonde hair. Detective Nick Curran and his partner, Gus, investigate the crime scene, and learn that the murder weapon was an ice pick. They seek out Catherine Tramell, the girl friend of murder victim, Johnny Boz. Catherine, a wealthy heiress and novelist, reacts coolly to news of Boz’s death and claims their relationship was purely sexual. Although she was seen leaving Boz’s nightclub with him, Catherine denies they went home together. That afternoon, Nick Curran meets with police psychologist Beth Garner. He reports that he has quit drinking, smoking, and taking drugs, and has not had sex outside their recent fling. Nick asks Beth to tell the Internal Affairs department that he no longer needs counseling, and she agrees. Confirming that Catherine Tramell is a murder suspect, police lieutenant Walker notes that she has no prior convictions, is worth $110 million, and was formerly married to a professional boxer who died in the ring. Under the pen name “Catherine Woolf,” she wrote a novel called Love Hurts. Ironically, the story is about a former rock and roll star murdered by his girl friend. Nick obtains a copy and discovers the fictional murder weapon was also an ice pick. Dr. Andrew Lamott, a specialist on psychopathic behavior, suggests Catherine is either the killer or the target of someone who wants to do her harm. If she did commit the murder, he predicts she will use her book as an alibi and argue that no one would be stupid enough to commit a murder they detailed in a novel. Catherine is brought in for questioning. Wearing a short dress and no underwear, she taunts the detectives, and says her next book is about a detective who falls in love with the wrong woman. As expected, she denies any involvement in Boz’s death, arguing that she is too smart to commit a murder in the manner she described in her book. Catherine offers to take a lie-detector test, and passes. Afterward, as Nick drives her home, they discuss how difficult it would be to beat a polygraph. Catherine says it would be easy, since she lies for a living, and points out that Nick passed his lie-detector test when he was accused of shooting innocent people. Nick asks how Catherine knows so much about him, but she does not answer. At a police bar, he starts drinking again, and tells his colleagues that Catherine should remain a suspect despite beating the polygraph. Lt. Walker disagrees. Meanwhile, Lt. Nilsen from Internal Affairs teases Nick, calling him “Shooter,” and expresses concern over his drinking. Dr. Beth Garner arrives and takes Nick home. He initiates rough sex that Beth finds unsettling. Afterward, she confesses that she met Catherine Tramell at Berkeley, where they both studied psychology, but says nothing more. The next day, Nick learns that Noah Goldstein, a Berkeley professor, was murdered with an ice pick in 1977, at the time Catherine was a student. He is assigned to follow Catherine, and tracks her to a residence in Mill Valley, where she visits a woman named Hazel Dobkins. Nick discovers that Dobkins is a convicted murderer. He goes to Catherine’s beach house for more questioning. On Catherine’s desk are newspaper clippings about incidents in which Nick was accused of shooting innocent bystanders in the line of duty. Catherine reveals that her new book is based on him, and asks how it feels to kill someone. Nick, who was an undercover vice cop involved in dangerous drug buys, claims the shootings were accidents, but Catherine notes that there were four “accidental” shootings in only five years. Nicks asks Catherine about Professor Noah Goldstein and Hazel Dobkins. She admits Goldstein was her counselor, and that she became friends with Hazel after using her for research. Catherine turns the questioning back on Nick, asking how much cocaine he had consumed the day he shot two tourists. Nick denies being on drugs at the time, but Catherine continues to probe, saying Internal Affairs knew Nick was using drugs, as did Nick’s wife, who eventually committed suicide. Nick grabs Catherine’s hand and twists her arm behind her back, but they are interrupted by Catherine’s girl friend, Roxy. Back at the police station, Nick storms into Beth’s office and demands to know who has seen his psychiatric file. Beth admits she gave it to Lt. Nilsen. Nick attacks Nilsen in his office, accusing him of selling the file to Catherine Tramell. Nilsen puts Nick on sick leave, pending another psychiatric evaluation. Beth stops by Nick’s apartment to apologize, claiming she shared his file with Lt. Nilsen to keep him from getting discharged. Later that night, Nilsen is found dead in an alley. When Nick is questioned, Beth provides him with an alibi. Before he leaves the station, he learns that Catherine Tramell’s wealthy parents died in a boating accident, leaving her $10 million in life insurance payments. An investigation took place, but no evidence of foul play was found. Nick suspects Catherine killed Nilsen. When he returns home, Catherine is waiting with a copy of her novel, The First Time, about a boy who kills his parents and makes it look like an accident. They arrange to meet that night at Johnny Boz’s nightclub. There, Nick finds Catherine on the dance floor, and they kiss. She takes him home, and they have sex. Nick finds Roxy in Catherine’s bathroom, and she threatens him to stay away. In the morning, he mentions Roxy’s jealousy to Catherine, but she dismisses him. In the city, Nick is nearly run over by a car. The driver, Roxy, speeds away. Nick chases her, and she loses control, plunging over a hillside to her death. Again, Nick is questioned by police, and subjected to a psychiatric evaluation. Returning to Catherine’s beach house, he finds her crying over Roxy’s death and lamenting that everyone she cares about dies. They make love. Catherine admits she paid $50,000 for Nick’s psychiatric file months ago because she planned on writing a book about him. She also reveals that in college, she slept with a girl named Lisa Hoberman, who became obsessed with her. Nick investigates and finds that Lisa Hoberman changed her name to Beth Garner. Meanwhile, Gus discovers Roxy was convicted of murder at age fourteen, and tries to convince Nick to stay away from Catherine. However, Nick is no longer certain that Catherine is guilty. He goes to Beth Garner’s apartment and asks about her sexual relationship with Catherine. Beth admits she slept with her once, but Catherine developed an obsession with her. Having heard the opposite story from Catherine, Nick does not know who to believe. Later, Catherine tells him she filed a police report on Beth, but when he goes in search of it, he sees it was checked out by Lt. Nilsen. He also learns that Beth’s ex-husband was shot to death, but Beth was never a suspect, despite police findings that she had a mistress at the time of the murder. Once Catherine finishes her book, she callously breaks up with Nick, saying she no longer needs him for research. Nick meets with Gus, on his way to interview Catherine’s college roommate at an office building. There, Gus instructs Nick to wait in the car. However, Nick becomes paranoid and runs inside. He finds Gus’s body in a pool of blood. Just then, Beth emerges from the stairwell and Nick points his gun at her. Confused, Beth says she was told to meet Gus there. Nick orders her to remove her hand from her coat pocket. When she hesitates, he shoots her. As she dies, she whispers that she loved Nick. Backup police arrive and discover a blonde wig, a police department rain slicker, and a bloody ice pick in the stairwell, pointing to Beth’s guilt. They search her apartment and find a drawer filled with photographs of Catherine Tramell, and a copy of her novel, Love Hurts. Nick is congratulated on tracking down the killer. He returns home to find Catherine waiting for him. She hints that she pushed him away because she loses everyone she cares about. Nick embraces her, and they make love. Afterward, Catherine asks what they do now, and Nick suggests they live happily ever after. Catherine fumbles for an ice pick hidden below the bed, but does not pick it up before they start kissing again. +

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AFI Life Achievement Award

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