memories of the ’80s – Fatal Attraction

A thriller that made us think about obsession was a big screen moneymaker: Fatal Attraction.

Starring Michael Douglas, Anne Archer and Glenn Close, the film was directed by Adrian Lyne and produced by Stanley Jaffe and Sherry Lansing.

Dan Gallagher (Douglas) is married to Beth (Archer). While she is out of town for the weekend with his daughter, Dan decides to have an affair with a business colleague, the very sexy Alexandra Forrest (Close).

But thinking he’s just had a weekend fling, Dan doesn’t realize that Alex wants more. Alex becomes obsessed with Dan, incessantly calling and trying to see him. Dan prevents all contact, while Alex shows up at his apartment secretly meeting his wife and pretending to be a potential buyer. That night Dan and Alex fight bitterly with him telling her to leave him alone, despite her pleas that she’s in love and apparently pregnant.

Alex persists in her obsessions, tracking Dan and Beth to their new home, following them and escalating the incidents when she breaks in and kills their daughter’s pet rabbit.

The climax comes when Alex breaks into the house and confronts Beth, preparing to kill her. The original ending had Alex committing suicide, and trying to blame her death on Dan, but test audiences didn’t react well to it. Instead the ending is one of film’s most memorable, with Alex attacking Beth, being drowned by Dan and then when she survives, shot by Beth.

The film was made for $14 million and became the second highest grossing film of 1987 in the United States and the highest grossing film worldwide. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture, best actress and best supporting actress, Fatal Attraction was a catalyst for the discussion of infidelity on tv talk shows, newspapers and magazines.

Many feminists didn’t like the over-the-top actions of Alex’s character, saying it detracted from the issue of trust, but audiences kept the box office busy, with the film grossing $156.6 million.

I remember seeing the film and being freaked out and amazed by Glenn Close’s character – not knowing how someone could get to that point of obsession about a man, regardless of how they met.

For the late 1980s, Fatal Attraction became a pop culture phenomenon – taking a fictional story and making it the center of discussion about relationships and infidelity, and forever leaving the lasting image of a bunny and drowning in our minds.


About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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2 Responses to memories of the ’80s – Fatal Attraction

  1. I personally have a tendency to agree with every aspect that was written throughout “memories of the 80s – Fatal
    Attraction – W POPAGANDA”. Many thanks for all of the info.
    Thanks for your time,Jrgen

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