Released today in 1987, Fatal Attraction set the bar for the “sexy thriller.” Michael Douglas stars in the movie as a married New York attorney who has a casual fling with an acquaintance, played by Glenn Close. When he tries to end the relationship, trouble begins and Close’s character reveals that she will do anything to prolong the affair. The storyline has been duplicated–see the 2002 movies Unfaithful and Swimfan–but with far less punch than this classic. Close, in one of her most memorable roles, was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Alex Forrest. The actress begins the movie with the audience on her side, but drives them further and further away as she refuses to let Douglas break off the affair. The movie was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and a Best Director nod for Adrian Lyne.
Factoid: Many people affiliated with the project were most concerned with the two leads. Brian de Palma was considered to direct the film but didn’t approve of Michael Douglas in the role. Glenn Close’s agent was also told by casting people that she was “completely wrong” for the part. Even Adrian Lyne originally thought she was the “last person on Earth” suited to play Alex Forrest.