Basic Instinct (1992, Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone)

Basic Instinct

Yes, Basic Instinct is the film famous/ infamous for the shot of an intimate part of Sharon Stone’s anatomy. But that out of the way, this is a slick psychological thriller from one of Hollywood’s most visceral directors (RoboCop , Total Recall , Starship Troopers) and written by the man responsible for Jagged Edge and Sliver . Michael Douglas plays San Francisco cop Nick Curran, who’s investigating the murder of a rock star, the lover of crime writer Catherine Tremell (Sharon Stone), whose latest novel is about the murder of a rock star.

As he begins questioning her, she starts to play mind games with him, intriguing him to the point where the pair become lovers. But is she the innocent she claims or a cunning manipulator of men? As the investigation continues and the bodycount rises, Curran becomes convinced Catherine is innocent, but that maybe somebody from her past is the killer. But Verhoeven keeps the answer hidden until, literally, the very last frame.

The film caused outrage among America’s gay community and women’s groups for the portrayal of Stone’s character as an avaricious bisexual, using men and women for her own ends and suggesting that all gay people (with whom she surrounds herself) are the same. But Douglas’s character is equally troubling: under investigation for shooting the wrong people and in a difficult relationship with psychiatrist Elizabeth Gardener (Jeanne Tripplehorn), who is helping him with his drug and alcohol addictions, he is ripe for Stone’s plucking.

USA / 1992

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Joe Eszterhas

Cast: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, Jeanne Tripplehorn, George Dzundza, Denis Arndt

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