Film on Friday

Basic Instinct.jpg

The movie posters throughout the American Treasure Tour range in subject matter from the delightfully innocent, as exampled in our Disney pieces, to the macabre and unusual. One movie that leans more towards the latter is 1992’s Basic Instinct. Described as a “neo-noir erotic thriller,” the movie basically set out to offend viewers with its controversial subject matter – brutal murders done in ways we won’t describe here. In fact, it seemed initially as though no one wanted to be in the movie, since actors from Robert DeNiro to Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer to Meg Ryan all declined to be a part of it. It was written by Joe Eszterhas when he was at the top of his game, and directed by Paul Verhoeven when he also was at the top of his game.  

Eventually, Michael Douglas was cast to play Detective Nick Curran, who is investigating Sharon Stone’s Catherine Tramell.  The two become romantically involved, which compromises Curran. The film was initially rated as NC-17, but Verhoeven toned down the violence just enough, but criticism came from all sides regardless, notably gay and lesbian organizations since the character Stone portrayed was depicted as bisexual. Maybe the controversy helped, because it was one of the most popular films of its release year.