A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
Happily married New York lawyer Dan Gallagher has an affair with his colleague Alex, and the two enjoy a love weekend while Dan's wife and kid are away. But Alex will not let go of him, and she will stop at nothing to have him for herself. Just how far will she go to get what she wants? Written by
Sami Al-Taher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Was decried as misogynistic by some (like Pauline Kael) who pointed out that the heroes in this movie were the traditional 1950s style nuclear family where the wife did not work; and they were being attacked by a career woman who is presented as evil and homicidal. Pauline Kael goes even further with her critique saying that "(Alex is) also the director Adrian Lyne's and the screenwriter James Dearden's hostile version of feminism. The film is about men seeing feminists as witches, and the way the facts are presented here, the woman is a witch." See more »
The newspaper clipping about Stanley Forest's death was from 1959. Alex had mentioned that her dad died when she was 7 and at another point says that she is now 36 years old. Based on dates on the unused opera tickets, we see that it is 1986, putting her birth year at 1950. Thus, she would have been 9 years old in 1959, not 7 years old. Also, the clipping says that Mr. Forest was 42 when he died, but the man in the photo appears to be around 60 years old. See more »
It's amazing to think that dozens - maybe hundreds(?) - of movies, especially from the Lifetime channel, can trace their lineage to this film (and people like John Carpenter and Brian De Palma turned this down in part as they saw it as unoriginal, taking from Clint Eastwood's great debut, Play Misty for Me). I think that makes this hold up is the acting, pure and simple. Douglas and Close and also Anne Archer as the wife really make this material work as strong as it can - they sell every minute they can, and they have to. This is even in knowing that the movie doesn't really have a very firm moral leg to stand on; we should be on Michael Douglas' side, but he's the one that screwed up.
Sure, Glenn Close is crazy, or a victim of abuse as well if one wants to dig a little deeper (who knows what happened with dear old dad before he died of that heart attack), but, and this is important, she's right (certainly initially) or at least has a point that should matter about how he's just tossing her to the wayside after a night or two of "fun". I like that Lyne and the writer have underlying implications that make it more harrowing and that it paints the two sides as neither right or wrong (though of course one is more wrong than the other, the wrongs don't make anything right) up to varying degrees. What makes it not stand up over time is the ending, or even the last act.
From a writing perspective it should have ended how it was originally supposed to, with Alex killing herself and framing Dan as if it was murder. It calls back to the mention of Madame Butterfly, which is the set up and pay-off. But because the producers acquiesced it turns into the template for countless s***y movies where the character has one last hurrah to mess with the supposed heroes and blood is spilled and one more life is lost. In a sense my criticism is the same as Ebert's, that it kind of turns into a Friday the 13th movie. But at least for 85% of the running time, maybe 90%, it is a provocative, terrifying drama that has a simple moral message: don't cheat.
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