“An Invitation To Terror!”
Here’s a great double bill – with two incredible performances!
Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut from 1971 had a great poster and a mesmerizing performance by the late Jessica Walter…
And so did “Fatal Attraction!”
Here’s a great “stalker” double bill for you – the terrific “Attraction” and the movie that inspired it! Cue your knives!
“Play Misty For Me!“
This is where I first saw Jessica Walters’incredible talent – in a mesmerizing performance of a woman who stalks a successful Radio DJ – played by Clint Eastwood!
Clint starred in this classic thriller, and also made his directorial debut…check out the trailer:
“For Clint Eastwood, An Invitation To Terror!”
That’s what the trailer promises, and it’s true!
Eastwood plays a Jazz DJ, who makes a BIG mistake when he picks up one of his fans – at a bar that is tended by legendary Director Don Siegel!
Siegel is clearly having a blast in this scene, but for Jessica Walter, her fascination with Eastwood turns deadly in a hurry.
Watch this 1971 thriller, and you will notice that “Fatal Attraction” uses many of the same ideas…Clint’s directorial debut is a lean and clean thriller…Donna Mills also stars, and Clint gives a terrific performance as well as a guy who likes to fool around – until it comes back to haunt him with a vengeance!
Walter was so great in this film – she owns every scene – from seductive to flirtatious, to angry and psychotic – sometimes in the same scene!
16 years later, another classic thriller came out with some very strong “Misty” echoes:
People forget thatches hugely successful 1987 thriller was nominated for Best Picture that year – as well as a Best actress nomination for Close!
Check out the trailer:
The “Oral” History Of “Fatal Attraction”!
Empire magazine Writer Mark Salisbury did a great oral history of the film a few years ago.
It’s a great story about a great movie that lives on decades later as one of Hollywood’s most explicit shockers!
Here are some of the highlights from the magazine article!
What A Credit!
The opening credits include this:
“Written by James Dearden based on his original screenplay”
That’s because Dearden’s short film “Diverson” told the story that became the first third of the film – his tale of a girlfriend who slits her wrists when her boyfriend tries to break up with her. That was the end of “Diverson”, but the inspiration for the rest of “Fatal Attraction.”
Producers saw the short film and asked Dearden to expand it into a feature length film…but as Producer Sherry Lansing said:
“Every studio passed on it at least twice. People would throw the script in my face and say, ‘i’m a happily married man, i would never cheat on my wife for absolutely no reason.’ They were really offended by it.”
For good reason! Some of the Oscar-nominated script included conversations like this, which began after Douglas has an affair with Close while his wife and daughter are out of town:
Dan Gallagher: You’re so sad. You know that, Alex? Lonely and very sad.
Alex Forrest: Don’t you ever pity me, you smug bastard.
Dan Gallagher: I’ll pity you… I’ll pity you. I’ll pity you because you’re sick.
Alex Forrest: Why? Because I won’t allow you treat me like some slut you can just bang a couple of times and throw in the garbage?
And that’s what was so controversial about the film – Douglas has almost NO regret for cheating on his wife, only for being caught up in a revenge tale from a woman spurned!
Brian DePalma Vs. Michael Douglas!
And then came the disasterous directorial dance with Brian DePalma, who had just made “The Untoucables” and wanted to take “Fatal Attraction” in a different direction – without Michael Douglas!
Luckily, The Producers said “no”, and DePalma left the project. Says Lansing:
“We never told Michael. He only found out many years later, after he was so hugely successful. He thought it was funny. At the time it would have really hurt him.”
And Douglass adds pointedly about Brian DePalma’s effort to replace him:
“I’ve always carried a grude with Bri. We didn’t get it resolved for like 20 years, when he came up to maat some party to try and explain. I just said, ‘Brian, it’s too late. Twenty years is too late.”
As for Glenn Close, she was told that she was too nice and earthy to be the vixen in the movie, so she showed up with her hair uncombed, frizzly and unmanageable…just like the character – and won them over immediately!
Director Adrien Lyne said after her audition: “I remember thinking her hair was a disaster, but that’s what people remember, that kind of medusa hair.”
As Michael Douglas admitted:
“I thought she was wrong before she came and in and absolutely right after she came in. She had that sexy, erotic, dangerous quality.”
And as for the sex scenes, Michael Douglas tells some funny stories about being goofy on set to take the tension out of the moment and Glenn Close was up for anything – IF she was kept awash in alcohol.
“I said, OK Tommy (the prop guy) you have to give me a pitcher of margaritas.”
Oh, and then there is this:
“The stench was unbearable!”
Yes, it was a REAL Rabbit used in that infamous scene…a dead one with the innards taken out but the fur left on, and it smelled horrible…because they really did boil it in a pot of hot water for the scene!
As For The Controversial Ending…
The film’s DVD and blu-ray releases have a lot of great stories about how the audience reacted to test screenings, including the original ending – and the magazine article goes into the controversy about that as well…
The film’s original ending was bleak, with Close committing suicide…but audiences wanted more, and so reluctantly, Glenn Close agreed to let her character show a more evil side at the end…
As she says now:
“The changes that were made with the ending, for better or fore worse for Alex, made it into the sensation that it became…I’m proud to be part of that movie. its part of our collective consciousness.”
It also has many echoes of “Misty”, which makes this a terrific double bill!
Oh, and if Michael Douglas being stupid and sexually charged is your idea of entertainment…
Don’t forget that “Fatal Attraction” was part of the Michael Douglas “penis” trilogy…well, not that he ever shows it, but he sure makes a bunch of disastrous decisions because of it!
Read the rest here!
And if you like “Misty”, remember it was one of THREE films Eastwood made that year – click here to see them all because they are all classics!
If you like this story, please click the button and leave a comment!
You can also sign up to have them sent to your email every day!
Let me know if you’ve seen these two!