Film Review – FATAL ATTRACTION (1987)

FATAL ATTRACTION (1987, USA, 119m, 18) ***½
Drama, Thriller
dist. Paramount Pictures (USA), United International Pictures (UIP) (UK); pr co. Paramount Pictures; d. Adrian Lyne; w. James Dearden; pr. Stanley R. Jaffe, Sherry Lansing; ph. Howard Atherton (Technicolor | 1.85:1); m. Maurice Jarre; ed. Peter E. Berger, Michael Kahn; pd. Mel Bourne; ad. Jack Blackman.
cast: Michael Douglas (Dan Gallagher), Glenn Close (Alex Forrest), Anne Archer (Beth Gallagher), Ellen Latzen (Ellen Gallagher), Stuart Pankin (Jimmy), Ellen Foley (Hildy), Fred Gwynne (Arthur), Meg Mundy (Joan Rogerson), Tom Brennan (Howard Rogerson), Lois Smith (Martha), Mike Nussbaum (Bob Drimmer), J.J. Johnston (O’Rourke), Michael Arkin (Lieutenant), Sam Coppola (Fuselli), Eunice Prewitt (Receptionist), Jane Krakowski (Babysitter), Justine Johnston (Real Estate Agent), Mary Joy (Teacher), Christine Farrell (Teacher), Marc McQue (Chuck).
This highly influential thriller had its origins in a 50-minute short. DIVERSION, made by screenwriter Dearden in 1980. Another obvious influence is the 1972 Clint Eastwood vehicle, PLAY MISTY FOR ME, which saw Eastwood’s DJ pursued by the psychotic Jessica Walter. Here, we see Douglas, as a high-flying lawyer, happily married to his wife (Archer), and has a loving daughter. But, after a casual fling with a sultry book editor (Close), everything changes as Close becomes increasingly unhinged following Douglas’ subsequent rejection. Director Lyne mines the material for maximum benefit with some memorable sequences of drama and suspense. Douglas and Close are convincing in their roles, as is Archer as Douglas’ wronged wife. The story only falters in its climax, where it reverts to genre convention. Its influence, however, cannot be underestimated as a succession of steamy erotic thrillers followed in its wake. It was the highest-grossing film of 1987 worldwide.
AAN: Best Picture (Stanley R. Jaffe, Sherry Lansing); Best Actress in a Leading Role (Glenn Close); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Anne Archer); Best Director (Adrian Lyne); Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (James Dearden); Best Film Editing (Michael Kahn, Peter E. Berger)

Film Review – THE LONGEST DAY (1962)

Image result for the longest day 1962Longest Day, The (1962; USA; B&W; 178m) ****½  d. Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki; w. Cornelius Ryan, Romain Gary, James Jones, David Pursall, Jack Seddon; ph. Jean Bourgoin, Walter Wottitz; m. Maurice Jarre.  Cast: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Curt Jurgens, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, Rod Steiger, Sean Connery, Mel Ferrer, Eddie Albert, Richard Todd, Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Roddy McDowall, Edmond O’Brien, Gert Frobe, Kenneth More, Red Buttons, Steve Forrest, Peter Lawford, Sal Mineo, Leslie Phillips, George Segal, Peter van Eyck, Stuart Whitman, Frank Finlay, Jack Hedley. The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view. Like the event itself this is a triumph of logistics in its attempt to recreate the seminal invasion of 6 June 1944. Crisply photographed in black and white this may have its fair share of genre cliches, but its strive for authenticity is admirable. It proved to be the inspiration for a number of similar WWII recreations during the 1960s and 1970s., but none bettered this efficiently marshalled all-star movie. Won Oscars for Cinematography and Special Effects (Robert MacDonald, Jacques Maumont). Todd was himself in Normandy on D-Day Based on the book by Cornelius Ryan. There is also a digitally remastered colourised version of the film. [PG]