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BASIC INSTINCT – Jerry Goldsmith

April 7, 2022 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Basic Instinct was one of the most commercially successful but socially controversial films of 1992. A murder-mystery thriller with strong sexual content, the film was written by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Paul Verhoeven. Michael Douglas starred as San Francisco police detective Nick Curran, who becomes involved in an intense sexual relationship with Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a mysterious and confident novelist, despite the fact that she is the prime suspect in the murder of her wealthy rock star boyfriend, who was stabbed to death with an ice pick while in flagrante. The film, which co-starred George Dzundza and Jeanne Tripplehorn, was controversial for several reasons – for its depiction of the ‘heroic detective’ as an amoral cocaine addict, for its brutal violence (including the opening murder and a subsequent rape sequence), and especially for its explicit sexual content, which included the now notorious scene where Sharon Stone flashes her vagina at police officers during an interrogation. Of course there had been successful mainstream erotic thrillers before – Dressed to Kill, Body Heat, Nine ½ Weeks, Fatal Attraction, and Jagged Edge, which Eszterhas also wrote – but Basic Instinct caught a wave of popularity and social zeitgeist, becoming one of the biggest grossing films of the year, and catapulting Sharon Stone to stardom. Read more…