Wednesday, April 05, 2017

End This

A nice excerpt in The Hollywood Reporter from the new Sherry Lansing biography.  It's about when she was producing Fatal Attraction.

As a producer, she had little heat at the time, and was desperate for a hit, but only wanted to do films she believed in.  It was hard to put Fatal Attraction together, but now it was done and being tested.  The audience scores weren't great, but Lansing and others noticed that they just hated the Glenn Close character, who stalks the married Michael Douglas after having an affair with him.

The point of the film was actions have consequences, and the earlier ending had Douglas paying for what he did. (Close didn't fare well, either.) The studio made it clear--scrap that ending, kill Glenn Close and save Douglas.

It went against the point of the script, and Close refused to do it. Ultimately, everyone had to suck it up and give the public what it wanted.  Filmmakers may have a message, but if they want a hit, sometimes they have to bend to audience demand.

Sure enough, the new version of the film was a blockbuster, nominated for numerous Oscars and helping everyone's career.  Was it worth it?  The people who made the film have to decide that for themselves.  I think the new ending makes more movie sense, even if it's less subtle and turns Close into a psycho who must be terminated.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

So isn't that something that can still be seen?

3:37 PM, April 05, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

What can still be seen?

10:06 PM, April 05, 2017  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...


Usually you're able to leap right over my non sequiturs and such.

I'm referring to the alternative ending. Do they still say "blue ray"? Can that tested and rewritten ending be seen anywhere?

1:50 PM, April 06, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I thought that's what you were saying, but it could have meant, for instance, that even with the new ending people could see actions have consequences.

Anyway, I vaguely recalled there was a special edition of the Fatal Attraction DVD that had the alternate ending. So I figured it must be out there on YouTube by now, and sure enough:

I'm now more convinced than ever they needed to make the change, even if the original ending is more realistic and makes more sense.

4:29 PM, April 06, 2017  
Blogger New England Guy said...

I always felt it turned into [SPOILER]there's a crazy killer in the house who won't die /garden variety thriller at the end. But that didn't take away from what made it interesting in the first place and I guess provides closure to the ticket-buyers

3:45 AM, April 07, 2017  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Yeah, that last leap out of the bath tub was pretty cheesy. I suppose it must have allowed the wife to shoot her or something--I can't quite remember.

4:50 AM, April 07, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

The bathtub leap isn't just cheesy, it's a rip-off of Diabolique.

The link explains not only that they reshot the finale, but that the part that really made it work was having the wife shoot her. Glenn Close wasn't happy, but I bet Anne Archer--who got an Oscar nomination--was thrilled.

8:52 AM, April 07, 2017  

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