The take-no-prisoners sex thriller from 1992 now stands as a milestone in the career of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, but in the hands of director Paul Verhoeven Basic Instinct is an undeniably stylish and provocative study of obsession. In the role that made her a star (and showed the audience a little more skin than she intended), Sharon Stone plays the cleverly manipulative novelist Catherine Tramell who snares San Francisco detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) with her insatiable sexual appetite during the investigation of her boyfriend's murder. Tramell is the prime suspect, but the plot twists and turns until Curran is trapped in a dangerous cycle of dead ends and unsolved murders, never sure if Tramell is committing the crimes or if it is some other, unknown suspect. With a plot that keeps viewers guessing, Basic Instinct is the work of a director who is clearly in his element. --Jeff Shannon
Ok Ethan. You asked me a question once, "What has you all tied up in knots when you wake up sweating in the middle of the night?" You still wanna know? I've been thinking about it, been thinking about it a lot. It's not the work, I love the work. I've always loved the work. It's the game. The game, Ethan. And I was so good at it. I made sure all the right people liked me. At night, I'd go through the checklist in my mind: Am I cool with Ben Hillard? Am I cool with Dr. Josephson? Am I cool with all the people who can help me? Am I cool with all the people who can hurt me? Nobody thought I was weak or a loser. There was nobody I was offending, nobody I loved. *That* game, Ethan. But guess what? You taught me how to live outside of the game. You taught me how to *live*. And you know what scares me even more? That I'm going back in. "Forgive me, Ben. Put me back in the game. I'll make you like me again. I'll do the work, I'll do *all* the work, just put me back in the game." And you wanna know, you wanna know the psychology behind this? Now, pay attention, cause I'm good at this. I'm trying not to say goodbye to you. I'm trying not to say I'll miss you. I'm trying to forget you. Ethan Powell, case closed. *Case closed*. Look at me...