A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
Happily married New York lawyer Dan Gallagher has an affair with his colleague Alex, and the two enjoy a love weekend while Dan's wife and kid are away. But Alex will not let go of him, and she will stop at nothing to have him for herself. Just how far will she go to get what she wants?Written by
Sami Al-Taher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Barbara Harris is sometimes credited under the name Barbara Iley. In the final credits here, under 'Party Guests,' she is credited under both names. See more »
AMC version uses alternate takes of the bedroom scene with Alex covered with a sheet over her chest before she kicks out Dan in order to avoid editing out nudity. These takes were originally rejected by Adrian Lyne because he did not think the performances were up to par. See more »
"It scared the living daylights out of every man in America!"...
... so says Tom Hanks in 1993's "Sleepless in Seattle" to his son in reference to this movie and comparing its outcome to a strange woman who has been writing the widower (Hanks) as a result of him appearing on a radio show. But that's another movie.
The point is, its lesson was still easily recognizable in popular culture six years after it was made. What looks like an easy lay with a beautiful single woman can easily turn into an object lesson on Murphy's law. Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) is a successful NYC attorney, and on a weekend when his wife and daughter are away from home at his in-laws' house, he has a work meeting that includes Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), an editor for a publishing company. This leads to a drink at a bar, and that leads to a passionate one night stand that turns into a two night stand when Alex attempts suicide when Dan tries to leave.
Dan thinks it's over. Alex has seemed to come to her senses. But then she tells him she is pregnant, and no she is having this baby because she is 36 and it may be her last chance. When Dan insists he is not leaving his wife for her, that he does not love her - well, let's just say that the opposite of love is not hate it's indifference, and Alex at first stalks Dan and gradually turns up the heat until his entire family is at risk. The suspense builds until the harrowing end.
The thing is, Dan always loved his wife, subtly played by Ann Archer. She is beautiful, supportive, and he still has passion for her. They have a little girl and are a very happy family. But he just could not say no to what looked like a one night adventure that nobody need ever know about that turns into a nightmare.
There is more to the film than the cautionary "Don't cheat on your wife" message. I think it's because Glenn Close does such a fantastic job playing Alex. There's something about her portrayal that, to me, paints Alex as ultimately powerful, not just outright insane. Until the end she mostly dominates what happens to Michael Douglas' character's life. I think this one has aged well and would still recommend it.
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