Fatal Attraction is a 1987 American thriller/slasher film directed by Adrian Lyne and stars Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Anne Archer. It is about a married man, who has a weekend affair with a woman who refuses to allow it to end and who becomes obsessed with him. The film was adapted by James Dearden and Nicholas Meyer from an earlier short film by Dearden for British television, Diversion (1980). Fatal Attraction was a hit, becoming the second highest grossing film of 1987 in the United States and hugely popular internationally. Critics were enthusiastic about the film, and it received six Academy Award nominations, including that for Best Picture, Best Actress for Close and Best Supporting Actress for Archer.
Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) is a successful, happily married New York attorney living in Manhattan when he meets Alexandra (Alex) Forrest (Glenn Close), an editor for a publishing company, through business. While his wife (Anne Archer) and daughter (Ellen Hamilton Latzen) are out of town for the weekend, Dan has an affair with Alex. Though Dan thought it would be a simple fling, Alex begins clinging to him. Alex's mental instability surfaces quickly when she attempts suicide after Dan explains that he must go home. Dan thinks the affair is forgotten, but Alex shows up at various places to see him. She waits at his office one day to apologize and invite him to the opera Madama Butterfly, but he turns her down. She then calls Dan's office until he tells his secretary he will no longer take her calls. Alex then calls Dan's home at all hours and informs him that she is pregnant and plans to keep the baby. Although Dan wants nothing to do with her, she argues that he must take responsibility. Alex shows up at Dan's apartment (which is for sale) and meets his wife, Beth, feigning interest as a buyer. Later that night, Dan goes to Alex's apartment to confront her about her actions. In response, she replies that she will not be ignored. Dan moves his family to the New York village of Bedford, but this doesn't deter Alex. She has a voice recording delivered to Dan filled with verbal abuse. She stalks him in a parking garage, pours acid on his vehicle, and follows him home one night to spy on him, Beth, and their daughter Ellen from the bushes in his yard; the sight of their family life literally makes her sick to her stomach. Alex's obsession eventually turns into madness. Dan approaches the police to apply for a restraining order against Alex (claiming that it is "for a client"), to which a police lieutenant claims that he cannot violate Alex's rights without probable cause and that the adulterer has to own up to his adultery. Alex's rage eventually escalates into madness, slowly exposing her severe mental disorder. At one point, while the Gallaghers are away from home, Alex kills Ellen's pet rabbit, and puts it on their stove to boil. After this, Dan tells Beth of the affair and Alex's pregnancy; infuriated, Beth asks him to leave. Before he goes, Dan calls Alex to tell her that Beth knows about the affair. Beth gets on the phone and warns Alex over the phone that if she persists, Beth will kill her. Alex kidnaps Ellen from school and takes her to an amusement park, buying her ice cream as well as taking her on a roller coaster. Beth is injured in a car accident while searching in a panic for her child. Dan approaches the police about having Alex arrested, but the police still say they lack cause to take action against her, although they can drive by his residence to watch for intruders. Beth is briefly hospitalized and soon released. Beth forgives Dan and he returns home. Angered by what's happened to his family because of Alex, Dan barges into her apartment and attacks her, choking her to the point that he tries to kill her. However, he stops and as he does Alex turns the tables, trying to kill him with a knife from her kitchen. Dan overpowers her, but leaves the knife and quits fighting. However, Alex just smiles, clearly deranged, misinterpreting his actions. Alex then decides to eliminate what she sees as her main obstacle: Beth. While Beth is in the bathroom, Alex attacks her with a chef's knife. Dan hears the screaming and runs in, wrestles Alex into the bathtub and seemingly drowns her. She suddenly emerges from the water, swinging the knife. Beth, who went searching for Dan's gun, shoots Alex in the chest, killing her. The final scene shows police cars outside Dan and Beth's house. As Dan finishes talking with the cops, he walks inside, where his wife is waiting for him. They embrace and proceed upstairs as the camera focuses on a picture on the table of Dan, Beth and Ellen.