Basic Instinct

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Cast: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dennis Arndt, Leinani Sarelle, Bruce A. Young, Chelcie Ross, Dorothy Malone, Wayne Knight, Daniel von Bargen, Stephen Tobolowsky, Benjamin Mouton, Jack McGee, Bill Cable, Stephen Rowe, Mitch Pileggi, Mary Pat Gleason, Freda Foh Shen, William Duff-Griffin, James Rebhorn, David Wells

A man and a woman are in bed together, having sex in a luxurious dimly lit room. Her blonde hair falls over her face, obscuring her features. He does not resist as she ties his hands to the bedposts with a length of white cloth. At the peak of passion, she reaches back, grabs an ice pick from under the bedcovers, and stabs him repeatedly with it. San Francisco Police Detective Nick Curran (Douglas) and his partner, Detective Gus Moran (Dzundza) are assigned to investigate the murder of the wealthy former rock star, Johnny Boz (Cable). The last person known to have seen Boz alive is his girlfriend, and Nick and Gus go to her neoclassic mansion to question her. She is not there, but her friend Roxy (Sarelle) tells them she is at her beach house and they travel there to see her. Catherine Tramell (Stone) is both insolent and alluring. She tells Nick and Gus that she was with Boz at his club the night before, but did not go home with him. Catherine has no alibi for the time of the crime. The detectives learn that Catherine, a psychologist, has written a novel in which a former rock star is killed with an ice pick while tied to his bed – the same method used to murder Johnny Boz. The Police suspect that Catherine killed Boz. They question her, but have no conclusive evidence linking her to the murder. Police psychiatrist Dr. Beth Garner (Tripplehorn) is brought in on the case. Beth has also been evaluating Nick’s ability to perform his job after a bout with alcoholism. At a bar with several other Police detectives, Nick gets into an argument with Lt. Marty Nilsen (von Bargen), an Internal Affairs officer that Nick has had trouble with before. Beth defuses the confrontation and she and Nick leave together. Beth and Nick were once lovers. At her apartment, they briefly resume their sexual relationship. Nick’s investigations uncover more disturbing facts about Catherine, but she continually teases him with facts about himself, and the attraction he feels for her increases each time he sees her. From Beth, Nick learns that Lt. Nilsen got hold of his confidential psychological file. Nick suspects that Nilsen has sold information from the file to Catherine and he confronts him publicly at his office. Later, when Lt. Nilsen is found shot, Nick becomes a suspect in his murder. Placed on leave, Nick continues the investigation, obsessed with cracking the case. He becomes Catherine’s lover, and she introduces him to an untamed sexuality that is new to him. More people die violently, and Nick must find whether Catherine or someone else is responsible for the deaths, because he has become a suspect and finds himself in mortal danger.

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