Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Joseph Farrell Tweaks Ending of 'Fatal Attraction'

It was interesting to learn that movie marketing guru, Joseph Farrell, who died a couple weeks ago and had run National Research Group, Inc. until selling the company in 2003, was responsible for getting the ending of 'Fatal Attraction' changed. Originally, the Glenn Close character committed suicide while listening to a recording of Madame Butterfly. I can't even picture that. And, that's the ending they had in the can and were going to go out with until Mr. Farrell convinced Paramount to reshoot it.

I remember watching the episode of At the Movies where Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel reviewed the flick. I think they both hated the ending. One of them said something like, "It's a pure Hollywood horror movie ending. Is she dead, or isn't she?" Ebert has called the ending a 'grown-up 'Friday the 13th'.

Hard to argue. The moment when Close comes up out of the water in the bathtub gasping for breath after you thought (for sure) she was dead is so corny and derivative of so many B slasher movies it might well be laughed at if the movie was made today. But still, that's got to better than the ultra-theatrical 'suicide while listening to Madame Butterfly'. Although, that she intended to arrange her suicide so that it would look like Dan (Michael Douglas) had murdered her is, from a story/character perspective, delicious. I love that. In that sense it would have worked great.

Nonetheless, with the newly reshot 'horror movie' ending 'Fatal Attraction' snagged six Oscar noms and pulled down $300 million. Good call Mr. Farrell.

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