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Basic Instinct

347 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Basic Instinct

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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

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Denis Arndt
  • Directors: Paul Verhoeven
  • Writers: Joe Eszterhas
  • Producers: Alan Marshall, Louis D'Esposito, Mario Kassar, William S. Beasley
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 1997
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (347 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 078401020X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,471 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Basic Instinct" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

169 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Mr. VINE VOICE on September 29, 2001
Format: DVD
Basic Instinct is certainly a film that has not only aged well with time, it makes you wish they could still make a sexy erotic thriller this good today. With so much political correctness going on these days, a film like Basic Instinct would never be made quite the same way, had it been made today. Attacked while it was being filmed for it's quote "negative depictions of the Gay community" as well as a so called "date rape" scene, the film became controversial practically the day it became green lit.
Sharon Stone became an overnight sensation portraying the rich, seductive & powerful Catherine Tramell, a role that seemed tailor made for the actress. But in fact director Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Starship Troopers) had to fight hard to prove to both Carolco Pictures and actor Michael Douglas that she was in fact the only person suited for the role. Having worked with Stone on his last picture, Total Recall (1990), Verhoeven knew that Stone had something special to give to the part and he finally got that message through to all those mentioned. I'd go so far to say that with the exception of her Oscar nominated performance in Martin Scorsese's Casino, Catherine Tramell is still Sharon Stone's best performance.
So what's the big deal between the R-rated & Unrated versions of Basic Instinct? Basically a little more violence and a little more sex. There's more stabs with the ice pick in the Unrated version (about 3 or 4), more shots of the victim actually being stabbed (courtesy of a man made puppet designed by Rob Bottin) and that's about it for the violence. The added sex has mainly to do with the first encounter between Michael Douglas's Nick Curran, and Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell.
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By David E. Miller on July 29, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Basic Instinct is a guilty pleasure. I love this film, and have had the Unrated Director's Cut on VHS for many years. I bought the so-called Collector's Edition (included the ice pick pen) a while back and returned it because it missed quite a bit of footage. Recently, I tried again---and this time it was ice pick bingo! (Who needs the pen, anyway?) The Unrated Director's Cut is listed on Amazon as an unrated special edition (Special Edition - Unrated) which "contains scenes the director was forced to cut." There is no image available. You can identify the DVD as Artisan's release, ASIN B00005N919. Make no mistake, THIS IS THE VERSION TO BUY. I also highly recommend the soundtrack on compact disc. Jerry Goldsmith's music is haunting, and one of the best scores ever composed for film.
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133 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Boss Fan on March 14, 2006
Format: DVD
I will dispense with the standard plot synopsis and, for the most part, a review of this movie. 14 years later, most of us looking at a special edition "Basic Instinct" DVD already like it enough to at least show interest in possibly buying this. My question was, is it worth it to replace my old "Basic Instinct" DVD with a new one?

By my count this is the 4th DVD transfer of this film (there was a bare-bones DVD of the theatrical release, then a special edition with extras, then the unrated directors cut special edition with the same extras (that one had the dumb "ice pick box," but was eventually, and is now, available in a standard box whose cover art looks just like all the other releases (including the original VHS release): All white box, torso-and-up shot of Stone and Douglas whith her clawing his back), and now this one that still retains that same image of the stars, but now it is inside the lettering of the title).

I mention this for two reasons.

The first may not matter much to amazon and other on-line shoppers, but here's what happened to me while walking around Best Buy today: I already owned the "bare-bones" version (I picked it up for 5 bucks brand new at least 5 years ago, so this has never been a movie one needed to drop a lot on to own), but I wanted the unrated director's cut I saw advertised in the Best Buy weekend circular. I picked it up off the shelf and saw there was the older '02 special edition release right next to it for $5.99. I was not crazy about spending $15 (not that that is a terrible price, mind you) on a movie I already owned so I decided to go with the '02 version (I'll get to the comparison between the two in a moment - that is reason #2).
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brett D. Cullum VINE VOICE on August 13, 2003
Format: DVD
Forget the rated version of BASIC INSTINCT. It's white-washed and missing graphic scenes of sex and violence that make the movie what it is. Sharon Stone plays the devil ... yes, Paul Verhoven admits that she is the the devil incarnate as a blonde ice-pick weilding bisexual psychotic who tempts and outsmarts every single person in the cast! Priceless here in DVD land is Camille Paglia's radical feminist take on the movie. She's fast and funny describing BASIC INSTINCT as a movie where women take back their sexual power! Come inside and check out the steamiest erotic thriller ever! Political correctness means it could never be made today. Trashy, yes! But also very well done and stylish. Sharon Stone became a star, and Michael Douglas never quite recovered. See why!
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I've got a defective disc!!!!!!!!!!!!!...
You are not alone! I just bought mine (unfortunately from WalMart.com and not here) and have the same problem! It will not play. I can't return it because it is opened and I don't even live in the USA so I am out of luck. Amazon is much kinder about these things so if I had ordered it from Amazon... Read More
Sep 21, 2009 by R. C. Harris Jr. |  See all 7 posts
Will this be the Director's Cut?
cover art says unrated director's cut
Apr 21, 2007 by Jason M. Andres |  See all 2 posts
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