Basic Instinct

Still of Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct


A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved.

Release Year: 1992

Rating: 6.9/10 (73,641 voted)

Critic's Score: 34/100

Paul Verhoeven

Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza

A former rock star, Johnny Boz, is brutally killed during sex, and the case is assigned to detective Nick Curran of the SFPD. During the investigation, Nick meets Catherine Tramell, a crime novelist who was Boz's girlfriend when he died. Catherine proves to be a very clever and manipulative woman, and though Nick is more or less convinced that she murdered Boz, he is unable to find any evidence. Later, when Nilsen, Nick's rival in the police, is killed, Nick suspects of Catherine's involvement in it. He then starts to play a dangerous lust-filled mind game with Catherine to nail her, but as their relationship progresses, the body count rises and contradicting evidences force Nick to start questioning his own suspicions about Catherine's guilt.


Michael Douglas

Detective Nick Curran

Sharon Stone

Catherine Tramell

George Dzundza


Jeanne Tripplehorn

Dr. Beth Garner

Denis Arndt

Lieutenant Walker

Leilani Sarelle


Bruce A. Young


Chelcie Ross

Captain Talcott

Dorothy Malone

Hazel Dobkins

Wayne Knight

John Correli

Daniel von Bargen

Lieutenant Nilsen

(as Daniel Von Bargen)

Stephen Tobolowsky

Dr. Lamott

Benjamin Mouton


Jack McGee


Bill Cable

Johnny Boz

A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger.

Release Date: 20 March 1992

Filming Locations: 1158 Montgomery Street, Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $40,000,000


Opening Weekend: $15,129,385
(22 March 1992)
(1567 Screens)

Gross: $352,700,000

Technical Specs


(unrated version)

Did You Know?


Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Jamie Lee Curtis, Glenn Close, Ally Sheedy, Diane Keaton, Stockard Channing, Annie Potts, Robin Wright, Nancy Allen, Joan Allen, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Ellen Barkin, Patricia Clarkson, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Linda Fiorentino, Bridget Fonda, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Goldie Hawn, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Christine Lahti, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Heather Locklear, Andie MacDowell, Madonna, Virginia Madsen, Demi Moore, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Tatum O'Neal, Annette O'Toole, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Greta Scacchi, Elisabeth Shue, Mary Steenburgen, Julia Roberts, Mimi Rogers, Isabella Rossellini, Meg Ryan, Meryl Streep, Sissy Spacek, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger were considered for the role of Catherine Tramell. Kelly Lynch was reportedly offered the role, and Mariel Hemingway, Catherine O'Hara and Kelly McGillis auditioned for it. Lena Olin reportedly wanted the role, but refused to work with Paul Verhoeven.


Beth Garner's first name is spelled "Elisabeth" on the entrance door to her office. However, when Nick looks up her driving license records, the name is spelled "Elizabeth".


I'm in love with you already, but I'll nail you anyway.

User Review

What A Film!

Rating: 9/10

This is one of my favorite films, even though it has some problems.

The film caused controversy with some of the gay crowd (who didn't like the
negative press) and for the graphic sex (with bedroom violence). It became a
box office winner, that made Sharon Stone a star, and yet was basically
p****d on by the critics! The word is the film is better than your average B
movie skin flick, only by the quality of the actors, and Verhoeven's
ability. I feel the film is still not given the respect it's due.

I first saw the R-rated version, which is very good, but now you can get
the even better Unrated Director's Cut, which has even more graphic content!
If you don't like erotic-thrillers, then don't see it. But anyone with taste
will enjoy the thrill ride of events that take place in Basic Instinct. The
script by Joe Eszterhas was highly thought of in Hollywood, and if not for
the graphic nudity, a top star like Michelle Pfeiffer would have taken the
role made famous by Sharon stone.

Does the script go too far at times? Yes, but that's part of the films
charm, and after all, the now 'classic film moment' of Sharon Stone's leg
spread interrogation, likely would have been dropped in a conventional film.
Still though, I wouldn't have minded seeing a few less people getting killed
off, to keep even more suspense and realism.

The score is also beautiful, and fans of Hitchcock's great "Vertigo" can
appreciate the homage that Paul Verhoeven has included. The film has a lot
of eye candy, but Jeanne Tripplehorn deserves special mention for her
impressive supporting role (sadly she hasn't done much of note since).
Michael Douglas does a solid job also, but I can't help wondering if a
better actor like Clint Eastwood could have brought more to the table. The
dialogue is not up to the level of "Pulp Fiction", but it's still
interesting and fun.

I highly recommend this film for fans of adult mystery.