Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Fatal Attraction Vs. Wall Street
In 1987, Michael Douglas was having a very good year. He had the biggest hit of his career to date (adjusted for inflation, Fatal Attraction remains the highest-grossing movie in Douglas’ filmography) and he would go on to win Best Actor (not Best Supporting Actor) for a supporting role in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. Douglas’ one-two punch of 1987 pushed him into the A-list and fueled his career as a leading man into the next decade.
Before we get to today’s Micahel Douglas showdown, let’s review the results of yesterday’s battle of the Vietnam comedy-dramas.
This one was close most of the day, but ultimately Robin Williams’ Oscar-nominated performance put Good Morning, Vietnam over the top with 63% of the vote. That means the biopic will have to face off against the genre-defining buddy cop action movie, Lethal Weapon, in round two.
In the 1970’s, Douglas was best-known for the TV show The Streets of San Francisco. He appeared in movies like Coma and The China Syndrome, but it wasn’t until Romancing the Stone in 1984 that Douglas proved himself as a leading man. And even then, Kathleen Turner was the movie’s protagonist. Douglas’ role was beefed up for the sequel, Jewel of the Nile, which he also produced. But the success of Fatal Attraction put to rest any doubts that Douglas was a movie star.
Douglas played a philandering husband who has what he thinks is a one-night stand with a stranger played by Glenn Close. But Close has other ideas and when Douglas tries to push her away, she resorts to extreme measures that include but are not limited to the boiling of family pets. When test audiences balked at the film’s original ending it was changed to a crowd-pleasing catharsis which disappointed some critics but propelled the movie to the second-highest gross of the year.
Later that year, Douglas delivered the infamous “Greed is good” speech that won him an Academy Award. Technically, Douglas received top billing in the movie and his performance was certainly the most memorable thing about it which is most likely why the Academy nominated him in the lead category.
Stone pushed Douglas to sharpen his performance. The actor had a heavy duty smoking habit at the time and had to work with a speech instructor on breath control in order to deliver his dialogue at the required pace. At one point, Stone approached Douglas in his trailer and asked if he was doing drugs because he looked like he had never acted before. This fired of Douglas who channeled his anger into more research and practicing his lines. Apparently rage can also be good.
Wall Street wasn’t quite the box office bonanza that Fatal Attraction was. It was the 26th highest grossing movie of the year just behind The Last Emperor. Both movies had mostly positive reviews.
Which Michael Douglas movie do you want to see advance to the next round?
Posted on January 4, 2017, in Bracket Game, Movies and tagged 1987, Andrian Lyne, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Fatal Attraction, Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Oliver Stone, wall street. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.