Much has been made about the ending of Fatal Attraction. Before release, the ending was changed because test audiences didn't like it. However, apparently Glenn Close didn't care for the new direction. The actress who played Alex Forest in the 1987 thriller says that, from a character standpoint, turning the spurned woman into a psychotic killer just wasn't what right. It wasn't what she was all about.
The original ending of Fatal Attraction was much darker than the violent end we got in the theatrical version. Having finally realized that Michael Douglas' character is not coming back to her, she takes a knife with his fingerprints on it and slices her own throat, framing him for her murder. Glenn Close feels that ending was much more in tune with the sort of damaged person that her character was. However, test audiences didn't like it because Alex essentially "gets away with it." In response, a new ending was filmed that had Alex invade the Gallagher family home in an attempt to kill both her former lover and his wife. She is eventually killed by a gunshot from the wife.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly both Glenn Close and Michael Douglas came together to talk about the famous film. It's clear they both loved the original ending that had been filmed. Close seems to have done a lot of work to portray her character in a way that made sense. As she says, putting the knife into her hand to try and kill people just didn't seem like the actions her character would take, at least to her.
Of course, there are other reasons to make decisions for movies beyond character psychology. Sometimes you have to make a decision because it's best for a film's commercial success. Hollywood is a business after all. Glenn Close doesn't discount this fact entirely. She realizes that from the standpoint of the film's success, the right decision was made.
While many have gone back and complimented the film's original ending once it was released on home video, it's likely that the majority of film audiences would have responded to that ending the way the test audiences did. It's possible that the film's initial success was in large part due to the change, which in turn would have brought more people to see the original ending.
Which ending do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.