Dan Gallagher's (Michael Douglas) affair with Glenn Close's damaged lover sent shockwaves through middle-class America for showing the dangerous effects of adultery.
Chiefly, though, it was Alex's increasing madness, culminating in her boiling Dan's daughter's bunny in a pan, that initiated the most debate. A decent female villain, or a misogynistic portrait of a loon?
Fatal Attraction's "yuppies in peril" structure led to a cycle of variations on its suburban stranger danger thrills, notably
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
But Glenn Close's immersive performance kickstarted a Golden Age for powerful female roles, not only for her (
) but also for the likes of Angelica Huston, Michelle Pfeiffer and
Thelma and Louise
themselves, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.
If She'd Never Existed:
We wouldn't know what a 'bunny boiler' was.