The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Basic Instinct

Frida After Dark and Verhoeven Month continue with Basic Instinct, a steamy neo-noir from the Dutch director.

Michael Douglas stars as San Francisco detective Nick Curran, a troubled cop with a history of trigger-happy shootings. The death of a former rock star sends him into the orbit of the victim’s lover, novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), who immediately becomes prime suspect in the murder. But Nick’s lust for danger draws him further and further into Catherine’s orbit as he becomes dangerously obsessed with her. Can he prove her innocence and free her of suspicion? Or is she involved in the murder after all?

Presented in a new 4K restoration from Studiocanal and Rialto Pictures, Basic Instinct is a gripping thriller that deserves to be seen on the big screen.


“With her high octane gyno-power at full throttle, she commands our attention now as much as she did on the film’s initial release, defiantly holding our gaze if we dare even for a moment let our eyes drift towards anything else. Stone’s Catherine is simply stronger, sexier, and more demanding of our attention than anything else in the entire film.” — Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Senses of Cinema

“Sharon Stone, in her first major-league role, comes on like a postfeminist Grace Kelly. She turns her haughty, slightly blank, cheerleader sexiness into something vampish and ominous — an all-American beauty mask.” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“Basic Instinct transfers Mr. Verhoeven’s flair for action-oriented material to the realm of Hitchcockian intrigue, and the results are viscerally effective.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times