Basic Instinct

1992 film directed by Paul Verhoeven
(Redirected from Basic Instinct (film))

Basic Instinct is a 1992 film about a police detective who is investigating the brutal murder of a wealthy rock star. During the investigation he becomes involved in a torrid and intense relationship with the prime suspect, an enigmatic writer and psychologist.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Written by Joe Eszterhas.
A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger. Taglines

Nick Curran

  • [To Beth] My sex life is actually pretty shitty after I stopped seeing you. [He shows her his palm] I started developing callouses. I haven't had a drink in three months. I'm working my ass off. I'm off the sauce. I even stopped smoking. Now, will you tell I.A. I'm just your average, healthy, totally fucked up cop and let me out of here... please?

Catherine Tramell

  • [To Nick] Killing isn't like smoking. You can quit.

Gus Moran

  • [To Nick] Well, she got that magna cum laude pussy on her that done fried up your brain!


Andrews: There's cum stains all over the sheets.
Nick: Very impressive.
Gus: He got off before he got offed.

Nick: How long were you dating him?
Catherine: I wasn't dating him. I was fucking him.
Nick: What are you, a pro?
Catherine: No, I'm an amateur.
Nick: How long were you having sex with him?
Catherine: About a year and a half.
Nick: Were you with him last night?
Catherine: Yes.
Gus: Did you leave the club with him?
Catherine: Yes.
Nick: Did you go home with him?
Catherine: No. We had a drink at the club. We left together. He went home and I came out here.
Nick: Was there anyone with you last night?
Catherine: No, I wasn't in the mood last night.
Nick: Let me ask you something, Ms. Tramell? Are you sorry he's dead?
Catherine: Yeah. I liked fucking him. Look, I don't really feel like talking anymore.
Gus: Listen lady, we can do this downtown if you want.
Catherine: So read me my rights and arrest me and then I'll go downtown. Otherwise, get the fuck out of here. [A long pause] Please.

Dr. Lamott: I see two possibilities. One: The person who wrote this book is your murderer and acted out the killing described in ritualistic, literal detail. Two: Someone who wants to harm the writer read the book and enacted the killing described to incriminate her.
Nick: What if the writer did it? What are we dealing with?
Dr. Lamott: You're dealing with a devious, diabolical mind. You see, this book had to have been written at least six months, maybe even years before it was published, which means that the writer had to have at least planned the crime in the subconscious, back then. Now the fact that she carried it out indicates psychopathic obsessive behavior in terms not only of the killing itself but also in terms of applied advance defense mechanism.
Gus: You know, sometimes I can't tell shit from shinola, Doc. What was all that you just said?
Beth: She intended the book to be her alibi.
Dr. Lamott: Correct.
Beth: She's going to say: Do you think I'd be dumb enough to kill anyone in the exact way I described in my book? I wouldn't do that because then I'd know I'd be the suspect.
Nick: So what if it's not the writer? What if it's, uh, someone who read the book?
Dr. Lamott: You're dealing, then, with someone so obsessed that he or she is willing to kill an irrelevant and innocent victim in order to place the blame on the person who wrote that book. I'm talking about a deep-seated, obsessional hatred and an utter lack of respect for human life.
Gus: So we've got a once-in-a-lifetime, top-of-the-line, looney-tooney the way you cut it -- that's what you're saying, right, Doc?
Dr. Lamott: You're dealing with someone very dangerous and very ill.

Gus: It must really be somethin' -- makin' stuff up all the time.
Catherine: Yeah. It teaches you to lie.
Gus: How's that?
Catherine: You make stuff up, it has to be believable. It's called suspension of disbelief.
Gus: I like that. "Suspension of Disbelief."
Nick: What's your new book about?
Catherine: A detective. He falls for the wrong woman.
Nick: What happens?
Catherine: She kills him.

Correli: There's no smoking in this building, Miss Tramell.
Catherine: What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?

Correli: Would you tell us the nature of your relationship with Mr. Boz?
Catherine: I had sex with him for about a year and a half. I liked having sex with him. He wasn't afraid of experimenting. I like men like that. Men who give me pleasure. He gave me a lot of pleasure.
Correli: You ever engaged in any sadomasochistic activity?
Catherine: [smiles] Exactly what did you have in mind, Mr. Correli?

Correli: Did you kill Mr. Boz, Miss Tramell?
Catherine: I'd have to be pretty stupid to write a book about killing and then kill somebody the way I described it in my book. I'd be announcing myself as the killer. I'm not stupid.

Gus: Did you ever use drugs with Mr. Boz?
Catherine: Sure.
Gus: What kind of drugs?
Catherine: Cocaine. Have you ever fucked on cocaine, Nick?
[She uncrosses her legs and it can be seen she's wearing no underwear]
Catherine: It's nice.
Nick: You like playing games, don't you?
Catherine: I have a degree in psychology, it goes with the turf... Games are fun.

Nick: How did you feel when I told you Johnny Boz had died, that day at the beach?
Catherine: I felt somebody had read my book and was playing a game.
Nick: But you didn't hurt.
Catherine: No.
Nick: Because you didn't love him.
Catherine: That's right.
Nick: Even though you were fucking him.
Catherine: You still get the pleasure. Didn't you ever fuck anybody else while you were married, Nick?
Lt. Walker: How did you know he was married?
Catherine: Maybe I was just guessing. What difference does it make? Would you like a cigarette, Nick? [She lights a cigarette for herself]
Corelli: Do you two know each other?
Nick: No.
Catherine: No.
Lt. Walker: How did you meet Mr. Boz?
Catherine: I wanted to write a book about the murder of a retired rock and roll star. I went down to his club. I picked him up. Then I had sex with him.
Lt. Walker: You didn't feel anything for him. You just had sex with him for your book.
Catherine: In the beginning. Then I got to like what he did for me.
Gus: That's pretty cold, ain't it, lady?
Catherine: I'm a writer. I use people for what I write. Let the world beware.

Nick: Beating that machine can't be easy.
Catherine: If I was guilty and I wanted to beat that machine, it wouldn't be hard. It wouldn't be hard at all. You took a lie detector test after you shot those two people, didn't you?
Nick: I passed.
Catherine: You see, we're both innocent, Nick. [He gives her a long, hard stare]
Nick: You seem to know an awful lot about me.
Catherine: You know an awful lot about me.
Nick: I don't know anything that's not police business.
Catherine: You know I don't wear any underwear, don't you, Nick?

[Nick just had rough sex with Beth]
Beth: You've never been like that before. Why?
Nick: You tell me, you're the shrink.
Beth: You weren't making love to me.
Nick: Who was I making love to?
Beth: You weren't making love.

Catherine: How does it feel to kill someone?
Nick: You tell me.
Catherine: I don't know, but you do.

Catherine: Do you have any coke? I just love coke with Jack Daniels.
Nick: I have a Pepsi in the fridge.
Catherine: But it's not really the same thing. Now, is it?
Nick: No, it's not.

Roxy: [about Catherine] If you don't leave her alone, I'll kill you.
Nick: Let me ask you something, Rocki. Man-to-man. I think she's the fuck of the century. [Long pause] What do you think? How long have you been here? You like watching, don't you?
Roxy: She likes me to watch.

Catherine: Tell me, Nicky. Were you frightened last night?
Nick: That's the point, wasn't it? That's what made it so good.
Catherine: You shouldn't play this game.
Nick: Why not? I like it.
Catherine: You're in over your head.
Nick: Maybe - but this is how I'll catch my killer.
Catherine: I'm not going to confess all my secrets just because I have an orgasm. You won't learn anything I don't want you to know.
Nick: Yes, I will. Then I'll nail you.
Catherine: Nah. You'll just fall in love with me.
Nick: I'm in love with you already. But I'll nail you anyway. You can put that in your book.

Gus: Where the fuck you been? I've been over to your place.
Nick: Easy, cowboy, easy. I wasn't there.
Gus: I went over last night, too.
Nick: Well, I wasn't there either.
Gus: You fucked her! Goddamn dumb sonofabitch! You fucked her! Goddamn, you are one dumb sonofabitch!

Psychologist: Nick, when you recollect your childhood, are your recollections pleasing to you?
Nick: Number 1, I don't remember how often I used to jerk off, but it was a lot. Number 2, I wasn't pissed off at my dad, even when I was old enough to know what he and mom were doing in the bedroom. Number 3, I don't look in the toilet before I flush it. Number 4, I haven't wet my bed for a long time. Number 5, why don't the two of you go fuck yourselves. I'm outta here.

Beth: What is your problem? I'm trying to help you. Why won't you let me help you?
Nick: I don't want your help. I don't need your help.
Beth: Yes, you do. Somethin's going on. [pause] You're sleeping with her, aren't you?
Nick: What's this interest you've got in her?
Beth: My interest is in you, not her. She seduces people. She manipulates people. She'll do anything she can---
Nick: I thought you hardly knew her.
Beth: I know the type. I'm a psychologist.
Nick: [He grabs her roughly as they stop in the hallway] That means you manipulate people TOO, Beth. You're a practicing psychologist -- you're better at it than she is.
Beth: I feel sorry for you, Nick.

Catherine: What are you researching?
Nick: A new ending to your book.
Catherine: Oh really? What's the twist?
Nick: Well, the detective falls for the wrong girl, but he doesn't die.
Catherine: So what happens to them?
Nick: They fuck like minks, raise rugrats, and live happily ever after.
Catherine: It won't sell.
Nick: Why not?
Catherine: Somebody has to die.
Nick: Why?
Catherine: Somebody always does.

Catherine: I finished my book.
Nick: So how does it end?
Catherine: I told you. She kills him. Good-bye, Nick.
Nick: Good-bye?
Catherine: Yeah. I finished my book. Didn't you hear me? Your character's dead. Good-bye. What do you want? Flowers? I'll send you an autographed copy.
Nick: What is this, some kind of joke!? Are you playin' a game here?
Catherine: The games are over. You were right. It was the fuck of the century, Shooter.

Catherine: What do we do now, Nick?
Nick: Fuck like minks, raise rug rats, live happily ever after.
Catherine: I hate rug rats.
Nick: Fuck like minks, forget the rug rats, and live happily ever after.


  • A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger.
  • Flesh seduces. Passion kills.



Quotes about Basic Instinct

  • the lesbian community is under siege, we always try to present to the heterosexual community the idealized version, but I do not think that's a good way to do it, even though I can understand where it's coming from. ("Valerie Miner talked about the kinds of self-censorship she finds in her work when she starts thinking she should present only positive images of lesbians or working-class people.") Yes. In that poem and also in the poem "Night Voice" I do that. There's this whole controversy now over media images of lesbians and gays and bisexuals. It's brought out in movies like Basic Instinct and Silence of the Lambs where they are presented as killers. It comes up in the novels of P. D. James, where she has these criminals who are lesbians or gay men. And I hate that. But, at the same time, I want the dirty laundry to be out there, whether it's on the Mexican culture or the lesbian culture or the bisexual. And I'm not sure how you do that.

See also

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