‘Basic Instinct’ Releases X-Rated Version For 30th Anniversary (Wait, So the First One Wasn’t X-Rated?)

If you’ve never seen Basic Instinct, the sexual thriller starring Sharon Stone and Michael Douglass is famed for one particular scene. And it just so happens to be the most paused movie scene of all time.

It involves the film’s female star, Sharon Stone, gaining the upper hand during a police interrogation by distracting everyone with… a most unceremonious uncrossing of her legs.

Fanny flashes aside, the 1992 yarn about a murder plot is filled with elaborate, lengthy sex scenes, some of which were so explosive they had to be cut from the American release. Even so, the leftovers make for one of the most erotic films in American cinema.

While Veroeven’s follow-up feature Showgirls got slapped with an NC-17 rating for nudity, Basic Instinct (though way more sexually explicit), was able to get away with an R-rating thanks to good “storytelling”. Because the femme fatale commits her murders during sex, the added dimension of violence made the raunchy bump and grinding and gratuitous post-coital smoking perfectly acceptable to the MPAA.

The result was envelope-pushing. And audiences were floored. The movie ended up being a box office smash. But despite the success of the original, director Paul Verhoeven wants to release an X-rated cut, allegedly reinstating the infamous triple orgasm scene (among other things) for the 30th anniversary.

But in the era of Hollywood reckoning with its sexist past, is an X-rated version of a slightly exploitative film really a good look? As for the most-paused frame in film history, it’s famously noted that Stone didn’t realize the camera would clock her goods when she uncrossed her legs.

So while Sharon Stone is none too pleased about the possibility of an even racier version of her breakout film being released to the public, in the age where Zillow-scrolling has replaced internet porn as American’s favorite pastime, will anyone even notice?

Cover Photo: TriStar Pictures

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