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OUTTAKES

Scene Stealing?

October 11, 1987|Leonard Klady

In her bath, we see her relax, but then watch as a hand picks up a razor and moves in on her. The assailant means to slash her to ribbons. Will her husband get there before it's too late?

Sound like the finale from Paramount's "Fatal Attraction"? Half right. It also describes the conclusion to UA's 1961 thriller "The Naked Edge"--Gary Cooper's last film, which also featured Deborah Kerr and Eric Portman. "Edge" producer Walter Seltzer told us that he was struck by the similarities between the two films, particularly the endings (last week, a reader pointed out likenesses between "Fatal Attraction" and "Play Misty for Me").

"It's a case of literal resemblance--shot by shot duplication--not theme or tone," said Seltzer. "There's no question a number of scenes look likes ones in our movie--the way we showed the water filling the tub, for instance."

"Edge" director Michael Anderson concurred: "The storyline similarities seem more than coincidental. It's the same climax, even if they have a knife replacing a razor and the woman can't be heard now because she's taped up. We prevented her screams from being heard by the sound of a whistling tea kettle.

"I'm shocked by the similarities and really don't know whether the appropriate response is delight or anger. It's very difficult to determine the line between homage and theft, so I've asked the Directors Guild to look at both films to determine if there's anything out of line here."

Producer Sherry Lansing told us she'd never heard of, let alone seen, Anderson's thriller. Calls to director Adrian Lyne were not returned as we went to press. Writer James Dearden was out of the country and unfindable.

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