Fatal Attraction nearly ended very differently. In the first version of the 1987 film Glenn Close’s character, Alex, committed suicide. Michael Douglas’s Dan is blamed for her death and just before the credits roll Anne Archer’s tearful Beth runs off to prove her husband’s innocence. At least, that was until it went to a test screening.
“Kill the bitch,” screamed audiences who didn’t like the thriller’s conclusion. They wanted retribution. Despite Close disagreeing, the end was reshot with Beth killing the deranged Alex, in what is now one of Hollywood’s most famous endings. A focus group had changed cinema history.
Test screenings are a film’s day of reckoning. Groups of people from a cross-section of society gather to watch a rough cut of a