Michael Douglas Donates Film Collection to George Eastman Museum

Prints of "Fatal Attraction" and others head to Rochester.

Michael Douglas, right, in the 1970s television series "The Streets of San Francisco."
Photo: courtesy George Eastman Museum.

Academy Award–winning actor Michael Douglas has given some 37 prints of films including Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Traffic to the George Eastman Museum, in Rochester, New York.

Douglas won his best actor Oscar for his depiction of corporate raider Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street; screenwriters credit New York dealer Asher Edelman with inspiring that character’s interest in art. Douglas reportedly once planned to play John Drewe, who sold forged artworks purportedly by masters including Alberto Giacometti, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse, though that film appears to have stalled.

The donation was spurred by Douglas’ 2015 visit to the museum to receive the George Eastman Award, which has been given annually since 1955 for distinguished contributions to the art of film. In addition to acting in more than 75 feature films, Douglas has also served as a producer, starting with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.

“When Mr. Douglas visited the museum last spring to receive the George Eastman Award, he saw firsthand the work we are doing in film preservation,” said Bruce Barnes, the museum’s director, in a press release. “He expressed appreciation and understanding of the long-term care the Moving Image Department staff expertly provide for our collection and felt confident that the Eastman Museum would ensure a safe archival environment for his films.”

Also among the films, which include some 35mm and some 16mm prints, are The China Syndrome, War of the Roses, and Romancing the Stone.

Founded in 1947 and opened in 1949, the George Eastman Museum is named for photography entrepreneur George Eastman, who founded the Eastman Kodak film company, and houses more than 400,000 photographic objects and over 28,000 films.

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