The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
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College student Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his idyllic hometown of Lumberton to manage his father's hardware store while his father is hospitalized. Walking though a grassy meadow near the family home, Jeffrey finds a severed human ear. After an initial investigation, lead police Detective John Williams advises Jeffrey not to speak to anyone about the case as they investigate further. Detective Williams also tells Jeffrey that he cannot divulge any information about what the police know. Detective Williams' high school aged daughter, Sandy Williams, tells Jeffrey what she knows about the case from overhearing her father's private conversations on the matter: that it has to do with a nightclub singer named Dorothy Vallens, who lives in an older apartment building near the Beaumont home. His curiosity getting the better of him, Jeffrey, with Sandy's help, decides to find out more about the woman at the center of the case by breaking into Dorothy's apartment while he knows she's at work... Written by
Voted one of the greatest films of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 1999. See more »
Jeffrey is given a terrible beating by Frank and his gang, and we see swelling and bruising all over his face. Yet when he arrives for his date a few days later on Friday, there isn't a mark on him. See more »
It's a sunny, woodsy day in Lumberton, so get those chainsaws out. This is the mighty W.O.O.D., the musical voice of Lumberton. At the sound of the falling tree, it's 9:30. There's a whole lotta wood waitin' out there, so let's get goin'.
Mr. Beaumont? Your son Jeffrey's here to see you.
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A very strange movie but incredible. A young man (Kyle MacLaclan) comes home to help care for his sick father. Soon he's in love with a detective's daughter (Laura Dern) and mixed up in a mystery involving Dorothy Valdes (Isabella Rossellinni) and psycho Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper).
Probably David Lynch's best film. The story has gaps in logic, but it's secondary to some incredible wide screen imagery (this has to be seen letter-boxed...no two ways about it). Lynch has said in interviews that he thinks of the image first then works it into the movie. You can tell...things that make no sense at first gradually make sense later on. This movie also demands multiple viewings...I was so shocked the first time I saw it, I couldn't concentrate on it...it took THREE viewings to finally get it.
As to what the movie is about...it depends who you ask. Some people said it's the Hardy Boys on drugs...others say it's about a boy's sexual awakening...others see it as good vs. evil...each one is a valid statement! To me, that's a true art film...one that means multiple things all at once.
The performances are top-notch. This film made MacLachlan...him and Laura Dern work well together and give nice low-key performances. Dern is just great...but she does look pretty silly when she tries to cry. Rossellinni is nowhere near as good as her mother (Ingrid Bergman) was, but she deserves credit for taking such a risky role. She's pretty good. Hopper is WAYYYYYYY over the top as Booth...he's both horrifying and hilarious...a great performance. And let's not forget Dean Stockwell as "suave Ben". His "performance" of "In Dreams" is a definite highlight.
Be warned--the film is very extreme. There's explicit violence, plenty of nudity, sex and tons of profanity. Not for the squeamish. Still, I loved it from beginning to end. One of my favorite films of all time.
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