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
Dorothy Vallens's apartment is on the 7th floor. The actual filming location (Carolina Apartments in Wilmington, North Carolina) is only 6 stories high. See more »
Jeffrey's hands jump between the top of his head and his ear between shots when he is kneeling before Dorothy when she first discovers him in the closet. 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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I've never seen anything quite like this before...
What surprised me was how very different this was from the two other great David Lynch films I'd seen: "Lost Highway" and "The Straight Story", which are in turn very different from one another. I'd been told by a disappointed David Lynch fan, back in 1997, that the only reason I was so deeply impressed with "Lost Highway" was that I hadn't seen "Bue Velvet", in which he does much the same kind of thing better. "Blue Velvet" may indeed be better (I wouldn't want to say), but in no respect is it the same kind of thing. (The only instance I've encountered so far of Lynch making the same film twice is "Lost Highway" being remade as "Mulholland Drive", which partly accounts for the latter film being so stale and uninvolving.)
"Blue Velvet" is a simple amateur sleuthing story, but the genius is in the telling of it. It's hard to avoid the feeling that something supernatural is somehow involved, although it isn't, and we know that it isn't. It looks and feels as though we're watching the world through a special enchanted (or cursed) prism: the image has been pulled apart, ALMOST into two distinct images, with the elements of pure evil and pure wholesomeness now distinct from one another, sitting just millimetres apart.
Unrelated to this, but still contributing to the intense suspense and the overall creepiness, is Lynch's ability to make us familiar with a few ordinary locations, which grow more sinister - or at least more meaningful - every time we see them, until the sight of a simple concrete stairwell in the dark is enough to make us start to panic.
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