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
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »
Jeffrey's cheek wound disappears in some scenes. 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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With Blue Velvet, David Lynch made a film that was so pure to his original
vision that it would become the archetype of his work for the next fifteen
years. Here, Lynch cast his ever probing, surrealist gaze upon small town
middle America, and for the first time in a US film, showed the audience the
darker side to what was often depicted as nothing more than the birth place
of apple pie. We are drawn into the story almost immediately, with what
would seem like a simple depiction of small town life, but the use of
slow-motion hints that there is something not quite right with what we are
looking at. So by the time Lynch has pushed his camera through the soft
green grass of a regular front lawn, only to show us the slithering insects
that hide in the darkness, we know that we are about to enter a very dark
Blue Velvet is a world filled with not only darkness, but also ambiguity.
The characters of this world are constantly hiding behind some kind of
façade, be it the wardrobe doors that practicing teenage voyeur Jeffrey
peers from behind as he watches Dorothy and Frank interact, or something as
simple as the make-up worn by Ben. Everything suggests to us that these
characters inhabit a world at night, a world away from the life they live in
the day. As the film moves closer and closer to the climax Jeffrey begins
to feel more of a connection with Frank, having to go to some very dark
places within his psyche. However Lynch's message, that underneath the
normal persona of a regular human being is a repressed pervert laying in
wait, or whatever point he is making doesn't really translate well. Not
least to today's audience.
Blue Velvet is very much a film of its time, that time being the
mid-eighties, with aids paranoia everywhere, it's easy to see this metaphor
for the dangers of sex and love within the films turgid dreamscapes. But
beneath this message hides a strong detective story, a modern day neo-noir
that delivers interesting twists and a controversial pay-off with it's
almost fairytale climax. This is the film David Lynch got right, proceeding
to make great films that where all personal, but completely different in
terms of style and substance from one another. Blue Velvet is a great film,
with some fine (albeit bizarre) performances, still challenging to this day,
If only Lynch hadn't gone on to spend the rest of his career re-making it.
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