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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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Dickerson ...
Jack Harvey ...
Ken Stovitz ...
J. Michael Hunter ...
Dick Green ...


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's a strange world.


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

23 October 1986 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Terciopelo azul  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$8,551,228 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (with bonus footage)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director David Lynch originally wanted Song to the Siren by This Mortal Coil playing when Jeffrey and Sandy are dancing in the bar because it was one of his all time favorite songs. Despite many efforts to obtain the rights, Lynch was not able to use the song. Despite his disappointment with this situation, Lynch was granted rights to the song for his later film Lost Highway (1997). See more »


Jeffrey's cheek wound disappears in some scenes. See more »


[first lines]
Radio announcer: 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'.
Nurse Cindy: Mr. Beaumont? Your son Jeffrey's here to see you.
See more »


Featured in I Don't Know Jack (2002) See more »


Blue Star
Performed by Isabella Rossellini
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Lyrics by David Lynch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of Lynch's most accessible and optimistic films
18 May 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his small town home when his father has an accident and ends up in hospital. A quiet walk home changes his perceptions forever when he discovers a human ear in the long grass. He reports it to the police but decides to make some enquires himself with the help of the officer's daughter Sandy. The trail begins with the mysterious Dorothy Vallens and drags Jeffrey into the unseen underworld of Frank Booth.

For the majority of people, you either like Lynch or you dislike him. Personally I like the majority of his work, I love the sense of normalcy that he can create and slowly change to reveal a darkness that is worryingly close to the surface. That is the case here, beginning with a blue sky, white picket fence vision of small town America the camera drops into the grass to see a torrent of bugs scrambling just under the surface. In the same way the film follows Jeffrey's journey into the underbelly of his home town.

In some ways this is one of the easiest Lynch films to get into – here the darkness is not a wide world of demons as in Fire Walk With Me, but is one man and his associates who can be overcome. The darkness is therefore accessible to all but is laced with just enough weirdness to disturb – my favourite scene is where Frank takes Jeffrey to see Ben, it is just a little unsettling. In hand with this is the fact that it is easily one of his most optimistic films, the good angel in Jeffrey's life is a strong character and the ending is one of certainty rather than open to interpretation – that robin has about a clear a meaning as it can.

MacLachlan is well used as Jeffrey. He is wide eyed and innocent even when being sucked into the underworld. Dern plays `all-American' well but doesn't have the complexity of MacLachlan in the script. Rossellini has a challenging role and carries it off quite well – I didn't fully understand her character but I don't know if that was my fault or hers. Of course the film belongs to Hopper who is terrifyingly unstable. Without a doubt he is a monster and you never are left in any doubt as to his state of mind. For an example of his work here watch the scene where Stockwell (in a wonderfully weird cameo) sings and Hopper clearly falls to pieces.

Although I prefer Fire Walk With Me, I do think that this is Lynch's best film. It is weird without going totally overboard and it allows us to sink into the underworld gradually without sudden falls. Hopper controls every scene he is in, but the meeting of wholesome and weird is perfectly delivered and is trademark Lynch.

88 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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