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Wild at Heart (1990)

NC-17  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Thriller  |  17 August 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 57,995 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 195 user | 104 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

Young lovers Sailor and Lula run from the variety of weirdos that Lula's mom has hired to kill Sailor.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Reindeer (as W. Morgan Sheppard)


Lula's psychopathic mother goes crazy at the thought of Lula being with Sailor, who just got free from jail. Ignoring Sailor's probation, they set out for California. However their mother hires a killer to hunt down Sailor. Unaware of this, the two enjoy their journey and themselves being together... until they witness a young woman dying after a car accident - a bad omen. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Thriller


NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

David Lynch's Wild at Heart  »

Box Office


$9,500,000 (estimated)


$14,560,247 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Diane Ladd and Darrell Zwerling also appeared in Chinatown (1974). See more »


When Sailor leaves Lula, and Lula cries out "SAILOR!!!" in close-up, the image is reversed. Lula's hair is normally "waved" to her left, but in this shot, her hair is "waved" to her right. See more »


Lula: One of these days the sun's gonna come up and burn a hole clean through the planet like a giant electrical x-ray.
Sailor: I wouldn't worry about that, Peanut. By then people'll prob'ly be drivin Buicks to the moon.
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Crazy Credits

The ending credits play over footage of Sailor singing "Love Me Tender" to Lula, rather than a black screen. See more »


Referenced in Flame Beings (2009) See more »


Baby Please Don't Go
Written by Big Joe Williams (as Joe Williams)
Performed by Them
Published by MCA Music Publishing, a Division of MCA Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products
a Division of PolyGram, Inc.
Capitol Recordings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lynch on the road to hell
12 February 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

The most creative and controversial director in cinema is back with a road-movie! Wild at Heart is one rough roller coaster ride and a typical Lynch-cocktail of violence, sex and of course…bizarre characters. I challenge you to find one personality in this film that could be referred to as a ‘normal human being'. As usually, Lynch introduces a bunch of wicked individuals in his film who're all messed up in the head pretty bad. Yet, I feel like Wild at Heart might be Lynch's most accessible film (outside The Elephant Man and The Straight Story). The structure remains chronological and quite easy to follow. Unlike the previous Blue Velvet, I feel like the plot and development of Wild at Heart is a bit inferior to the wonderful photography. The greatest aspects in the screenplay are in fact the delicious side-chapters that are told without absolute necessity. Like the story about Lula's cousin Dell (Crispin Glover), the torture of Harry Dean Stanton's character and the nasty and disturbing images of a car accident the protagonists come across. These are the little sequences that truly prove Lynch's talent as a storyteller. Overall and simply put: this movie is COOL! It's a joy to watch and you really hate to love some of the offensive characters. Willem Dafoe takes the cake as Bobby Peru. His portrayal is a neat follow-up to Blue Velvet's Frank Booth. Peru is a filthy and despicable pervert with itchy-trigger-fingers! It's a damn shame he hasn't got any more screen time. Wild at Heart surely isn't the greatest masterpiece out there, but you should love it for what it is: an absurd and entertaining adventure with a couple of thought-provoking values and an extraordinary love-lesson.

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