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Lost Highway (1997)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  21 February 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 92,450 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 445 user | 131 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Roselius ...
Louis Eppolito ...
Ed (as Lou Eppolito)
Jenna Maetlind ...
Party Girl
Guard Mike
Forewoman (voice)
Leonard Termo ...
Judge (voice)
Ivory Ocean ...
Guard Ivory
David Byrd ...
Gene Ross ...
Warden Clements


Fred Madison, a saxophonist, is accused under mysterious circumstances of murdering his wife Renee. On death row, he inexplicably morphs into a young man named Pete Dayton, leading a completely different life. When Pete is released, his and Fred's paths begin to cross in a surreal, suspenseful web of intrigue, orchestrated by a shady gangster boss named Dick Laurent. Written by <jdean@gslink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bizarre violent and sexual content, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carretera perdida  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$212,710 (USA) (21 February 1997)


$3,796,699 (USA) (18 April 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Richard Pryor's final film before his death on December 10, 2005 at the age of 65. See more »


[repeated line]
Mystery Man: We've met before, haven't we?
See more »

Crazy Credits

A Real Trooper-Guadalupe Hurst See more »


Referenced in Le son de Lynch (2007) See more »


I Put a Spell on You
Written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (as Jay Hawkins)
Used by permission of EMI Unart Catalog, Inc. (BMI)
Performed by Marilyn Manson
Mixed by Sean Beavan
Courtesy of Nothing/Interscope Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An intense experience
21 June 1999 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Clearly, as with most of David Lynch's films, Lost Highway is not for everyone. It is, as Lynch intended it to be, a film realization of a dream. In this regard, it is comparable, in terms of artistry and raw intensity to Kurosawa's _Dreams_. Indeed, in terms of sensory experience - cinematography and sound, for example - Kurosawa and Lynch have few rivals. However, the comparison falls away rather quickly in consideration of the film's content. Lost Highway is really no dream, but a nightmare.

Let's face it, like it or not, everything Lynch does is intentional. This film has inspired polarized reviews here on IMDB. Those looking for a plot-heavy movie that they do not necessarily have to pay attention to tend to despise it. Those who are open to allowing this manipulative, intensely disturbing and thought-provoking film to carry them into its own parcel of hell love it. This is, in my opinion, what good art can do.

Like a dream, Lost Highway has as many plots as it does viewers with their own individual interpretations and perspectives. It forces itself upon you with a vengeance, but simultaneously encourages the kind of disengagement you experience when you are conscious that you are dreaming.

I recommend Lost Highway highly. See it with intelligent, open-minded friends who like to talk about film experiences. And expect that the conversation will keep you up way past your bed time.

174 of 207 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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