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Lost Highway (1997)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  21 February 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 92,505 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?


After Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the film a negative review on their show, David Lynch issued a new poster calling the thumbs-down verdict "two more reasons to see Lost Highway." Asked for his opinion, Gene Siskel said, "I found it petty." See more »


Mr. Eddy: [to a tailgater after running him off the road] Don't tailgate! Don't you fucking ever tailgate! Do you know how much space is needed to stop a car traveling at 35 miles per hour? Six car lengths! Six fuckin' car lengths! That's a hundred and six fuckin' feet, mister! If I had to stop suddenly, you woulda hit me! I want you to get a fuckin' driver's manual, and I want you to study that motherfucker! And I want you to obey the the goddamn rules of the road! Fifty-fuckin' thousand people were ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

A Real Trooper-Guadalupe Hurst See more »


Referenced in Hot Fuzz (2007) See more »


Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes
By arrangement with MCA Music Publishing on behalf of Duchess Music Corporation (BMI)
Performed by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Courtesy of Verve Records and Polygram Do Brasil Ltda
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

1 December 1999 | by (Hazelhurst, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Lighting. That's the thing I remembered most from the first time I saw this film. Amazing lighting. Certain directors, Lynch included, are able to tell the story using camera movement, what's seen/not seen. Lynch, however, has taken that a step further with the way he chooses to light his scenes - he sculpts his shots in a manner that seems almost more like a theatrical lighting designer's work. The use of shadows within the home, the stark colors that accompany certain scenes, even the car lighting in the titles - all of this is used to draw the audience's attention to a certain point, and all of it thrills. With the terse, "European art-film" dialogue style (at first the most distancing thing I found in Lynch's work, it is now one of my favorite elements), sharp sound work, a strong cast, and the marvelous, spiralling structure of the film only reinforcing it's strongest feature - its atmosphere - this is a work that will be discussed long after the credits fade. In my short 22 years, the best film I've seen, bar none.

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