Mulholland Drive (2001) Poster


ABC executives rejected the original pilot version of Mulholland Dr. (1999) because, they thought Naomi Watts and Laura Harring too old to be television stars, among other reasons.
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Rebekah Del Rio (the singer at Club Silencio) first met David Lynch when a talent agent took her, on a whim, to a recording studio where Lynch happened to be and asked her to sing a song for him. She performed an impromptu version of "Llorando" which, also on a whim (and without her knowledge) was being taped by the audio engineer. Years later, Lynch decided to incorporate the song into "Mullholland Dr."; except for a few minor tweaks, this is the exact same recording used in the movie.
Naomi Watts actually lost her health insurance and faced eviction from her apartment shortly after filming wrapped. Watts was ready to quit acting and leave Los Angeles, but close friend Nicole Kidman talked her into staying until after this film was released.
David Lynch initially resisted Studio Canal's offer to provide additional funds to complete the Mulholland Dr. (1999) TV pilot as a feature film. Lynch's battles with ABC network executives had left him with a negative feeling about the project and the director felt he had run out of ideas for the storyline. When Lynch finally agreed to revisit the film, much to his horror he found that all the sets had been destroyed, and all of the costumes and props had been released by ABC (normally all sets, props and costumes for a possible TV series are carefully cataloged and stored for future use). Lynch claims this setback actually proved a blessing in disguise, however, when it finally generated new ideas about how to proceed with filming, and the director was able to come up with a satisfying conclusion to the story.
David Lynch originally wrote the basic idea for the story in the early 1990s, as a spin off of Twin Peaks (1990). The character arc of Betty in the movie was written for the Twin Peaks supporting character Audrey Horne, who would have been the central figure of the proposed spin-off.
The Cowboy has no eyebrows. This was done to give the character a more subtle, disturbing appearance.
On the way to audition for her part as Camilla Rhodes/Rita, Laura Harring was in a minor car accident.
Adam Kesher smashing the producers' car windshield in with a golf club is a reference to the famous 1994 incident where Jack Nicholson did the same. Nicholson's nickname is "Mulholland Man".
Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as the best picture of the decade (in 2010).
The set of reels that was distributed to the movie theaters included a computer-written, photocopied note from David Lynch himself giving special instructions to the projectionists worldwide. Specifically, he didn't want the movie to be centered vertically on the screen but rather to "allow more overhead" as the term in projectionist's slang, that is to let the top part of the frame be more visible than the bottom part. This is because the film was originally made for TV, with an aspect ratio of 1:1.78 (or 16:9) in mind - without the projectionists' manual correction, the aspect ratio of the theatrical release (1:1.85) would have resulted in heads being cut off at the top of the silver screen. Lynch also asked to raise the volume of the theater's sound system by two decibels when the film was playing. The note ended with the words "Your friend, David Lynch".
Originally filmed in 1999 on a budget of $8 million as a made-for-TV pilot, Mulholland Dr. (1999), new scenes were filmed one year later on a $7 million budget given by the French film studio Studio Canal to wrap up the open ending which had been left unresolved in the original version so that a TV series could follow.
The Region 1 DVD of the movie does not feature "chapters"; attempting to "skip" to the next scene or chapter takes you to the "DVD" logo animation at the very end of the movie after all the credits and ratings and so forth. Director David Lynch requested this himself, as he has done on previous releases, such as The Straight Story (1999). By allowing the film to be on one chapter, Lynch believes people will be more inclined to view the feature in one sitting, as intended. Robert Zemeckis also used this idea on his laserdisc release of Forrest Gump (1994).
Although commonly mistaken for "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Jan Vermeer, the painting inside the apartment of Betty's aunt is actually a painting by Guido Reni entitled "Beatrice Cenci".
Ann Miller's last full-length movie.
Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as the best picture of 2001.
When Rita and Betty go to the Sierra Bonita apartment complex, the name next to #17 is L.J. DeRosa - a member of the art department on the film, Laura J. DeRosa.
Of the 17 tracks featured on the Mulholland Dr. CD, only track ('Diane & Camilla') is omitted from the film's soundtrack. Conversely, from the film's soundtrack, only track ('Sixteen Reasons') is omitted from the Mulholland Dr. CD.
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Angelo Badalamenti:  the soundtrack composer appears as the espresso-drinking movie exec at the beginning of the film.
Charles Croughwell:  the stunt coordinator is playing the vacuum man.
Cori Glazer:  the script supervisor is playing the blue-haired lady.

Director Trademark 

David Lynch:  [Lincoln]  The blue haired lady sits in the balcony in the same position as Abraham Lincoln did in the Ford Theater.
David Lynch:  [Clueless detectives] 
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David Lynch:  [deep river]  Diane is from Deep River, Ontario.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

David Lynch's 10 Clues to Unlocking This Thriller:
  • Pay particular attention in the beginning of the film: at least two clues are revealed before the credits.

  • Notice appearances of the red lampshade.

  • Can you hear the title of the film that Adam Kesher is auditioning actresses for? Is it mentioned again?

  • An accident is a terrible event... notice the location of the accident.

  • Who gives a key, and why?

  • Notice the robe, the ashtray, the coffee cup.

  • What is felt, realized and gathered at the club Silencio?

  • Did talent alone help Camilla?

  • Notice the occurrences surrounding the man behind Winkies.

  • Where is Aunt Ruth?

Naomi Watts found the masturbation scene humiliating, as she had to masturbate in front of the full crew. David Lynch directed her not to cry, but Watts couldn't stop sobbing. Throughout she screamed profanities at Lynch, who kept the scene (albeit with some trims) in the final film.
As Rita and Betty get into a cab on their way to Club Silencio, a piece of paper is visible on a pole that says, "Hollywood is HELL!"
The film is dedicated to Jennifer Syme, a young actress whose story is startlingly similar to that of the character of Betty - but who in fact died after the bulk of the film was completed.
When he talks to Adam Kesher, the Cowboy says: "You will see me one more time, if you do good. You will see me two more times, if you do bad." Justin Theroux said in an interview that since he didn't have the entire script, but received the pages day by day, he asked David Lynch if the Cowboy would appear again in the film. According to him, Lynch's answer was: "I don't know. We will find out together." The Cowboy does, in fact, turn up two more times, but appearing to Diane.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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