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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.

Director:

David Lynch

Writer:

David Lynch (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabella Rossellini ... Dorothy Vallens
Kyle MacLachlan ... Jeffrey Beaumont
Dennis Hopper ... Frank Booth
Laura Dern ... Sandy Williams
Hope Lange ... Mrs. Williams
Dean Stockwell ... Ben
George Dickerson George Dickerson ... Detective John Williams
Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Beaumont
Frances Bay ... Aunt Barbara
Jack Harvey Jack Harvey ... Tom Beaumont
Ken Stovitz Ken Stovitz ... Mike
Brad Dourif ... Raymond
Jack Nance ... Paul
J. Michael Hunter J. Michael Hunter ... Hunter
Dick Green Dick Green ... Don Vallens
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

It's a strange world.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM | Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 1986 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Terciopelo azul See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$789,409, 21 September 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,551,228
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During a 2018 interview with Alec Baldwin on Baldwin's WNYC radio program "Here's the Thing, " Kyle MacLachlan said that Blue Velvet had a pre-release test screening (then a common practice for studio films) in California's suburban San Fernando Valley. The test audience filled out comment cards after the screening, and, MacLachlan said, they were some of the worst response cards the studio had ever seen for any movie. MacLachlan remembered that everyone involved with the making of the film were despairing until the New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael reviewed the film and "explained it to people in a way, or pointed them in the right direction, or helped them to get a sense of what the world that they were seeing was about, and that started the slow movement of acceptance of the movie." See more »

Goofs

Dorothy lives on the seventh floor of Deep River Apartments, a building which only has six floors. This is done purposely and occurs similarly in many movies to deter sightseers, fans and psychos from disrupting people who live in the real location. For similar reasons, "555-" is nearly always used on film and TV as the first three digits of phone numbers, to prevent people from trying the number and annoying people. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Peep Show: Sectioning (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

In Dreams
Performed by Roy Orbison
Courtesy of Monument Records
Written by Roy Orbison
Publisher: Acuff Rose, Opryland Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What a wonderful film. Looks incredible on Blu Ray
24 November 2011 | by donttevenhinkjustletitgoSee all my reviews

I just want to say that I fell in love with this film after seeing the 25th anniversary edition blu ray. It looks beautiful. Having only seen it in the early 90s on a run-of-the-mill videotape that was probably pan and scan and full of color and toning problems, it truly is a different experience on blu ray.

The brutally honest performances, visionary aesthetic and the beautiful style make Blue Velvet an absolutely unmissable film and a wonderful addition to Blu Ray. Despite the films fame and notoriety, all these years later, the film still seems completely original, invigorating and unsurpassed.

Everyone assumes that Blue Velvet opens with the infamous ear-in-the-grass scene, but the film's opening is even more disturbing than that. A suburban fantasia of white picket fences, blood-red roses, waving fireman, happy children and a man watering his lawn gives way to the disturbing moment when the watering man collapses and the camera pans down to dirt level where a number of horrific insects are scrabbling in the dirt at the base of the lawn. The soundtrack changes from Leave It to Beaver-style music to the loud, gnawing, electric saw-like noises emitted by the creatures. Only subsequent to this scene does Jeffrey Beaumont (a wide-eyed, snoopy Kyle MacLachlan) find the ear in a field of overgrown weeds.

The ear leads Jeffrey through a sordid underworld involving kidnapping, masochism, drug- dealing, and murder. But while there's a whole lot of plot in Blue Velvet, Lynch's more elemental concern is with unearthing the truth behind the facade (i.e. showing what lurks under the lawn). Even the blue velvet dress that chanteuse Dorothy Valens (Isabella Rossellini) wears hides a secret — namely, the bruises on her body which are delivered by the vile Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper, in the role that brought him back to the limelight).

When Jeffrey asks the naive Sandy (Laura Dern), the prim girl on whom he has a crush, why there is so much trouble in the world, the answer is clear — without it, our lives would be far duller. Jeffrey himself admits that he loves a mystery and the curiosity that his desire entails is the same one that fuels Lynch's own vision. When Frank says to Jeffrey, "You're like me," it could be Lynch speaking to the audience. We want to know more, even if what we find out hurts or is ugly. Like the scene of an accident, we cannot look away.

Fueled by a vibrant and always-surprising dream like surrealism, Blue Velvet reminds us that the dreams and fantasies of our subconscious are dangerous and thrilling; it's surface reality that is superficial and mundane.

This is definitely a film worth watching multiple times. It gets better and better on every viewing. There are so many questions, and at the same time, so many answers, which seem to bring up more questions. Blue Velvet is a timeless film and it looks absolutely superb on Blu Ray. I will happily get lost in this film from time and time again, it's absolutely remarkable. 10/10


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