7.7/10
178,083
759 user 229 critic

Blue Velvet (1986)

Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,612 ( 295)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 17 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 Williams
Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Beaumont
Frances Bay ... Aunt Barbara
Jack Harvey Jack Harvey ... Mr. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 81924 delivered on 17 October 1986. See more »

Goofs

Jeffrey is given a terrible beating by Frank and his gang, and we see swelling and bruising all over his face. Yet when he arrives for his date a few days later on Friday, there isn't a mark on him. 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.
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Alternate Versions

A German version omits the entire scene where Frank first rapes Dorothy that Jeffrey witnesses from inside her closet, and it is only implied that he raped her. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Karaoke (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Honky Tonk (Part I)
Performed by William Doggett (as Bill Doggett)
Courtesy of Gusto Records Inc.
Written by Shep Shepherd, Clifford Scott, William Doggett (as Bill Doggett) and Billy Butler
Publisher: W & K Publishing Corp., Islip Music
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User Reviews

One of Lynch's most accessible and optimistic films
18 May 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his small town home when his father has an accident and ends up in hospital. A quiet walk home changes his perceptions forever when he discovers a human ear in the long grass. He reports it to the police but decides to make some enquires himself with the help of the officer's daughter Sandy. The trail begins with the mysterious Dorothy Vallens and drags Jeffrey into the unseen underworld of Frank Booth.

For the majority of people, you either like Lynch or you dislike him. Personally I like the majority of his work, I love the sense of normalcy that he can create and slowly change to reveal a darkness that is worryingly close to the surface. That is the case here, beginning with a blue sky, white picket fence vision of small town America the camera drops into the grass to see a torrent of bugs scrambling just under the surface. In the same way the film follows Jeffrey's journey into the underbelly of his home town.

In some ways this is one of the easiest Lynch films to get into – here the darkness is not a wide world of demons as in Fire Walk With Me, but is one man and his associates who can be overcome. The darkness is therefore accessible to all but is laced with just enough weirdness to disturb – my favourite scene is where Frank takes Jeffrey to see Ben, it is just a little unsettling. In hand with this is the fact that it is easily one of his most optimistic films, the good angel in Jeffrey's life is a strong character and the ending is one of certainty rather than open to interpretation – that robin has about a clear a meaning as it can.

MacLachlan is well used as Jeffrey. He is wide eyed and innocent even when being sucked into the underworld. Dern plays `all-American' well but doesn't have the complexity of MacLachlan in the script. Rossellini has a challenging role and carries it off quite well – I didn't fully understand her character but I don't know if that was my fault or hers. Of course the film belongs to Hopper who is terrifyingly unstable. Without a doubt he is a monster and you never are left in any doubt as to his state of mind. For an example of his work here watch the scene where Stockwell (in a wonderfully weird cameo) sings and Hopper clearly falls to pieces.

Although I prefer Fire Walk With Me, I do think that this is Lynch's best film. It is weird without going totally overboard and it allows us to sink into the underworld gradually without sudden falls. Hopper controls every scene he is in, but the meeting of wholesome and weird is perfectly delivered and is trademark Lynch.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

Blue Velvet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$789,409, 21 September 1986

Gross USA:

$8,551,228

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,617,408
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Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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