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Blue Velvet (1986)

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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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1,003 ( 1)
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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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

The producers did not want to pay the rights for including the original recording of Bobby Vinton's song "Blue Velvet". So Angelo Badalamenti was brought in to record a new version that sounded exactly like the old one. After Badalamenti delivered, the filmmakers invited Vinton into a studio to re-record vocals for his famous song. It had to be arranged two and a half keys lower because of Bobby's changed vocal range. David Lynch heard the new recording, liked it, but thought that it would not work as well as the original version and finally convinced the producers to shell out the extra money for using it. See more »

Goofs

During the first time Sandy and Jeffery hear Dorothy sing, the dress she ends with on stage is different than the dress she started with. However, this could simply be the result of a costume change between the sets of her performance. 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 »

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

References Love Letters (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Star
Performed by Isabella Rossellini
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Lyrics by David Lynch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Only in dreams…
21 April 2002 | by AdFinSee all my reviews

With Blue Velvet, David Lynch made a film that was so pure to his original vision that it would become the archetype of his work for the next fifteen years. Here, Lynch cast his ever probing, surrealist gaze upon small town middle America, and for the first time in a US film, showed the audience the darker side to what was often depicted as nothing more than the birth place of apple pie. We are drawn into the story almost immediately, with what would seem like a simple depiction of small town life, but the use of slow-motion hints that there is something not quite right with what we are looking at. So by the time Lynch has pushed his camera through the soft green grass of a regular front lawn, only to show us the slithering insects that hide in the darkness, we know that we are about to enter a very dark world.

Blue Velvet is a world filled with not only darkness, but also ambiguity. The characters of this world are constantly hiding behind some kind of façade, be it the wardrobe doors that practicing teenage voyeur Jeffrey peers from behind as he watches Dorothy and Frank interact, or something as simple as the make-up worn by Ben. Everything suggests to us that these characters inhabit a world at night, a world away from the life they live in the day. As the film moves closer and closer to the climax Jeffrey begins to feel more of a connection with Frank, having to go to some very dark places within his psyche. However Lynch's message, that underneath the normal persona of a regular human being is a repressed pervert laying in wait, or whatever point he is making doesn't really translate well. Not least to today's audience.

Blue Velvet is very much a film of its time, that time being the mid-eighties, with aids paranoia everywhere, it's easy to see this metaphor for the dangers of sex and love within the films turgid dreamscapes. But beneath this message hides a strong detective story, a modern day neo-noir that delivers interesting twists and a controversial pay-off with it's almost fairytale climax. This is the film David Lynch got right, proceeding to make great films that where all personal, but completely different in terms of style and substance from one another. Blue Velvet is a great film, with some fine (albeit bizarre) performances, still challenging to this day, If only Lynch hadn't gone on to spend the rest of his career re-making it.


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