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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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1,173 ( 575)
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

The second work in which Dennis Hopper plays a character named Frank. He would go on to play seven completely unrelated "Franks" throughout his career. 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.
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Alternate Versions

Originally running at nearly four hours, Blue Velvet was cut to approximately two hours (120 minutes) for distribution. The missing footage was put in storage and apparently lost for good. Some of the missing scenes are:
  • A couple of scenes at the college where Jeffrey attends which takes place during a dance where two of his friends are on the dance floor with him watching when another friend tells him he has a call from home and he learns about his father's stroke and tells his roommate he has to leave immediately.
  • The hospital scene is longer with more dialogue with Jeffrey trying to communicate with his incapacitated father in his hospital bed and talking to a doctor who explains his father's condition.
  • A scene at Jeffrey's home with the doctor giving Mrs. Beaumont an injection to calm her down over the stress of her husband's plight.
  • Jeffrey having coffee with Mrs. Williams as he's waiting to talk to Detective Williams about his find of the severed human ear. Jeffrey also meets Sandy for the first time at the house.
  • An extended scene of Jeffrey with Dorothy in her apartment after Frank Booth leaves and finding another severed human ear in the bathroom sink.
  • An argument between Jeffrey and Sandy over his continued obsession in the Dorothy Valens case.
  • A rooftop scene during Jeffrey's second visit to Dorothy where she confides in him about her messed up life and wants to throw herself off the roof of the building. But Jeffrey stops her and they kiss for the first time.
  • A dinner scene where Jeffrey has dinner with Sandy and her parents where her boyfriend Mike joins them and grows suspicious at the table of the relationship between Sandy and Jeffrey.
  • A very surreal scene at the seedy nightclub "This Is It" where Frank and his three henchmen take Jeffrey and Dorothy through the dark, dimly lit place filled with topless waitresses, one of them lights her nipples on fire. Frank then beats up a man and throws him across a pool table for not fixing his jacket pockets for he "lost his trophy." This explains how Jeffrey found the missing ear in the field behind the hospital, it apparently fell through a hole in Frank's jacket pocket.
  • A final epilogue scene at the police station where Jeffrey and Sandy give their statements to the press of the case and of Williams explaining that they found Dorothy's young son at the nightclub, Frank's henchmen are dead after the shootout at the warehouse, and the nightclub owner Ben and a few others have been apprehended at the club during the raid.
See more »


Soundtracks

Gone Ridin'
Music Excerpts Performed by Chris Isaak
Courtesy of Transtone Productions, Inc.
Publisher: Isaak Music Co.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I've never seen anything quite like this before...
5 May 2003 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

What surprised me was how very different this was from the two other great David Lynch films I'd seen: "Lost Highway" and "The Straight Story", which are in turn very different from one another. I'd been told by a disappointed David Lynch fan, back in 1997, that the only reason I was so deeply impressed with "Lost Highway" was that I hadn't seen "Bue Velvet", in which he does much the same kind of thing better. "Blue Velvet" may indeed be better (I wouldn't want to say), but in no respect is it the same kind of thing. (The only instance I've encountered so far of Lynch making the same film twice is "Lost Highway" being remade as "Mulholland Drive", which partly accounts for the latter film being so stale and uninvolving.)

"Blue Velvet" is a simple amateur sleuthing story, but the genius is in the telling of it. It's hard to avoid the feeling that something supernatural is somehow involved, although it isn't, and we know that it isn't. It looks and feels as though we're watching the world through a special enchanted (or cursed) prism: the image has been pulled apart, ALMOST into two distinct images, with the elements of pure evil and pure wholesomeness now distinct from one another, sitting just millimetres apart.

Unrelated to this, but still contributing to the intense suspense and the overall creepiness, is Lynch's ability to make us familiar with a few ordinary locations, which grow more sinister - or at least more meaningful - every time we see them, until the sight of a simple concrete stairwell in the dark is enough to make us start to panic.


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