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.
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.
Lula's psychopathic mother goes crazy at the thought of Lula being with Sailor, who just got free from jail. Ignoring Sailor's probation, they set out for California. However their mother hires a killer to hunt down Sailor. Unaware of this, the two enjoy their journey and themselves being together... until they witness a young woman dying after a car accident - a bad omen.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
When Sailor leaves Lula, and Lula cries out "SAILOR!!!" in close-up, the image is reversed. Lula's hair is normally "waved" to her left, but in this shot, her hair is "waved" to her right. See more »
[stumbling into men's room with a martini]
Yoo-hoo! Sailor boy! How would you like to fuck Lula's momma?
Uh, no ma'am, I sure don't...
Lula's momma would like to fuck you. Come on.
Ms. Fortune, I really think you need a cup of coffee. I really do.
See more »
The ending credits play over footage of Sailor singing "Love Me Tender" to Lula, rather than a black screen. See more »
To avoid an X-rating in the USA, David Lynch added a smoky haze and spark impact to the shots where Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe) shoots himself with a shotgun and blows his head off. The second shot has the same smoky haze on it to hide the chunk of his head flying though the air. The effect made the removal of his head from his body less clear and muted the blood and gore and got the movie an "R" rating. The uncut version was released outside the USA, but since the David Lynch-approved DVD came out in the U.S. (the shot was altered there), the censored transfer has been used on worldwide DVD releases as well, while most of the versions with the bloodier version of the scene have gone out of print. Oddly enough, the more graphic version is still shown in TV airings in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel. See more »
I hate to be the lone voice of protest here, but. . .
I saw this film the other day, and aside from a few touches of visual flair and a terrific performance from Willem Dafoe (nice little 'Sailor vs. Marine' motif), it was an undercooked mess. The "over-the-top" qualities which would serve Oliver Stone so well four years later in "Natural Born Killers" come off as clumsy and forced. Visual cues--such as the plethora of Oz references--are thrown in with about as much subtlety as a beer commercial (but without the sophisticated wit). I got the idea that Lynch was tired, the cinematographer didn't feel like framing his compositions in a creative manner, and the editor hit the bottle a few too many times before coming into work.
And another thing: I was embarrassed for Diane Ladd and Laura Dern. This film is a black spot on their respective careers (though, from what I've read, they have a near-cultist reverence for Lynch and his 'artistic integrity'). I found it most difficult to watch the scene where Ladd has to crouch up against a toilet after having vomited, with lipstick coating her face, and chunks of spew in her hair. I didn't find it hard to watch because it was merely disgusting--folks, there is such a thing as the degradation of women on film, and it's here.
At long last, if you want to see these kinds of stories done right, here are a few alternative film suggestions:
1. Joseph L. Lewis's 1949 film of "Guncrazy", a B-movie classic of star-crossed lovers on the lam.
2. "Bonnie and Clyde" of 1967, which skyrocketed its principal players to stardom, and rightfully so. A cornerstone of '60s American cinema.
3. From across the Atlantic, another 1967 film, Jean-Luc Godard's "Weekend". Even if you don't like the picture, you can't deny Godard's mastery of the medium. Where Godard rebelled and bucked convention in countless ways, Lynch is trapped in his own urge to include another in-joke, pop-culture reference, or blood splatter, and calling those his 'trademarks'.
4. Terrence Malick's first film, 1973's "Badlands", with a remarkably youthful Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, accompanied by Carl Orff's "Musica Poetica" (fans of "True Romance" will recognize it instantly), and elegaic heartland cinematography.
5. The imperfect but extremely likable "True Romance", from '93, with an excellent Tarantino screenplay, the aforementioned Carl Orff score, and the first 'straight' performance from Dennis Hopper since God-knows-when.
6. Finally, the one that puts any David Lynch effort to shame, Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers". Fans of Lynch and "Wild At Heart" will be angry with me, calling WAH the main source of inspiration for NBK, but I see it as a rehearsal instead. Oliver Stone, for all his faults, at least takes filmmaking seriously.
I was careful to have seen nearly all of Lynch's films before making a comment. I have seen all but "Twin Peaks/Fire Walk With Me" and the "Twin Peaks" TV show. I also have studied film seriously, on my own, for the past seven years, so I like to believe I speak with a little authority.
I realize Lynch must feel that his works are impervious to the audience's resentment of him, but he's wrong. Without an audience, the celluloid itself is nothing, because it exists in no one's mind except its makers and collaborators. Think about that.
I also acknowledge the small but steadfast group of Lynch devotees. That's fine. I'm happy for those guys. And like them, I have nothing but hope for Lynch's next film .
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