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The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 19 May 1995 (USA)
After the death of his strictly religious parents, forlorn young Darkly gets lost in the woods. A truck driver, Jude, rescues the exhausted man, who has only a bible for comfort. He brings ... See full summary »


Philip Ridley


Philip Ridley
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Brendan Fraser ... Darkly Noon
Ashley Judd ... Callie
Viggo Mortensen ... Clay
Loren Dean ... Jude
Grace Zabriskie ... Roxy
Lou Myers ... Quincy
Kate Harper ... Ma
Mel Cobb Mel Cobb ... Pa
Josse De Pauw ... Ringmaster
Gabriele Binder ... Ringmaster's Family (as Gabi Binder)
Maximilliam Paul Maximilliam Paul ... Ringmaster's Family
Knut Samel Knut Samel ... Ringmaster's Family
Dog Dog ... Dunia
Learn more

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After the death of his strictly religious parents, forlorn young Darkly gets lost in the woods. A truck driver, Jude, rescues the exhausted man, who has only a bible for comfort. He brings him to the house of Callie and Clay, two lovers who live in the forest. While Clay is away in the forest, beautiful Callie nurses Darkly back to health, and he develops an obsession with her that is totally contrary to his upbringing - a sexual obsession. When Clay returns home and Darkly sees the two lovers kiss, it is too much for him. Every night he hears them making love. Darkly's descent into madness has begun... An extremely dramatical and exciting ending! Written by Frank Wallner <wallnerf@informatik.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When your deepest desire becomes your worst nightmare...


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Although set in the American Deep South, this was actually filmed in Germany. See more »


Ringmaster: Can you help us? Do you know the way out?
Callie: [pause] Yes.
See more »


References Diamonds of the Night (1964) See more »


Who Will Love Me Now?
Written by Nick Bicât and Philip Ridley
Performed by PJ Harvey
© 1995 Island Records Limited
See more »

User Reviews

"Borrowing" from the best...
4 January 2001 | by cchaseSee all my reviews

None of the reviews for this movie so far have stated the obvious, so let's get that out of the way, first. Without TWIN PEAKS, NOON probably wouldn't even exist. All that's missing here is a slice or two of cherry pie, some DAMN good coffee and a visit to the Black Lodge. I mean, HELLO? Grace Zabriskie? Not many other actresses could've brought what she does to the part of the deranged mother, but just by casting her, director Ridley isn't merely acknowledging his debt to David Lynch, he's beating you upside the head with it!

Now, having said that, NOON still has charms to attract both PEAKS and non-PEAKS fans alike. For one thing, by following the descent into madness of just one character, rather than an entire town, it gives the surrealistic bent of the story a lot more linear structure than anything Lynch has done, and is therefore more accessible to an audience less accustomed to dealing with his cinematic brand of dream-logic.

Plus there's the rare treat of seeing Brendan Fraser in a role that actually requires ACTING, not lending anthropomorphic life to dumb-hunk cartoon characters like Dudley Do-Right and George-of-the-Jungle. His Darkly is a child-man who can evoke feelings of pity, sadness, horror, disgust and empathy from the audience, sometimes all in the same scene.

Ashley Judd comes on like a distant relative of Laura Palmer who exists in a parallel universe, just as Viggo Mortensen is the "flip" side of killer BOB; his life energy channeled into his potent sexuality and the strong feelings he has for Judd's character, rather than the Essence of Pure Evil, which is why he's a lightweight when the time comes to confront a raging Noon.

PEAKS gets more homage paid to it by the way the dreamy German forest locales are shot and lit. DP John de Borman takes more than a few cues from the work of Ron Garcia on both the PEAKS series and the movie. Watch the cave scenes and the river scenes closely. One comes to suspect that if you peeked inside that giant silver shoe floating down the river, you'd find a dead body inside, wrapped in plastic.

Nick Bicat's score is a lot more percussive and synth-heavy than the New Age jazziness of Badalamenti, but when P.J. Harvey comes on like Julee Cruise as the credits roll, you may be tempted to reach for your copy of the TP pilot episode and pop it in. Ridley has covered all the bases here: sexual repression, fanatic religious fundamentalism, promiscuity interpreted as evil, through madness fueled by post-Victorian hypocrisy. Were it a little less dependent on the TP stuff, and a chapter breakdown of Darkly's descent into insanity that Kubrick put to similar use in THE SHINING, NOON would've intrigued and disturbed me a lot more than it actually did.

Where the similarities between Ridley's movie and Lynch's work begin and end is pretty simple. After NOON, (no pun intended), I could calmly find my way through the darkness of my own home, to get a drink of water in the middle of the night, and not think about it. With Lynch's best and most alarming work, (the TP movie and LOST HIGHWAY), I wouldn't dare do that. Something about darkness in a Lynch film equates it with the depths of the basest impulses hidden in the human soul. To use a very profound quote from a B-movie I saw: "It's not the dark I'm afraid of; it's what's IN the dark."

And that's where Lynch proves superior to any other director. When you can no longer trust what you know is in the darkness of your own house, that is the mark of a great filmmaker.

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Release Date:

19 May 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Passion of Darkly Noon See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (/Users/lesliehealey/Desktop/JON D /IMG_5102.HEIC)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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