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Lost Highway (1997)

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director:

David Lynch
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Popularity
1,721 ( 690)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Pullman ... Fred Madison
Patricia Arquette ... Renee Madison / Alice Wakefield
John Roselius John Roselius ... Al
Louis Eppolito Louis Eppolito ... Ed (as Lou Eppolito)
Jenna Maetlind Jenna Maetlind ... Party Girl
Michael Massee ... Andy
Robert Blake ... Mystery Man
Henry Rollins ... Guard Henry
Michael Shamus Wiles ... Guard Mike
Mink Stole ... Forewoman (voice)
Leonard Termo ... Judge (voice)
Ivory Ocean Ivory Ocean ... Guard Ivory
Jack Kehler ... Guard Johnny Mack
David Byrd David Byrd ... Doctor Smordin
Gene Ross ... Warden Clements
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Storyline

Fred Madison, a saxophonist, is accused under mysterious circumstances of murdering his wife Renee. On death row, he inexplicably morphs into a young man named Pete Dayton, leading a completely different life. When Pete is released, his and Fred's paths begin to cross in a surreal, suspenseful web of intrigue, orchestrated by a shady gangster boss named Dick Laurent. Written by <jdean@gslink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bizarre violent and sexual content, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1997 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Carretera perdida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$212,710, 23 February 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,796,699, 20 April 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Lynch said he has only recently (2002) realized what subconsciously inspired the film: the O.J. Simpson trial. He said that the trial was a major influence on his mind during the stage of writing this script, which deals with a man who was accused of killing his wife. Curiously enough, Lynch cast Robert Blake to play the Mystery Man, who is a major character in the film. Several years later, Blake was put on trial for killing his own wife. See more »

Quotes

Fred Madison: I had a dream about you last night.
Renee Madison: Yeah? What was it about?
Fred Madison: You were in the house, calling my name, but I couldn't find you. Then there you were, lying in bed... but it wasn't you. It looked like you, but it wasn't.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A Real Trooper-Guadalupe Hurst See more »

Alternate Versions

An unconfirmed report has that a Director's Cut of the film exists which has a number of scenes deleted from the original 134 minute print. Some of the missing scenes include:
  • A dinner scene with Fred and Renee where Fred asks her where she was when he phoned her from the jazz club the night before, and when she says that she never left the house all evening, his suspicions of her cheating on him intensifies.
  • Another scene of a third videotape arriving at Fred and Renee's house where they watch it and catch a glimpse of a cold-faced Fred on one frame. They phone the detectives Al and Lou again who pay them another visit.
  • A scene set in the morgue where the attendant, George, prepares an autopsy on Renee's mutilated body where he is joined by a tuxedo-clad medical examiner and the examiner's girlfriend, Joyce, which is followed by a courtroom scene where Fred faints after hearing the jury forewoman read the guilty verdict and the judge's sentence of death, which is only heard in the original version.
  • A scene in a lingerie shop where two young women, Marian and Raquel, glimpsed only in the porno film at the end, talk about the Renee Madison murder and about the method of execution the state would use when they are interrupted by Andy to gesters for them to hurry up with their selections.
  • Another scene follows where Andy, Marian and Raquel are involved in a drugged-out threesome orgy at his house.
  • A prison scene where one inmate is shown being led out of his cell to the gas chamber with other prisoners taunting him and the guards preparing for the execution as if it was a formal gathering, plus another scene of Fred talking to the prison guards in the courtyard the next day.
  • A full scene of dialogue between the prison warden and Pete Dayton's parents, Candace and Bill, where they are told of their son's whereabouts and his physical condition where he has a hematoma on his forehead and blepharitis, redness around the eyes. Pete is then brought into the office where he doesn't respond to questions asked, and Bill and Candace are told that they can take him home. The warden then makes a statement to reporters about the disappearance of Fred Madison from the prison.
  • Extended scenes of dialogue between Pete and his friends Steve V, Teddy, Carl and Lanie on their arrival at his house where Lanie shows them a scar on her abdomen from an operation she just had. Plus more dialogue as the four ride in Steve V's car, where the first arrive at a drive-in restaurant called Johnny's where they pick up Sheila and her two girlfriends and then drive to the bowling alley.
  • An extra scene of Pete riding up Van Nuys Boulevard at night on his motorcycle where he arrives at Johnny's Drive-In where he meets with Steve V, Carl and Sheila where Pete responds awkward towards them as he is having a mysterious headache. Pete then savagely beats up two guys who try to pick up Sheila much to her shock.
  • A brief scene of Fred Madison checking into the Lost Highway Motel and walking towards Room 25 which he knows is right next to Room 26 where Renee and Mr. Eddy are.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Afti i nyhta menei (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Various Ominous Drones
Created by Trent Reznor with Peter Christopherson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An incredibly well-done film... but not for everyone's tastes
11 June 2005 | by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviewsSee all my reviews

This is the first film directed by David Lynch I've seen, not counting The Elephant Man, which is another great film, but is an outsider in his career, since it is not surreal. This film is, however, making it the first typical Lynch film I've seen. And I'm honestly not sure what to make of it. I had heard a lot about Lynch's films before watching, but I guess I hadn't heard enough. I went into this film hoping for a good mystery, an interesting puzzle to solve. As the end credits rolled I didn't know what to make of what I had just seen. I didn't get an answer to the question I kept asking while I was watching; "What exactly is this film about?". As soon as the credits were over, I read a comment or two by Lynch fans... and the truth dawned on me. It's not supposed to be solved. It's not a movie where you, when you see the very end, exclaim "Ah! Now I get it!". This film won't provide you with some twist ending or have a character come up to the lead and explain it all. It's not supposed to make perfect sense or be easily explainable. It's not real. It's fantasy. Fiction. The whole film is like a dream, or, more appropriately, a nightmare. The film is great; it's just not for me. I won't let that affect my rating, however. This was an excellent example of masterful film-making. Lynch's direction is eminent, evidenced by the fact that I kept watching, despite not understanding half of what was going on or being able to sympathize with any character(something we are much too used to from mainstream movies). The lighting is great. Lynch really plays around with it, and it's always interesting to look at. It also really adds to the mood, nicely set by careful editing and music usage. The acting is flawless, and that is not a term I use lightly. All in all, a wonderfully well-done film, but definitely not for everyone. Wasn't in my tastes, but I enjoyed how well-made it was regardless. I recommend this to fans of art films, rather than conventional ones. Fans of Lynch should enjoy this. Very surreal and loose. 10/10


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