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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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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

Robert Loggia kept forgetting his choreographed moves in his big fight scene with Bill Pullman, with the result that Pullman kept repeatedly, and accidentally, hitting him. See more »

Quotes

Ed: Fucker gets more pussy than a toilet seat.
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

References Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Weirdness overload!
11 February 2004 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

I believe it was the legendary Homer Simpson who once gave the ideal description on David Lynch productions. During watching a ‘Twin Peaks'-episode he said, `Brilliant…but I don't get it'. Too true…you love what you're seeing and you want to be a part of the mysterious Lynch universe! You actually feel the urge to search for solutions, you want to solve the riddle that is Lost Highway and you desperately try to do so…until you realize it's in fact a puzzle that cannot be solved. Therefore, my advice would be: Don't try to be Einstein and develop too many ‘theories'… just get overwhelmed by Lost Highway and enjoy the mixture of weirdness, violence and erotica you get to see. It's amazing what David Lynch pulls off here! He serves an absurd and impossible structure that involves an inexplicable metamorphosis of the protagonist and he actually gets away with it!! Meanwhile, he introduces a bunch of bizarre – but extremely fascinating – characters of which you don't know they're real or just creations of a mentally ill mind. Lynch in top-condition, in other words…you almost start to suspect he's laughing with his audience. The quality of Lost Highway is brought up to an even higher level by the terrific musical score (Angelo Badalamenti), a blasting soundtrack (Rammstein!) and sublime acting. Bill Pullman and Balthazar Ghetty supply each other terrifically, even though they don't have ONE scene together. And Patricia Arquette…either blond or brunette… looks gorgeous. No wonder men in this film fall into madness over her.

Lost Highway comes with my highest possible recommendation, yet I still prefer the David Lynch of the lat 70's and 80's. Can't really give a reasonable explanation for this… Films like Blue Velvet and Eraserhead had something extra.


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