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Mulholland Dr. (1999)

After a car wreck, an amnesiac woman sets out to learn what happened to her with the help of a wannabe actress.


David Lynch


David Lynch




Cast overview, first billed only:
Justin Theroux ... Adam
Naomi Watts ... Betty / Diane Selwyn
Laura Harring ... Rita
Ann Miller ... Coco
Robert Forster ... Detective McKnight
Brent Briscoe ... Detective Domgaard
Scott Coffey ... Wilkins
Katharine Towne ... Cynthia
Dan Hedaya ... Vincenzo Castigliane
Angelo Badalamenti ... Luigi Castigliane
Chad Everett ... Woody Katz
James Karen ... Wally Brown
Lee Grant ... Louise Bonner
Lori Heuring ... Lorraine
Billy Ray Cyrus ... Gene Clean


Yearning to spread her wings and make a name for herself in the cut-throat world of Hollywood's film industry, instead, the bright-eyed actress, Betty, has a chance encounter with the amnesiac and alluringly mysterious brunette, Rita. Having survived a terrible car accident, Rita struggles to piece together the fragmented memories of what happened just before the incident, to find out who she is; however, this is easier said than done. Now, Betty and Rita embark on a mission to unearth clues scattered all over Hollywood. Is there a shocking truth hiding in plain sight on the winding Mulholland Drive? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It'll be just like in the movies.


Did You Know?


David Lynch considers this version of the project to be embarrassing and has not released it to the public. However a VHS screener copy from the time of its production did find its way online. See more »


References Gilda (1946) See more »

User Reviews

So glad that this became a feature
11 January 2012 | by CUDIUSee all my reviews

In 1999 David Lynch was tasked with this TV series pilot that was ultimately rejected by ABC. Once Lynch said in an interview that he is "a sucker for a continuing story". I think the remark is pretty down right. Look for instance at "Twin Peaks" and Lost Highway, both of which I am a big fan of. Also consider Inland Empire as well as all the post-2001 shorts, of which I am not a fan at all.

Be as it may, in this one case the miracle happened. Lynch took the rejected pilot from the drawer and made it in a great full feature film, released in 2001, after re-shooting a few scenes and adding several others. Mulholland Dr. the feature, an apparently elusive but ultimately full sense-making story, is the best of Lynch's so far, in my opinion, and one of the best movies of the last twenty years.

Now looking back at the pilot, I could not be more grateful that things went the way they did. The episode as such is great looking and builds up a lot of atmosphere. It is definitely of a far superior quality than the average TV show, probably even better than the "Twin Peaks" pilot. But precisely because of this, Mulholland Dr. the pilot deserved more than being just the first episode of a series (and of course more than being left in a drawer).

When you consider it, the pilot has so many merits it is hard to believe it was made for TV. The score by Angelo Badalamenti, the cinematography by Peter Deming, the production design and the technical values in general are all top notch. And what's more, the acting is superb. Harring and Watts are mesmerizing and it is no surprise that they (especially Watts) went on to star careers after the full feature was released. Watts delivers according to her standards, i.e those of one of the best actresses of her generation. While the same cannot be said of Harring, she is nonetheless good and brings forth a lot of noir atmosphere, sheer sexiness and emotion. And the supporting cast also do an exceptional work, making all of the characters memorable. Just think of then relatively unknown Theroux playing the utterly unlikable film director or of veterans Hedaya and Forster. And of course, the characters are good because the dialog is so good.

Overall, this is clearly not required viewing if you are not a hardcore fan of David Lynch, in which case go to the 2001 movie instead. However, if you already saw and liked the movie, the pilot becomes interesting as it shows how Lynch, for once, beautifully closed the loop. Something that I have missed him doing in the last ten years.

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Release Date:

1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mulholland Dr. See more »

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1.33 : 1
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