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Blue Velvet (1986)

Cast: Richard Langdon, Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, more...
Director: David Lynch
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Cult, Neo Noir
Running Time: 121 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
    see additional details...

Director David Lynch crafted this hallucinogenic mystery-thriller that probes beneath the cheerful surface of suburban America to discover sadomasochistic violence, corruption, drug abuse, crime and perversion. Kyle Maclachlan stars as Jeffrey Beaumont, a square-jawed young man who returns to his picture-perfect small town when his father suffers a stroke. Walking through a field near his home, Jeff discovers a severed human ear, which he immediately brings to the police. Their disinterest sparks Jeff's curiosity, and he is soon drawn into a dangerous drama that's being played out by a lounge singer, Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and the ether-addicted Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). The sociopathic Booth has kidnapped Dorothy's young son and is using the child as a bargaining chip to repeatedly beat, humiliate and rape Dorothy. Though he's drawn to the virginal, wholesome Sandy Williams (Laura Dern), Jeff is also aroused by Dorothy and in trying to aid her, he discovers his dark side. As the film nears its conclusion, our hero learns that many more indivduals are tacitly involved with Frank, including a suave, lip-synching singer, Ben (Dean Stockwell), who is minding the kidnapped boy. Director Lynch explored many similar themes of the "disease" lying just under the surface of the small town, all-American fašade in his later television series Twin Peaks (1990-91). ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

You might also enjoy:
Mulholland Drive
Lynch returns to some familiar nightmare territory but this scathing, darkly funny exploration of Hollywood is wholly its own brilliant entity

Twin Peaks - First Season
The Director and Kyle MacLachlan teamed up again for this cult TV series

River's Edge
Dennis Hopper stars in another disturbing murder mystery, a bit more straightforward but still dark and strange

GreenCine Member Reviews

Art for the sake of art by emdoub May 5, 2009 - 3:47 PM PDT
Certainly not moviemaking for the sake of storytelling.

Beautifully shot, remarkably acted, with loads of allegory and symbolism - what's not to like?

Never mind that the story is remarkably oblique at many points, that characters don't develop, and that the only motivation the audience is ever privy to is the curiosity of the protagonist - that's not important here. Unless it is.

You'll like this film if you like dissecting film, admiring technique, and find plot secondary. If your primary purpose is to hear a tale that you'll care about, you may want to pass this one by - it's largely a pretty examination of the human psy.... well, a blurry reflection of a distorted shadow of the human psyche.

What Kind of Beer Do You Like? by BorisDarling December 15, 2004 - 7:24 PM PST
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I read this interview with David Lynch in which he said that the way he does his writing is by going into a Bob's Big Boy, ordering coffee, and drinking lots of coffeee with sugar until he's wired into some alterred state, then writes his stuff.

So, does that explain everything? No, I guess you're right it doesn't.

But Blue Velvet, along with Repo Man and River's Edge, is one of the truly great movies to come out of America in the 80's. Note the oversaturated colors everywhere, until everything is creepy. Note the dialogue is painfully bad when the "good" people are speaking and quite good when the "bad" people are speaking.

I find his perverse way of turning on his audience to be far more interesting than say, the way Peter Greenaway does it. But to say more would be to give away the game.

Just remember that Frank is really a sensitive, new age guy, and is just misunderstood.

Dark by jpceja September 3, 2003 - 5:17 PM PDT
3 out of 9 members found this review helpful
We can all love David Lynch for the way he incorporates postmodern irony with serious humanism. Why is his irony postmodern? Because of his three-step process, with which the way he makes up MacLachlan and Dern's characters, spins them as ironies, and then spins them again by awarding them an ultimate victory by giving them a final and genuine grown-from-irony validation -- that is not the same thing as 'triumph', mind you. In Blue Velvet, Dern and MacLachlan's kids eventually win the day, but their ultimate realization is no different than Naomi Watts' character(s) in Mulholland Drive, and she ends up a suicide.

Love Lynch for that ironic double-spin of his, there's no one else working who does it quite like he does. Postmodernism supposedly takes symbols and people and does away with them by reproduction. Not necessarily: here we see how it creates meaningful stories.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.56)
1640 Votes
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