Sandy: I can't tell if you're a detective or a pervert.
Jeffrey: Well that's for me to know and you to find out.Blue Velvet
(1986) is a mystery/noir film written and directed by David Lynch
, which essentially served as a comeback film for the director after the critical and box office failure of 1984's Dune
, starring Lynch regulars Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern
, and Isabella Rossellini, and Dennis Hopper
. The film, although barely breaking even commercially, shone in comparison to Dune
and was highly acclaimed by critics, reviving Lynch's career and earning him his second Academy Award
nomination for Best Director. Besides salvaging Lynch's career, the film is notable for launching the careers of Isabella Rossellini and Laura Dern, both being previously known for their famous parents more than anything.
The film tells the story of college student Jeffrey Beaumont (MacLachlan), who has returned to his hometown of Lumberton, North Carolina after his father had a crippling stroke to help run the family business. A couple of days after arriving back into town, Jeffrey discovers a severed human ear in a grass field behind a neighborhood, which leads to Jeffrey deciding to play amateur detective
with help from Sandy Williams, a high school student and daughter of Lieutenant John Williams, a detective in the town.
The investigation leads Jeffrey towards his town's dark, seedy underbelly as he discovers that the ear belongs to the husband of a roadhouse singer named Dorothy, a Broken Bird
whose child has been kidnapped by the local crime boss (and complete psychopath) Frank Booth, in order to turn her into his virtual sex slave. Jeffrey finds himself drawn into Dorothy's nightmare as the film explores voyeuristic sex and drug-fueled crime as Jeffrey tries to save Dorothy from her living hell, while grappling with his own desire to possess her. Blue Velvet
remains a leading example of the neo-noir genre, widely regarded as one of Lynch's greatest, most seminal works and has become a cult classic.
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