The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
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College student Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his idyllic hometown of Lumberton to manage his father's hardware store while his father is hospitalized. Walking though a grassy meadow near the family home, Jeffrey finds a severed human ear. After an initial investigation, lead police Detective John Williams advises Jeffrey not to speak to anyone about the case as they investigate further. Detective Williams also tells Jeffrey that he cannot divulge any information about what the police know. Detective Williams' high school aged daughter, Sandy Williams, tells Jeffrey what she knows about the case from overhearing her father's private conversations on the matter: that it has to do with a nightclub singer named Dorothy Vallens, who lives in an older apartment building near the Beaumont home. His curiosity getting the better of him, Jeffrey, with Sandy's help, decides to find out more about the woman at the center of the case by breaking into Dorothy's apartment while he knows she's at work...Written by
The character of Frank was to breathe helium at various intervals in David Lynch's original script, but Dennis Hopper suggested this be changed to amyl nitrite which he knew was used to enhance sexual experiences. Hopper only realized years later how bizarre (and therefore fitting) the concept of a helium-breathing maniac talking with a high voice would have been. Lynch, however, felt that using helium might elicit laughter in the audience which would have been undesirable. See more »
After Frank and Ben received their glasses there's some froth topping Frank's beer, but not Ben's. However, in the close-up of Ben there's clearly a thin layer of froth. Back to both in frame, and again Ben's beer has no froth. See more »
It's a sunny, woodsy day in Lumberton, so get those chainsaws out. This is the mighty W.O.O.D., the musical voice of Lumberton. At the sound of the falling tree, it's 9:30. There's a whole lotta wood waitin' out there, so let's get goin'.
Mr. Beaumont? Your son Jeffrey's here to see you.
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Originally running at nearly four hours, Blue Velvet was cut to approximately two hours (120 minutes) for distribution. The missing footage was put in storage and apparently lost for good. Some of the missing scenes are:
A couple of scenes at the college where Jeffrey attends which takes place during a dance where two of his friends are on the dance floor with him watching when another friend tells him he has a call from home and he learns about his father's stroke and tells his roommate he has to leave immediately.
The hospital scene is longer with more dialogue with Jeffrey trying to communicate with his incapacitated father in his hospital bed and talking to a doctor who explains his father's condition.
A scene at Jeffrey's home with the doctor giving Mrs. Beaumont an injection to calm her down over the stress of her husband's plight.
Jeffrey having coffee with Mrs. Williams as he's waiting to talk to Detective Williams about his find of the severed human ear. Jeffrey also meets Sandy for the first time at the house.
An extended scene of Jeffrey with Dorothy in her apartment after Frank Booth leaves and finding another severed human ear in the bathroom sink.
An argument between Jeffrey and Sandy over his continued obsession in the Dorothy Valens case.
A rooftop scene during Jeffrey's second visit to Dorothy where she confides in him about her messed up life and wants to throw herself off the roof of the building. But Jeffrey stops her and they kiss for the first time.
A dinner scene where Jeffrey has dinner with Sandy and her parents where her boyfriend Mike joins them and grows suspicious at the table of the relationship between Sandy and Jeffrey.
A very surreal scene at the seedy nightclub "This Is It" where Frank and his three henchmen take Jeffrey and Dorothy through the dark, dimly lit place filled with topless waitresses, one of them lights her nipples on fire. Frank then beats up a man and throws him across a pool table for not fixing his jacket pockets for he "lost his trophy." This explains how Jeffrey found the missing ear in the field behind the hospital, it apparently fell through a hole in Frank's jacket pocket.
A final epilogue scene at the police station where Jeffrey and Sandy give their statements to the press of the case and of Williams explaining that they found Dorothy's young son at the nightclub, Frank's henchmen are dead after the shootout at the warehouse, and the nightclub owner Ben and a few others have been apprehended at the club during the raid.
One of Lynch's most accessible and optimistic films
Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his small town home when his father has an accident and ends up in hospital. A quiet walk home changes his perceptions forever when he discovers a human ear in the long grass. He reports it to the police but decides to make some enquires himself with the help of the officer's daughter Sandy. The trail begins with the mysterious Dorothy Vallens and drags Jeffrey into the unseen underworld of Frank Booth.
For the majority of people, you either like Lynch or you dislike him. Personally I like the majority of his work, I love the sense of normalcy that he can create and slowly change to reveal a darkness that is worryingly close to the surface. That is the case here, beginning with a blue sky, white picket fence vision of small town America the camera drops into the grass to see a torrent of bugs scrambling just under the surface. In the same way the film follows Jeffrey's journey into the underbelly of his home town.
In some ways this is one of the easiest Lynch films to get into here the darkness is not a wide world of demons as in Fire Walk With Me, but is one man and his associates who can be overcome. The darkness is therefore accessible to all but is laced with just enough weirdness to disturb my favourite scene is where Frank takes Jeffrey to see Ben, it is just a little unsettling. In hand with this is the fact that it is easily one of his most optimistic films, the good angel in Jeffrey's life is a strong character and the ending is one of certainty rather than open to interpretation that robin has about a clear a meaning as it can.
MacLachlan is well used as Jeffrey. He is wide eyed and innocent even when being sucked into the underworld. Dern plays `all-American' well but doesn't have the complexity of MacLachlan in the script. Rossellini has a challenging role and carries it off quite well I didn't fully understand her character but I don't know if that was my fault or hers. Of course the film belongs to Hopper who is terrifyingly unstable. Without a doubt he is a monster and you never are left in any doubt as to his state of mind. For an example of his work here watch the scene where Stockwell (in a wonderfully weird cameo) sings and Hopper clearly falls to pieces.
Although I prefer Fire Walk With Me, I do think that this is Lynch's best film. It is weird without going totally overboard and it allows us to sink into the underworld gradually without sudden falls. Hopper controls every scene he is in, but the meeting of wholesome and weird is perfectly delivered and is trademark Lynch.
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