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Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet is a 1986 mystery and thriller film written and directed by David Lynch. The film features Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern. The title is taken from a Bobby Vinton song by the same name, which continues the blue velvet motif that appears throughout the film in several significant moments. Blue Velvet was financed and produced for Italian movie producer Dino de Laurentiis, however he deemed the film to be far “too dark”, so Laurentiis had to start his own production company to distribute it, which became the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.

Set in the small, quaint Midwest town of Lumberton, the film begins with the protagonist (MacLachlan) wandering through a dilapidated field and discovering a severed human ear which he takes to the police. He begins to investigate the matter himself, eventually discovering a seamy underworld within Lumberton that includes a bizarre homicidal kidnapper (Hopper) and a seductive femme fatale night-club singer on the verge of a breakdown (Rossellini). The film’s villain, Frank Booth, has become one of cinema history’s most memorable, feared villains, and was ranked #36 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Years… 100 Villains.

Blue Velvet opened to great critical acclaim and was a box office success, considering its limited release in theatres. The film received an Academy Award for Best Director nomination for Lynch in 1987. The film has since become a cult classic, noted for its use of surrealism, dreamlike aura, neo-noir and examination of the dark-side of America, and has spawned several inferior imitations since its release in 1986. Blue Velvet remains one of the most poignant, well known examples of the psychological thriller genre, and brought director Lynch to the attention of mainstream audiences.

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