Blue Velvet

1986 | Horror | In English | 121 minutes


College student Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his picture-perfect town of Lumberton, North Carolina, after his father suffered a near-fatal stroke. He notices a severed ear in a vacant lot. He brings it to the police station where the police detective’s daughter, Sandy, tells Jeffrey that the severed ear might belong to Dorothy Vallens, a local lounge singer.  While Dorothy is performing her act, Jeffrey enters her apartment to see what he can find. Unexpectedly,  Dorothy returns early and threatens Jeffrey while  wielding a kitchen knife. But in a turnaround, Dorothy then forces Jeffrey to undress and fellates him. The sex is interrupted by the arrival of  thug Frank Booth, who beats Dorothy and subjects her to a variety of violent sex acts. After Frank leaves, Dorothy confesses to Jeffrey that she is sexually attracted to him. The   two enter into a sadomasochistic sexual relationship. Frank catches Jeffrey and Dorothy together and abducts taking them to the home of his criminal associate, Ben. There are twists and turns with a great deal of violence, drug killings, and beatings. Did Jeffrey expect all of this when he innocently returned to his bucolic hometown? Well, it is a David Lynch film, after all.

Isabella Rossellini (Dorothy Vallens) / Kyle MacLachlan (Jeffrey Beaumont) / Dennis Hopper (Frank Booth) / Laura Dern (Sandy Williams) / Dean Stockwell (Ben)
Why Stream This Film?
Janet Maslin pointed out in her review in The New York Times that BLUE VELVET is overloaded with the kind of piquant little details that would stand up nicely to the repeat viewings it will undoubtedly receive.” Fortunately, streaming makes it easy to see this film many times. It certainly needs to be seen at least twice to fully appreciate its brilliant nuances.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 94%
  • Metacritic Score:
  • American Film Institute: Selected as one of the greatest American mystery films ever made.
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Director (David Lynch)
  • Independent Spirit Awards: Best Female Lead (Isabella Rossellini)
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Director (David Lynch); Best Supporting Actor (Dennis Hopper)
  • National Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Film; Best Director (David Lynch); Best Supporting Actor (Dennis Hopper); Best Cinematographer (Frederick Elmes)

Now streaming on:

BLUE VELVET is one of the bravest, strangest, and most intensely personal works ever to come out of Hollywood. David Lynch walks us through one small town and finds in its smiling faces dark dreams. Contradictory and nasty though it sometimes may be, BLUE VELVET is clearly one of the great films of the 80s.
John Powers

LA Weekly

Other directors labor long and hard to achieve the fevered perversity that comes so naturally to David Lynch, whose BLUE VELVET is an instant cult classic. Mr. Lynch had already established his beachhead inside the realm of the bizarre, but this latest venture takes him a lot further. Kinkiness is its salient quality, but the film has deadpan humor too, as well as a straight-arrow side that makes its eccentricity all the crazier. There’s no mistaking the exhilarating fact that it’s one of a kind.
Janet Maslin

The New York Times

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