Mulholland Dr.

October 26th, 2001

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Mulholland Dr.

Still of Laura Harring in Mulholland Dr.Still of Justin Theroux in Mulholland Dr.David Lynch at event of Mulholland Dr.Still of Michael J. Anderson in Mulholland Dr.Still of Naomi Watts in Mulholland Dr.Still of Laura Harring and Naomi Watts in Mulholland Dr.

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesic, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 8.0/10 (133,360 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: David Lynch

Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux

A bright-eyed young actress travels to Hollywood, only to be ensnared in a dark conspiracy involving a woman who was nearly murdered, and now has amnesia because of a car crash. Eventually, both women are pulled into a psychotic illusion involving a dangerous blue box, a director named Adam Kesher, and the mysterious night club Silencio.

Naomi Watts - Betty Elms / Diane Selwyn
Laura Harring - Rita (as Laura Elena Harring)
Ann Miller - Catherine 'Coco' Lenoix
Dan Hedaya - Vincenzo Castigliane
Justin Theroux - Adam Kesher
Brent Briscoe - Detective Neal Domgaard
Robert Forster - Detective Harry McKnight
Katharine Towne - Cynthia Jenzen
Lee Grant - Louise Bonner
Scott Coffey - Wilkins
Billy Ray Cyrus - Gene
Chad Everett - Jimmy Katz
Rita Taggart - Linney James
James Karen - Wally Brown
Lori Heuring - Lorraine Kesher

Taglines: A Love Story In The City Of Dreams


Official Website: Universal Pictures [United States] |

Release Date: 26 October 2001

Filming Locations: 7400 West Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $587,591 (USA) (14 October 2001) (66 Screens)

Gross: $20,112,339 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The Region 1 DVD of the movie does not feature "chapters"; attempting to "skip" to the next scene or chapter takes you to the "DVD" logo animation at the very end of the movie after all the credits and ratings and so forth. Director David Lynch requested this himself, as he has done on previous releases, such as The Straight Story. By allowing the film to be on one chapter, Lynch believes people will be more inclined to view the feature in one sitting, as intended. Robert Zemeckis also used this idea on his laserdisc release of Forrest Gump.

Continuity: When Rita is walking to after from the accident the cut on the right side of her head disappears and reappears. Also, even though the blood is obviously dry, the blood pattern is completely different each time.

[first lines]
Rita: What are you doing? We don't stop here.

User Review

This is why this movie is brilliant...

Rating: 10/10



This is one of the best movies ever made and I am not saying that because I am being fooled by the seemingly nonsensical presentation. Those who dislike the film because they don't understand the story often criticize those who are praising the film by saying that they are assuming its genius because they don't understand it. I don't view this movie as very allegorical. To me, it is a story with a beginning, middle and end. People become confused by the film because they expect it to have a deep, philosophical meaning that they are to interpret from the allegedly meaningless scenes. I feel they fail to realize that the crypticness comes from a chopped-up and rearranged plot combined with a very long and rather explanatory fantasy sequence and not from a chaos of visual allegory. Because of the limitation of length, I will try to keep this short and to the point and touch on the major concepts.

The general plot: Diane moves to L.A. after jitterbug contest to get into acting. At an audition, she meets Camilla with whom she falls in love. Diane becomes enraged with jealousy since Camilla sleeps with other men and women. Diane discovers the other man (the director) at a film shoot and discovers the other woman (a random blond) at the engagement party for Camilla and the director. Motivated by her rage and possessiveness, Diane hires a hit man to kill Camilla. After that is done, she is overcome by loneliness and slips into an unconscious fantasy world where she lives the life she wants to. Diane is then awakened. In her conscious state she is haunted by what she has done.

The significance of the fantasy: The film starts out, after the credits, with a 1st person p.o.v. shot depicting somebody collapsing onto a bed and slipping into unconsciousness. This is where Diane's fantasy starts. The accident is there as an excuse for her to "bring back" her dead girlfriend and justify the fantasy life. She depicts her girlfriend as meek and innocent because that is what she wished she was. In the meantime, she acts like everything is "like in the movies" because she has an escapist personality. She also, in a sense, kills herself off and assumes the identity of a waitress named Betty at a diner. The story revolving around the director is a direct result of her feeling that he was in someway victimized in reality just as she was and "convinces" herself that he was forced to choose Camilla. It was also an unconscious expression of the lack of control she felt during the party. Camilla Rhoades in the fantasy is actually the random blond from the engagement party. She hated her so much that she turned her into Camilla and made the ultimate antagonist. She then took the real Camilla and turned her into a perfect, submissive out-of-the-movies girlfriend and used Rita Hayworth as an inspiration. She also paints the hit man as a very clumsy and incapable person to further justify the survival of Camilla. Her fantasy world, unfortunately for her, was a search for Diane which ended up being herself and made the dreamworld die by taking her through a series of reminders of reality. The first reminder was Club Silencio which chanted that "there is no band" and the "instruments" you hear are not really there; this is a metaphor for the fantasy. She begins to shake violently because it shakes her perception of her surroundings. The other reminder is the blue box... Actually, the blue box is not the reminder itself (more of a Pandora's Box, really), but the blue key that opens the box. The blue key reminds her of the actual death of Camilla because it is what the hit man said would show up when it was done. Along with having love, this entire creation of hers is an escape from reality by living in the idealized Hollywood that she expected to be part of when she arrived.

This is a story showing the psychology of a very troubled woman who lost a dream. It is not series of random things specifically designed to disturb and it is not a cryptic philosophical message. It is an unfortunate chunk of the human condition that is presented beautifully.

However, ultimately this is all my opinion. I may be way off. Or it may not be intended to mean any one thing. There are many who disagree with me. Great! Afterall, why does it have to mean anything? Why can't it just be a statement in itself? What if coherent, sensible narratives are shackles for artistic expression? Peter Greenaway, for example, has spent many words eloquently supporting that idea by such statements as "I would argue that if you want to write narratives, be an author, be a novelist, don't be a film maker. Because I believe film making is so much more exciting in areas which aren't primarily to do with narrative." And where is the written rule that everything must be immediately understandable with only one possible interpretation? There is no such rule because the clarity of the movie is unrelated to the art of it. "I didn't understand it!" So...? "Mulholland Dr.," story or not, affects the viewers, harasses them, drags them, awes them, lulls them. The way it lends itself to interpretation is amazing. It never gets old. It never loses its luster. Its visuals are always effective and beautiful. It is cinematic perfection no matter what. Enjoy.

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