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Wild at Heart

  • Directed by David Lynch
  • United States, 1990, 125 mins, English

The promise of love in a violent world ripples under the surface of the unhinged Wild at Heart, in which Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage), fresh out of prison after killing the man hired to kill him, hits the road with sweetheart Lula (Laura Dern)—much to the chagrin of Lula’s mother Marietta (Diane Ladd), who arranged to have Sailor killed and still has it in for him. On the run, Sailor and Lula seek refuge in Big Tuna, Texas, where Sailor gets involved with Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe), a gangster with plans to rob a feed store. As in all of Lynch’s work, things go horribly wrong—but can Sailor and Lula’s seemingly unbreakable love stand the test? At the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, Wild at Heart won the Palme d’Or (best film), eliciting boos and cheers in equal measure from the notoriously opinionated audiences. “It’s tempting to treat David Lynch’s Wild At Heart as adding to the long tradition of unruly road pictures about the American landscape, but it’s too abstracted from the real place to belong to any tradition but Lynch’s filmography. . . . the wide-open format of a road movie gives Lynch’s imagination room to roam—and the dark forces that close around its romantic heroes make it feel like a convertible gunned deeper into an encroaching nightmare.”—Scott Tobias, The Dissolve. “I think that David is the Eagle scout from Missoula, Montana who found some tools in his dad’s garage. He’s the neighborhood boy who always asks ‘Hey! Whatchya doing?’ He probably started to paint some things, and decided he could paint in front of the camera.”—Laura Dern. R-rated version.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by David Lynch

The Amputee Vols. 1 & 2

Short film by David Lynch.

The Alphabet

Short film by David Lynch.

Six Men Getting Sick

Short film by David Lynch.

Industrial Symphony No. 1

A short avant-garde musical play directed by David Lynch.

Premonitions Following an Evil Deed

Experimental short film by David Lynch.