AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Mulholland Dr.
Director: David Lynch (Dir)
Release Date:   12 Oct 2001
Premiere Information:   Cannes Film Festival premiere: 16 May 2001; New York Film Festival opening: 6 Oct 2001
Production Date:   Feb--May 1998 at Paramount Studios; addl scenes shot in Sep 2000
Duration (in mins):   147
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Cast: In order of appearance: Naomi Watts (Betty [Elms]/Diane Selwyn)  
    Jeanne Bates (Irene)  
    Dan Birnbaum (Irene's companion)  
    Laura Elena Harring (Rita/Camilla Rhodes)  
    Scott Wulff (Limo driver)  
    Robert Forster (Detective McKnight)  
    Brent Briscoe (Detective Domgaard)  
    Maya Bond (Aunt Ruth)  
    Patrick Fischler (Dan)  
    Michael Cooke (Herb)  
    Bonnie Aarons (Bum)  
    Michael J. Anderson (Mr. Roque)  
    Joseph Kearney (Roque's manservant)  
    Enrique Buelna (Back of head man)  
    Richard Mead (Hairy-armed man)  
    Sean E. Markland (Cab driver at LAX)  
    Ann Miller (Coco [Lanois])  
    Angelo Badalamenti (Luigi Castigliane)  
    Dan Hedaya (Vincenzo Castigliane)  
    Daniel Rey (Valet attendant)  
    Justin Theroux (Adam [Kesher])  
    David Schroeder (Robert Smith)  
    Robert Katims (Ray Hott)  
    Marcus Graham (Mr. Darby)  
    Tom Morris (Expresso man)  
    Melissa George (Camilla Rhodes)  
    Matt Gallini (Castigliane limo driver)  
    Mark Pellegrino (Joe)  
    Vincent Castellanos (Ed)  
    Diane Nelson (Heavy-set woman)  
    Charlie Croughwell (Vacuum man)  
    Rena Riffel (Laney)  
    Michael Des Barres (Billy)  
    Lori Heuring (Lorraine [Kesher])  
    Billy Ray Cyrus (Gene)  
    Tad Horino (Taka)  
    Melissa Crider (Waitress at Winkies)  
    Tony Longo (Kenny)  
    Geno Silva (Hotel manager [Cookie])  
    Katharine Towne (Cynthia)  
    Lee Grant (Louise Bonner)  
    Layfayette Montgomery (Cowboy)  
    Kate Forster (Martha Johnson)  
    James Karen (Wally Brown)  
    Chad Everett (Jimmy [Woody] Katz)  
    Wayne Grace (Bob Booker)  
    Rita Taggart (Linney James)  
    Michelle Hicks (Nicki)  
    Lisa Ferguson (1st AC)  
    William Ostrander (2nd assistant director)  
    Elizabeth Lackey (Carol)  
    Brian Beacock (Backup singer #1)  
    Blake Lindsley (Backup singer #2)  
    Adrien Curry (Backup singer #3)  
    Tyrah M. Lindsey (Backup singer #4)  
    Michael Weatherred (Hank--assistant dirctor)  
    Michael Fairman (Jason)  
    Johanna Stein (Woman in #12)  
    Richard Green (The Magician)  
    Conti Condoli (Trumpet player)  
    Cori Glazer (Blue-haired lady)  
    Geno Silva (Emcee)  
    Rebekah Del Rio (Herself)  
    Lyssie Powell (Blond in bed)  
    Scott Coffey (Wilkins)  
    Kimberly Clever (Dancer)  
    Joshua Collazo (Dancer)  
    Lisa Ferguson (Dancer)  
    David Frutos (Dancer)  
    Peter Loggins (Dancer)  
    Theresa Salazar (Dancer)  
    Thea Samuels (Dancer)  
    Christian Thompson (Dancer)  

Summary: As the city of Los Angeles shimmers below, a limousine snakes along Mulholland Dr. Stopping suddenly, the driver turns around, trains a gun on the passenger, a sultry, raven-haired woman, and orders her to get out. At that moment, a pair of drag racing cars screams around a curve, smashing head on into the limousine. The woman, dazed, crawls out of the wreckage and stumbles down to the city streets below. Exhausted from her ordeal, she takes refuge in some bushes outside a stunning Spanish courtyard apartment building and falls asleep. The next morning, she is awakened when Ruth, one of the tenants, walks past to meet a waiting cab. After loading her luggage into the trunk, Ruth returns to her apartment to fetch her keys and the woman sneaks in, hides under a table and falls asleep. At Winkie’s coffee shop nearby, a man recounts two nightmares he had about a horrific man who lurks in back. As the man and his companion go to investigate, a hideous tramp appears from the rear of the building, causing the man to faint. Soon after, fresh-faced, young Betty Elms from Deep River Ontario, lands at the Los Angeles airport, filled with dreams of becoming an actress. An elderly couple whom Betty had befriended on the flight wish her “all the luck in the world,” then climb into the back of a limousine and drive off, grinning from ear to ear. Betty then takes a cab to the courtyard apartment owned by her Aunt Ruth, who has agreed to let her stay while she is away on business. There Betty is greeted by the complex’s eccentric manager, Coco Lanois, who speaks in aphorisms. As Betty peruses the apartment, she is startled to see a woman’s cocktail dress and purse discarded on the bedroom floor. In the bathroom, Betty finds the naked raven-haired woman standing in the shower. Assuming that the woman is a friend of her aunt’s, Betty asks her name. The woman, now suffering from amnesia, gazes vacantly at a poster of Rita Hayworth from the film Gilda , and says her name is Rita. At the Ryan Entertainment office in downtown Los Angeles, Adam Kesher, a self-important, petulant young film director, meets with his backers, the sinister Luigi and Vincenzo Castigliane. As Mr. Roque, a wheelchair-bound dwarf, views the meeting over closed circuit television, Vincenzo extracts a publicity photo of actress Camilla Rhodes from his briefcase and demands that Adam cast her as the lead in his new film. After Adam vehemently refuses, Vincenzo menacingly states “it’s no longer your film.” Defiantly storming out of the building, Adam goes to the Castiglianes’ limousine and smashes it with a golf club. Roque, who communicates only through a cellphone headset, then mumbles into the headset, causing Adam’s production to be shut down. In a seedy office, a scruffy blonde man and a man seated at the desk laugh about a car accident. Reaching for a black book on the desk, the blonde pulls out a gun and shoots his companion. One of his bullets goes astray, however, and hits a corpulent woman in the next office. While the blonde wrestles with the woman, a janitor appears, forcing the blonde man to shoot both the woman and the janitor. The janitor falls, hitting the switch on his vacuum cleaner, and when the machine springs to life, the blonde blasts it with his gun, starting a fire that sets off the alarm, sending the inept killer fleeing out a window. After Aunt Ruth telephones, Betty learns that Rita is an uninvited guest. When Betty gently asks Rita who she is, Rita breaks into tears and admits that she does not know. Betty then presses Rita to search her purse for identification, but when Rita unzips the bag she finds it is stuffed with $100 bills and an oddly shaped blue key. After Rita suddenly recalls that she was on her way to Mulholland Drive, Betty make an anonymous call to the police from a pay phone outside Winkie’s and discovers that there was an automobile accident on Mulholland Drive the previous evening. Upon learning that his film has been shut down, Adam unexpectedly returns home and finds his wife Lorraine in bed with Gene, the pool man. In retaliation, Adam douses Lorraine’s jewelry with paint, after which the feisty Lorraine pounces on him, then orders him to get out after Gene slugs him in the face. At Winkie’s, Betty is scouring the newspaper for a story about the accident on Mulholland Drive when a waitress wearing the name tag “Diane” approaches their table. The name jars Rita’s memory, and after she tells Betty that the name “Diane Selwyn” seems familiar, Betty looks it up in the phone book. After leaving his house, Adam seeks refuge in a run-down skid row hotel. When the manager informs Adam that some men have called the hotel looking for him, Adam, sensing danger, phones his assistant, who delivers a message from a man named Cowboy, instructing Adam to meet him at a corral at the top of Beachwood Canyon. At the corral, a flickering light announces the arrival of Cowboy, a man with a chalky complexion wearing a ten gallon hat. After telling Adam to hold an audition after which he will proclaim that Camilla Rhodes “is the girl,” Cowboy cryptically adds that Adam will see him “one more time if he does good, two more times if he does bad.” The next day, Betty rehearses a scene with Rita, then drives to an audition on a grungy set where she meets washed up producer Wally Brown and aging lothario Woody Katz, the production’s leading man. After giving a steamy performance, Betty impresses chic casting director Linney James who insists that Betty accompany her to Adam’s set. There, Adam is auditioning a nondescript blonde named Camilla Rhodes. After uttering that Camilla “is the girl,” Adam sees Betty. When their eyes lock, Betty remembers that she has a date with Rita and runs off. Rita and Betty take a cab to the address listed as Diane’s apartment, and when Betty’s knock at the door goes unanswered, Betty climbs in through the window and opens the door for Rita. When they see a woman’s rotting dead body sprawled across the bed, Rita realizes that she is in grave danger and runs screaming from the apartment. Back at Aunt Ruth’s, Rita is about to cut off her long hair when Betty stops her and gives her a blonde wig to wear as a disguise. Rita dons the wig, and the two women admire their blonde, bobbed hair images in the mirror. That night, after Rita and Betty make passionate love, Rita awakens, calling out “silencio.” Rita then asks Betty to accompany her, and they drive through deserted downtown streets to the Club Silencio, a theater dedicated to exposing the artifice of illusion. There, they are transfixed as a woman on stage lip syncs the song “Llorando” (“Crying”) acapella. When the woman collapses onstage and is carried off, the song continues, and Betty, moved to tears by the performance, reaches into her purse for a handkerchief and finds a steely blue cube inside. Rita and Betty rush back to the apartment, where Rita goes to retrieve the purse that she has hidden in the closet. When she returns carrying the blue key, Betty is gone. After Rita inserts the key into the cube, it opens and falls out of Rita’s hands onto the rug. Some time later, Ruth returns and finds the apartment eerily empty, and the box missing. When Cowboy cracks open the door of Diane’s darkened apartment and says “hey pretty girl, time to wake up,” Diane awakens to find a blue key on her coffee table. Diane’s neighbor then comes to inform her that two police detectives have been looking for her. After the neighbor leaves, Diane turns from the window and imagines a smiling Camilla standing in the room. While Diane makes a pot of coffee, she turns around and she sees the bare-breasted Camilla lying across the couch. As Diane fondles Camilla’s breasts, Camilla grows cold and ends their relationship. [While watching Adam and Camilla rehearse a love scene on the set of Adam’s new film, Diane realizes that they are having an affair.] Diane angrily throws Camilla out, then furiously masturbates. Some time later, Camilla phones Diane to tell her a limousine is waiting to drive her to a party. As the limousine winds down Mulholland Dr., the driver suddenly stops and Camilla appears to escort Diane to the party at Adam’s house. After Adam introduces Diane to his caustic mother Coco, Adam and Camilla exchange knowing glances and toast to love. Over dinner, Diane tells Coco that she came to Los Angeles from Ontario after winning a jitterbug contest and that she and Camilla met while auditioning for the same part. After Camilla won the role and went on to become a star, she arranged for the struggling Diane to perform bit parts in her pictures. Adam stops nuzzling Camilla to boast that he got the pool and his wife got the pool man in their divorce settlement, then announces that he and Camilla are engaged. Extremely distraught, Diane crashes her place setting to the floor. Some time later at Winkie’s, a bedraggled Diane hires the scruffy blonde man to kill Camilla. After she hands him a case stuffed with cash, the man holds up a blue key and says she will get it when the job is done. In back of Winkie’s one night, the tramp shoves the blue box into a crumpled paper bag and drops it to the ground. A diminutive elderly couple, laughing hysterically, then scramble out of the bag. Back at her apartment, Diane glumly stares into the distance past the blue key, which is now on the table. Suddenly, the elderly couple squeezes under the door, grow to life size and drive Diane into her bedroom with their accusatory shrieks. Diane cowers under the covers, pulls a gun from her nightstand and shoots herself. At the Club Silencio, a lone woman sitting in an opera box whispers “silencio.”

 

Production Company: Le Studio Canal (Canal +; Vivendi Universal)
  Les Films Alain Sarde  
  Asymmetrical Productions  
  Imagine Entertainment  
  The Picture Factory  
  Touchstone Pictures (The Walt Disney Company)
Production Text: A Film by David Lynch
Alain Sarde presents
Distribution Company: Universal Focus (Vivendi Universal)
Director: David Lynch (Dir)
  Mark Cotone (1st asst dir)
  Scott Cameron (1st asst dir)
  David Fudge (2d asst dir)
  John Churchill (2d asst dir)
  Michael Risoli (2d 2d asst dir)
Producer: Alain Sarde (Pres)
  Mary Sweeney (Prod)
  Alain Sarde (Prod)
  Neal Edelstein (Prod)
  Michael Polaire (Prod)
  Tony Krantz (Prod)
  John Wentworth (Co-prod)
  Pierre Edelman (Exec prod)
Writer: David Lynch (Wrt)
Photography: Peter Deming (Dir of photog)
  Paul Hughen (Cam op)
  Scott Ressler (1st asst cam)
  Dan Kneece (Steadicam op)
  Steve Man (Steadicam 1st asst cam)
  Penny Sprague (Addl 1st asst cam)
  Lisa Ferguson (2d asst cam)
  Lisa Guerriero (Addl 2d asst cam)
  Trip Morey (Loader)
  Michael LaViolette (Chief lighting tech)
  Eric Sandlin (Asst chief lighting tech)
  Mark Sadler (Lighting tech)
  Ken Longballa (Lighting tech)
  George Sugar (Lighting tech)
  Phillip Sloan (Key grip)
  Michael Hoffer (Key grip)
  Tim Collins (Best boy grip)
  Cynthia Bystrak (Best boy grip)
  Cliff Sperry (Dolly grip)
  William Hobson (Dolly grip)
  Richard Herres (Rigging key grip)
  Dennis Kuneff (Rigging best boy)
  Bruce Carothers (Grip)
  Tom Flanagan (Grip)
  Todd Griffith (Grip)
  Paul Wilkowsky (Grip)
  Arthur Brandenberg (Grip)
  Allan Heindl (Grip)
  Mark Vollmer (Grip)
  Rafael Peregrina (Grip)
  Pablo Santiago (Grip)
Art Direction: Jack Fisk (Prod des)
  Peter Jamison (Art dir)
  Rebecca Young (Art dept coord)
Film Editor: Mary Sweeney (Ed)
  Brian Johnson (Assoc ed)
  Arash Ayrom (1st asst ed)
  Hilary Schroeder (1st asst ed)
  Christine Kim (2d asst ed)
  Mo Henry (Negative cutter)
  Sean Coffey (Apprentice)
Set Decoration: Barbara Haberecht (Set dec)
  Scott Herbertson (Set des)
  Alan Baptiste (Set dresser)
  Ken Booker (Set dresser)
  Josh Webb (Set dresser)
  Chris Fielding (Set dresser)
  Keith Sale (Set dresser)
  Sammy Tell (Set dresser)
  Kimberly Leonard (Set dresser)
  Sean E. Markland (Prop master)
  Johnny Culley (Asst prop master)
  Thomas Traugott (Lead man)
  Steve Hagberg (Const coord)
  Todd Young (Const coord)
  Randy Lawrence (Gen foreman)
  Hugh Hanna (Foreman)
  Joe Elvington (Labor foreman)
  David Lawrence (Labor foreman)
  Dave Cannon (Propmaker foreman)
  Thomas Krausz (Propmaker foreman)
  Laura De Rosa (Const buyer)
  Jerry Schultz (Propmaker/Gang boss)
  David Long (Propmaker/Gang boss)
  Bobby Vaughn (Toolman)
  Tony Bridgers (Propmaker)
  Mauricio Jimenez (Propmaker)
  Peter Jehle (Propmaker)
  Gene Kelly (Propmaker)
  Mariano Fernandez (Propmaker)
  Steve Powell (Propmaker)
  Jon Melvoin (Propmaker)
  Robert Williams (Propmaker)
  Troy Parker (Propmaker)
  Michael Robinson (Propmaker)
  Donald Spencer (Propmaker)
  Paul Blizzard (Propmaker)
  Patrick Butcher (Propmaker)
  Steve Kerlagon (Head paint foreman)
  James Delaplane (Head paint foreman)
  Earl Benton (Paint foreman)
  Wade Bailey (Painter)
  William Ermi (Painter)
  Jon Jacob Funk (Painter)
  Rick Rawlins (Painter)
Costumes: Amy Stofsky (Cost des)
  Durinda Wood (Addl cost des)
  Agnes B. (Ward)
  Cheri Reed (Cost supv)
  Lucinda Campbell (Cost supv)
  Bethany Gauthier (Cost)
  Dan Dirks (Cost)
  Courtney Fowles (Cost)
Music: Angelo Badalamenti (Mus comp and cond)
  Angelo Badalamenti (Mus)
  David Lynch (Addl mus comp)
  John Neff (Addl mus comp/Mus ed/Re-rec mixer)
  The City of Prague Philharmonic (Orchestra)
  Stephan Konicek (Cond, Prague)
Sound: David Lynch (Sd des/Re-rec mixer)
  Ron Eng (Supv sd ed/FX ed/Re-rec mixer)
  Mark Gordon (Dial ed)
  Daniel Irwin (Dial ed)
  Paul Carden (ADR supv/Foley ed)
  Randy Guth (Asst sd ed)
  Susumo Tokunow (Loc sd mixer)
  Edward Novick (Loc sd mixer)
  Kevin Kubota (Boom op)
  William Munroe (Boom op)
  Rocky Quiroz (Utility cable op)
  Patrick Giraudi (Dial predus mixer)
  Asymmetrical Studio (Re-rec)
  Bryan Aremas (2d eng)
  James E. Wright (Dolby sd consultant)
  Jiri Zobac (Sd eng)
  Barrandov Studio ([Mus] rec at)
  Studio Smecky Prague ([Mus] rec at)
  Digital Sound and Picture (ADR rec studio)
  Alan Freedman (ADR mixer)
  Susan Gamsaragan (ADR recordist)
Special Effects: Gary D'Amico (Spec eff coord)
  Phil Bartko (Spec eff foreman)
  David Domeyer (Spec eff foreman)
  Scott Billups (Visual eff supv)
  Electric Sandbox (Visual eff)
  Scott Billups (Digital artist)
  Minky Billups (Digital artist)
  Tim Cutt (Digital artist)
  David M. Blum (Digital artist)
  Rice Caserios (Digital artist)
  Adam S. Hawkey (Digital artist)
  Jeff McLean (Digital artist)
  Catalyst FX (Addl visual eff)
  Pacific Title (Title and opticals)
  Jay Johnson (Main title des)
Make Up: Julie Pearce (Key makeup artist)
  Selina Jayne (Key makeup artist)
  Randy Westgate (Makeup artist)
  Howard Berger, KNB Effects (Makeup eff)
  Greg Nicotero, KNB Effects (Makeup eff)
  Malanie Romero (Asst makeup)
  Patty Miller (Key hair)
  Emjay Olson (Key hair)
  Katherine Rees (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Johanna Ray (Casting)
  Christopher Gray (Extras casting)
  Mary Jane Fendler (Casting assoc)
  Vivienne MacLeod-Williamson (Extras casting asst)
  Michael Polaire (Unit prod mgr)
  Julie Anderson (Prod supv)
  Cori Glazer (Scr supv)
  Julie Duvic (Loc mgr)
  Christopher Miller (Loc mgr)
  Carson Turner (Asst loc mgr)
  John Daud (Loc prod asst)
  Robb Earnest (Prod coord)
  David McKimmie (Prod coord)
  Spike Allison Hooper (Post prod supv)
  Racer Rangel (Key set prod asst)
  Joe Basile (Set prod asst)
  Paxon Malloy (Set prod asst)
  Rachael Gallaghan (Prod asst)
  Damon Tinker (Prod asst)
  Damiana Kamishin (Prod asst)
  Jessica Milhollin (Prod secy)
  Gaye Pope (Exec asst to David Lynch)
  John Churchill (On-set asst to David Lynch)
  Jason Scheunemann (On-set asst to David Lynch)
  Richard Schwartz (Asst to Mary Sweeney and Neal Edelstein)
  Holly McGovern (Asst to Mary Sweeney and Neal Edelstein)
  Erik Crary (Asst to Mary Sweeney and Neal Edelstein)
  Maury Wray (Asst to Michael Polaire)
  Doug Towne (Prod accountant)
  Susan Kong (Asst accountant)
  Grant Tucker (Asst accountant)
  Angela Bright (Intern)
  Allan Yamauchi (Transportation coord)
  Mike Riportella (Transportation capt)
  Marlo Hellerstein (Transportation capt)
  Paul Stanbrough (Driver)
  Pete Mandel (Driver)
  Mike Stevens (Driver)
  Vern McKinney (Driver)
  Edith Ewing (Driver)
  Jim Murphy (Driver)
  Mickey Quinn (Driver)
  Russell Overstreet (Driver)
  Larry Hardman (Driver)
  Mike Price (Driver)
  John Jarvis (Driver)
  Dan Swanson (Driver)
  Richard Reedy (Driver)
  Dave Teasley (Driver)
  Lowell Smith (Driver)
  Lawrence Markham (Driver)
  Christian Hagele (Driver)
  Stephan Brooks (Driver)
  Steve Birds (Driver)
  Lonnie Craig (Driver)
  Joe Hanna (Catering chef)
  Luis Brito (Catering chef)
  Hugo Cortez (Asst chef)
  Sharlene Simmons (Craft services)
  Jean Quay (Set medic)
  Azalia O'Neal (Set medic)
  Patrick Ingram (Set medic)
  Dan Muscarella (Tech services)
  Tom McGuire (Prod counsel)
  Jill Meyers (Addl legal counsel)
  Axium Entertainment Services (Payroll services)
  Steve Marques (Payroll services)
Stand In: Charlie Croughwell (Stunt coord)
  Denney Pierce (Adam stunt double)
  Laura Lee Connery (Lorraine stunt double)
  Brian Avery (Stunts)
  Joni Avery (Stunts)
  Jack Carpenter (Stunts)
  Corey Eubanks (Stunts)
  Jeremy Fitzgerald (Stunts)
  Jamie Liszewski (Stunts)
  Billy Morts (Stunts)
  Gail Luane Munian (Stunts)
  Dana Reed (Stunts)
  Scott Sproule (Stunts)
  Sonny Tipton (Stunts)
  Xuyen Valdivia (Stunts)
  Ryan Wilder (Stunts)
  Hilary Adams (Stand-in for Ms. Watts)
  Robin Ritter (Stand-in for Ms. Harring)
  Mick Tomasi (Stand-in for Mr. Theroux)
Color Personnel: Mato (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: France and United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Sixteen Reasons," words and music by Doree Post and Bill Post, sung by Connie Stevens, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc, by arrangement with Warner Special Products; "I've Told Every Little Star," words and music by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern, sung by Linda Scott, courtesy of Epic Records by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing, Inc.; "Crying" ("Llorando") words and music by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, sung by Rebekah Del Rio, courtesy of Davidlynch.com by arrangement with Bobkind music; "Bring It on Home," words and music by Willie Dixon, sung by Sonny Boy Williamson, courtesy of MCA Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises published by Hoochie Coochie Music, admininstered by Bug Music, Inc,; "The Beast," words and music by Dave Cavanaugh, sung by Milt Buckner, courtesy of Capitol Records under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special markets, used by permission of Beechwood Music Corp.; "Go Get Some," "Pretty 50's" and "Mountains Falling," words and music by David Lynch and John Neff, sung by David Lynch and John Neff by arrangement with Bobkind Music from the album "Blue Bob."
Composer: Dave Cavanaugh
  Willie Dixon
  Oscar Hammerstein II
  Jerome Kern
  David Lynch
  Joe Melson
  John Neff
  Roy Orbison
  Bill Post
  Doree Post
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Le Studio Canal Plus 0/0/2001 dd/mm/yyyy  

PCA NO: 37982
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital in selected theatres
  col: Fotokem on Kodak film
  Widescreen/ratio: 1.85:1
  gauge: 35mm

 
Genre: Film noir
 
Subjects (Major): Amnesia
  Hollywood (CA)
  Lesbianism
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Motion picture actors and actresses
  Motion picture directors
  Romantic rivalry
 
Subjects (Minor): Apartment managers
  Attempted murder
  Auditions
  Aunts
  Automobile accidents
  Brothers
  Coffee shops
  Cowboys
  Dwarfs
  Keys
  Nightmares
  Nightclubs
  Masturbation
  Parties
  Tramps

Note: Before the film’s title card appears, a shot of jitterbugging dancers swirls across the screen. The dancers are shown both in full figure and in silhouette. Smiling, over-exposed images of “Betty Elms” and the elderly couple are then superimposed over the dancers. This is followed by a shot of rumpled bed sheets accompanied by the sound of heavy breathing. A City of Los Angeles street sign announcing “Mulholland Dr.” then appears as a black limousine snakes through the hills overlooking Los Angeles. The opening credits then begin to roll. At the end of the film, before the final credits, the face of a tramp and the smiling images of Betty and Blonde “Rita” are superimposed over a long shot of downtown Los Angeles. Although the film’s title card and key art read Mulholland Dr. , many of the reviews refer to it as Mulholland Drive . Chad Everett’s character is called “Woody Katz” within the film, but he is listed as “Jimmy Katz” in the onscreen credits. The opening onscreen credits state “dedicated to Jennifer Syme.” The closing credits give special thanks to Barbara Orbison and add Babbo, Inc. as a production company. The order of closing cast credits, which show actors in order of appearance, differs from the opening credits.
       Mulholland Dr. began as a pilot for an ABC television series. Mulholland Dr. is a scenic street that runs along the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains, dividing the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley. It stretches from the Hollywood Freeway in Hollywood to Woodland Hills in the valley where it ends just past Spielberg Dr. at the Motion Picture Television Fund Hospital. A Mar 2001 article in Screen International reveals the following information: David Lynch and Mark Frost conceived of the title while working on the series Twin Peaks . In Aug 1997, Lynch and his friend Tony Krantz, who at the time was head of Imagine Television, pitched the series to ABC Enterprises. ABC agreed to put up $4,500,000 for a two-hour pilot and promised Lynch creative control. Touchstone Television then increased the budget to $7,000,000, adding a provision that Lynch shoot extra footage to create a “closed ending,” thus allowing the pilot to be shown as a feature-length film in Europe, according to a 30 Aug 1999 New Yorker article. On 4 Jan 1998, Lynch delivered a final shooting script that revolved around the relationships among three people—an amnesiac, an aspiring actress and a director. Although the production was approved, the network was reportedly unhappy by the lack of big name stars attached to the project.
       Production began in February 1998 on the Paramount Studios lot, and by May 1998, Lynch had completed a 125-minute version of Mulholland Dr. The Screen International article also adds that although Lynch tried to convince the network to give him a two-and-a-half hour time slot for the pilot, ABC insisted that he cut it to 88 minutes. In Jun 1998, Lynch was notified that ABC would not pick up the pilot and was not interested in producing a series based on Lynch’s story. According to a Sep/Oct 2001 article in Film Comment , the network felt that the pilot was too dark, slow and confusing. In Jul-Aug 1998, French producers Alain Sarde and his executive Pierre Edelman, who were producing Lynch’s film Straight Story , saw the pilot and decided that Mulholland Dr. had feature potential, but that the project would have to go back into production, necessitating an infusion of money. At that time, Imagine and Disney, who funded the pilot, assumed that the pilot would be finished as a TV movie and began circulating some prints. In Jan—Aug 2000,Le Studio Canal bought the project from Imagine. In Sep 2000, seventeen days of additional shooting was completed. Because of the long lag between the shooting of the pilot and the additional footage, many of the sets had to rebuilt. Scoring was recorded and special effects were then completed in Dec 2000—Jan 2001.
              Mulholland Dr. ’s narrative structure is broken into two parts. Several of the actors in part one play different characters in part two : The character of “Camilla Rhodes” is played by the blonde actress Melissa George in the first part of the film. In the second, she is played by brunette Laura Elena Harring, who plays the role of “Rita” in the first part of the film. George reappears in part two as the woman who passionately kisses Camilla at Adam’s party. Naomi Watts, who portrays “Betty Elms” in the first part of the film, plays “Diane Selwyn” in the second. Ann Miller plays “Coco Lanois,” the apartment manager, in part one and Adam’s mother part two. The name tag worn by the waitress at Winkie's changes from “Diane” in the first part of the film to “Betty” in the second.
       There are other threads that are transformed between the two parts of the film. In the first part, it is inferred that the scruffy blonde man was to kill Camilla. In the second, he kills Diane. The blue key that has a futuristic shape in part one, is an ordinary blue house key in part two. The man experiencing the nightmares and “Cowboy” from part one are both guests at Adam’s party in part two. The elderly couple is benign in part one, menacing in part two. A jitterbug scene precedes the opening credits, and in part two it is revealed that winning a jitterbug contest brought Diane to Hollywood. The shot of the unmade bed that preceeds the opening credits turns out to be Diane’s unmade bed shown later in the film, in which she shoots herself at the finale. The scene in which Betty watches Adam audition Camilla in part one is echoed in part two by the seemingly out-of-context scene in which Diane watches Adam rehearse a love scene with Camilla and realizes that Camilla and Adam are having an affair. The audition scene in part one is also noteworthy because it marks the only time that the narrative threads of Adam and Betty intersect in part one, and after that scene, Adam disappears from part one.
       The division of the two film parts has led to a disagreement among reviewers about the coherence of this film. The LAT reviewer noted that the film’s narrative shifts create something that feels “like an alternate reality” and adds that although some things “mean nothing in a conventional plot sense, as powerful images from a dreamlike world, they are unforgettable.” The Chicago Sun Times reviewer called the film “a surrealistic dreamscape,” noting that “nothing leads to anywhere [in the film]…the characters start to fracture and recombine like flesh caught in a kaleidoscope… There is no explanation…” The Village Voice reviewer called Mulholland Dr. a “mobius strip of double identities.” In another review, Lynch was quoted as describing the film as “logical, a linear that’s been snipped apart and rearranged just by a hair.”
       Other reviewers have suggested that the narrative is a dream. The NYT and Salon reviews suggest that Diane, failed in both acting and love, fantasizes Betty’s story in part one as a projection of what her life may have been. Thus, the first part of the film becomes Diane’s dream, the second part her grim reality.
              Much of the film was shot on street locations in Los Angeles, including downtown Los Angeles. In a Nov 2001 article in Entertainment Design Magazine , the film’s production designer, Jack Fisk, stated that Diane’s apartment house was shot on location in Silver Lake, at a complex originally built to house Disney employees. The scene in which Adam meets Cowboy at a corral was shot at the Sunset Ranch corral at the top of Beachwood Canyon.
              Many of the production people involved in Mulholland Dr. collaborated with David Lynch on previous projects, including producer Michael Polaire, producer and editor Mary Sweeney, cinematographer Peter Deming and production designer Jack Fisk. Angelo Badalamenti, who composed the music for Mulholland Dr. and appeared in the film as “Luigi Castigliane,” also wrote the music for several of Lynch’s previous productions. Michael J. Anderson who plays “Mr. Roque” in Mulholland Dr. also appeared in Lynch’s television show Twin Peaks . Layfayette “Monty” Montgomery who plays “Cowboy” in Mulholland Dr. worked as a producer on Lynch’s Wild at Heart . Mulholland Dr. marked the final feature film appearance of actress-dancer Ann Miller (1923--2004). Although Miller appeared in a brief cameo in the 1976 picture Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood , she had not acted in a feature film since the 1956 M-G-M production The Great American Past Time .
       Mulholland Dr. was nominated for the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival, where Lynch tied with Joel Coen for Best Director. The film was named Best Picture by the New York Film Critics and was nominated by AFI as Movie of the Year. Other AFI nominations include Director of the Year for Lynch, Female Actor of the Year for Watts and Composer of the Year for Angelo Badalamenti. Badalamenti was also nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score. The film received the following additional Golden Globe nominations: Best Film Drama, Best Director and Best Motion Picture Screenplay. The picture was named film of the year by the National Board of Review. Lynch was named Best Director by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. Watts received the National Board of Review award for Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress.
 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Chicago Sun Times   12 Oct 2001.   
Entertainment Design Magazine   Nov 2001.   
Film Comment   Sep--Oct 2001.   
Hollywood Reporter   16 May 2001.   
Los Angeles Times   12 Oct 2001.   
New York Times   6 Oct 2001.   
New Yorker   30 Aug 1999.   
Salon   23 Oct 2001.   
Screen International   2 Mar 2001.   
Variety   16 May 2001.   

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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