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Wild at Heart


Based on the novel by Barry Gifford, this winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or is a lunatic road movie seething with the same dark intensity that animates director Lynch's earlier work. Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage), a rebellious, 23-year-old Elvis acolyte, has just been released from prison. Waiting for him on the outside is Lula Fortune (Laura Dern), a 20-year-old, gum-popping, sex-loving cyclone of a gal. Embarking on a journey that takes them from the Carolinas to Texas, they encounter nightmarish accidents and outrageously evil characters, all the while trying to keep one step ahead of Lula's murderous, witchlike mother, Marietta (Diane Ladd, Dern's real-life mother). Interwoven into their cross-country odyssey are numerous references to THE WIZARD OF OZ. Besides Crispin Glover as a cousin of Lula's who likes to put cockroaches in his underwear, and Willem Dafoe as a psychotic, rotten-toothed ex-marine called Bobby Peru, Lynch's Rogues Gallery includes W. Morgan Sheppard as Mr. Reindeer, a mysterious crime lord who is constantly surrounded by topless hookers; Freddie Jones as a bar patron with a mangled voice; Isabella Rossellini as Perdita Durango, Peru's bleached-blonde girlfriend; Jack Nance, John Lurie, and Scott Coffey as three of the many eccentrics that populate Big Tuna, Texas; and David Patrick Kelly, Calvin Lockhart, and Grace Zabriskie as a trio of psycho killers. Cage and Dern turn in undeniably effective performances, and this wild hodge-podge contains many powerful moments in WILD AT HEART--particularly one sequence in which Sailor and Lula come upon the scene of a nighttime accident, and find Sherilyn Fenn (best known for Lynch's TV show "Twin Peaks") wandering in a bloody daze by the side of the road. Courtesy of TV Guide
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Directed by: 
David Lynch
Running Time: 
Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Willem Dafoe, Harry Dean Stanton, Isabella Rossellini
Screenplay by: 
David Lynch, based on the novel by Barry Gifford

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