Mulholland Drive (2001) - David Lynch

Mulholland Drive (82)

One of the best David Lynch films. A look at the dark and seedy Hollywood.

Directed by

David Lynch

Produced by    

Neal Edelstein
Tony Krantz
Michael Polaire
Alain Sarde
Mary Sweeney

Written by

David Lynch


Justin Theroux
Naomi Watts
Laura Elena Harring
Ann Miller
Robert Forster


Les Films Alain Sarde
Asymmetrical Productions
Babbo Inc.
The Picture Factory,
Universal Pictures

Release date

May 16, 2001



Budget - $15 Million

Box office - $20.1 Million

Mulholland Drive is a 2001, thriller film from David Lynch. It features unforgettable music by longtime collaborator, Angelo Badalamenti. Chilling sounds that strike to the core. Laura Harring and Naomi Watts turn in hauntingly tremendous performances. Not horror, but more of a bittersweet love story to underbelly of Hollywood. 

Betty (Watts), had come to Hollywood to become an actress. She is kind and naïve. It isn’t long before she makes friends with a strange woman (Harring) with amnesia. The woman recalls her name as Rita. Both venture out together on a bizarre journey through Tinseltown. Strange characters and situations arise that seem to change both girls lives forever. 

While Watts and Harring were the featured actors, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, and Robert Forster had all been amazing. There are cameos by actors and personalities that have strange scenes. Billy Ray Cyrus is in a scene that comes to mind. It seems like its a throwaway scene, but that story all folds back in on itself. Everyone does a fantastic job of playing their parts in a strange, Lynchian way. 

The overall tone of the movie is dreadful and hopeless. That's where the fear hits hardest. There is also a particular jump scare that seems to creep me out every single time. David Lynch has a specific tone in his work, and this movie is a prime example of that feeling. Off Putting, strange and thought provoking. There is no question about the effectiveness of the film.

David Lynch had wanted to return to television. Twin Peaks had been off the air for nearly a decade, but Lynch still had something to offer. He filmed a pilot in 1999, but it didn’t go over well. Those scenes were used to make Mulholland Drive. In 2014, Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) talked about the concept for Mulholland Drive revolving around Audrey Horne coming to California. I found that to be interesting. 

Mulholland Drive is a fantastic film. It’s a wonderful David Lynch feature that delivers the weirdness in buckets. I still like Lost Highway better, but Mulholland Drive is right behind it. It has plenty to interpret. I wouldn’t suggest this to be anyone’s introduction to Lynch’s work, but if you are a fan of Twin Peaks, then I think this would be for you. I always have a great time watching it with different people and discussing it. I think you will too.