Directed by David Lynch (Blue Velvet (1986), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), Lost Highway (1997), Mulholland Drive (2001)), written by Barry Gifford (novel), David Lynch (screenplay). The film stars Nicolas Cage (The Cotton Club (1984), Red Rock West (1993), Leaving Las Vegas (1995)), Laura Dern (Blue Velvet (1986)), Willem Dafoe (To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)), J.E. Freeman (Miller's Crossing (1990)) , Crispin Glover, Diane Ladd (Naked City TV Series (1958–1963), Something Wild (1961), Black Widow (1987)), Calvin Lockhart (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)), Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet (1986), Siesta (1987), Harry Dean Stanton (The Wrong Man (1956), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), Wild at Heart (1990), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), Inland Empire (2006)), Grace Zabriskie (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)), Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)), Marvin Kaplan, William Morgan Sheppard, Jack Nance (Blue Velvet (1986), Lost Highway (1997)), Pruitt Taylor Vince, Gregg Dandridge and Koko Taylor "The Queen of the Blues". Cinematography was by Frederick Elmes, and the score was by Angelo Badalamenti.
Of course this being a David Lynch film Wild at Heart is the crazily twisted story of a couple of wild silly kids, "Sailor and Peanut", (Sailor Ripley (Cage) a Elvis channeling delinquent and Lula Fortune (Dern) a refreshingly free spirit, she declares that she's "hotter than Georgia asphalt"). The pair flee the Wicked Bitch of the East (her domineering mother) and literally screw their way across a wizard-less OZ on a sexually scorching Film Soleil road trip to the Emerald City (L.A.) They are pursued by human demons (channel the flying monkeys) who catch up to them in a shithole called Big Tuna, Texas.
A match ignites an inferno accompanied by what sounds like the overture to an Italian Classic Opera it is the defacto leitmotif for the passion of Lula and Sailor. The opening credits appear over this and this segues to a society function in a large cathedral like interior. Subtitle "Cape Fear. somewhere between North and South Carolina" The initial sequence has Marietta Fortune (Ladd) Lula's mother, hiring a thug, Bob Ray Lemon (Dandridge) to knife Sailor after he refused her drunken advances in the Men's toilet. Nice huh?
|Lula (Laura Dern) far left in coral|
|Marietta (Diane Ladd)|
|Sailor (Nicholas Gage)|
The manslaughter charge resulting lands Sailor a 22 month and change stint at Pee Dee Correctional. Lula and her blue 1965 Ford Thunderbird ragtop are at the gates at his release. She's brung his snakeskin jacket which he throws on...
Sailor: Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?
Lula: About fifty thousand times.
|Stab it and Steer|
|red/green clash stylistic|
|Big Tuna, Texas|
Johnnie Farragut (Harry Dean Stanton), a sad sack of a Cape Fear P.I. who is also Marietta's very easily manipulated boyfriend. You can picture Elisha Cook Jr. in the role.
|Johnny Farragut (Stanton)|
Mr. Reindeer (W. Morgan Sheppard), a decadent New Orleans crime boss who converses with Santos while sitting on a toilet with a bevy of topless handmaidens in attendance. He is Santos contact in New Orleans. He will arrange to carry out the hit on Sailor.
|Mr. Reindeer (William Morgan Sheppard)|
|Bobby Peru (Dafoe)|
|Dell (Crispin Glover)|
|Juana Durango (Grace Zabriskie)|
|Perdita Durango (Isabella Rossellini )|
The Good Witch (Sheryl Lee), who appears to Sailor in her classic bubble, telling him not to give up on love.
|The Good Witch (Sheryl Lee)|
00 Spool (Jack Nance), who is crazier than a shithouse rat.
|OO Spool (Nance) rt.|
Uncle Pooch (Marvin Kaplan) Lula's sleaze ball "uncle" who raped her vaginally and orally when she was 13.
|Uncle Pooch (Marvin Kaplan)|
|Koko Taylor "The Queen of the Blues"|
You can spot some homages throughout the film, Yojimbo' s is obvious, The Fugitive Kind is more subtle, and I'm sure the Dell character is a reference to the weird Dell in To Kill A Mockingbird. There are probably other ones to find.
It's sort of a surreal fairy tale film for adults. It's Lynch's stylistic schtick, you have to just sit back and let it wash over you, it won't be for all tastes. Screencaps are from the DVD, entertaining 7/10