David Lynch's baroque rendering of Frank Herbert's detailed, complex, and deliberately paced epic science-fiction novel is a muddled but visually stunning affair.
It's 10191, and the desert planet Dune has been taken over by the Harkonnens, oppressive conquerors who desire the precious spice that lies beneath Dune's arid sands.
The story concerns the attempts of a young warrior messiah, Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan), to lead the native inhabitants in an uprising against the evil empire--and battle the giant man-eating worms that guard the coveted spice.
Lynch shot much more footage than ended up in the finished film, but executive producer Dino De Laurentis didn't want a three-hour-plus sci-fi epic on his hands, so he coerced Lynch into trimming it.
The result is one of cinema's most infamous cases of personal vision colliding with studio politics. Nonetheless, Lynch still manages to cram in so many visual ideas and captures the tone of the book so well that these production issues can be easily set aside once the story starts rolling.
Refusing to further edit the film for television, Lynch took his name off the director and screenwriter credits.
As troubling as DUNE might have been for Lynch, the experience greatly inspired 1986's brilliant BLUE VELVET, for which audiences should be thankful.
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations
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