Lost Highway is a 1997 film written and directed by David Lynch. The film has an ensemble cast including Bill Pullman, Robert Loggia, Robert Blake, Balthazar Getty, Gary Busey, Michael Massee, and a cameo by Richard Pryor in his final theatrical film.


A Los Angeles saxophonist named Fred Madison, gets a house message on the intercom that "Dick Laurent is dead". During break time at his show, Fred calls his home, but his wife Renée (Patricia Arquette) doesn't reply. While arriving home later, Fred finds Renée asleep. The following day, Renée goes on the porch and comes across a VHS tape containing a videotape of their house. While Fred has sex, he notices that Renée's face bears the resemblance of a pale old man and tells Renée about having a strange dream that a stranger bearing a resemblance of her got attacked. As the days go by, more and more tapes arrive with footage of the interior sections of their home and even shots of them both in bed. Fred and Renée telephone the police, but the detectives they send over don't offer any assistance.

Andy who is a friend of both Fred and Renée throws a party for them. While Fred's at the party, the man that appeared in his dream approaches him and claims to him that he met with him years earlier. The man then tells him that he is at Fred's house and answers the house phone when Fred makes the call. He gets information from Andy that the man he met is one of Dick's friends. Fred leaves with Renée after hearing the news. Another tape comes in and Fred watches the tape all by himself. Fred gets horrified to see footage of him hovering over Renée's dismembered body. Fred is sentenced to death for her murder. While on death row, Fred is begins to have headaches and also have visions of the Mystery Man, a burning cabin in the desert and a strange man driving down some dark highway.

During a cell check, the prison guard finds that the man in Fred's cell is now Pete Dayton (Balthazar Getty), a young auto mechanic. Pete is released into the care of his parents, who take him home and allude to - but never fully explain - his disappearance. Pete is followed by two detectives who are trying to find out more about him. The next day, Pete goes back to work at the garage where a gangster named Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia) asks him to fix his car. Mr. Eddy takes Pete for a drive. Pete then sees Mr. Eddy chase and beat down a tailgater. The following day, Mr. Eddy returns to the garage with Alice Wakefield (also played by Arquette), his mistress and his Cadillac for Pete to fix. Alice goes to the garage by herself and offers Pete to go out to dinner. The two have sex together. Later, Alice is worried that Mr. Eddy is suspecting them and plans to rob Andy and get away. It's then revealed that Mr. Eddy is a new coming porn producer named Dick Laurent.

Mr. Eddy and the Mystery Man call Fred and Pete is so terrified that he makes a decision to go along with Alice's plan. Pete goes after Andy and he accidentally kills him. Pete then sees a photo of Alice and Renée together. Alice claims that she is the woman in the photo. The police arrive at the house and try to determine Andy's cause of death, however, Alice is missing.

Pete and Alice hide in the same type of empty cabin that Fred told them about in his mind. Peter and Alice have an affair. Alice disappears into the cabin and Pete suddenly turns back into Fred. While searching the cabin, Fred meets the Mystery Man, who begins filming and chasing Fred with a hand-held video camera, revealing himself to be responsible for sending the videotapes. Fred escapes and drives to the Lost Highway Hotel, where he finds Mr. Eddy and Renée having sex. After Renée leaves, Fred kidnaps Mr. Eddy both beating him and slitting his throat. The Mystery Man then shoots and kills Mr. Eddy and whispers to Fred. Then, goes off disappearing. Fred drives away in Mr. Eddy's car and stops by his old house, pushes the intercom and announces that Dick Laurent had died. Two detectives drive up to the house and Fred runs back to his car and drives off, the police go after him and the film ends with Fred speeding away.


  • Bill Pullman as Fred Madison
  • Patricia Arquette as Renee Madison/Alice Wakefield
  • Balthazar Getty as Pete Dayton
  • Robert Loggia as Mr. Eddy/Dick Laurent
  • Robert Blake as The Mystery Man
  • Gary Busey as Bill Dayton, Pete's father
  • Lucy Butler as Candace Dayton, Pete's mother
  • Michael Massee as Andy
  • Richard Pryor as Arnie
  • Natasha Gregson Wagner as Sheila
  • John Roselius as Al
  • Louis Eppolito as Ed
  • Jack Nance as Phil, a mechanic
  • Scott Coffey as Teddy
  • Al Garrett as Carl
  • Giovanni Ribisi as Steve "V"
  • Henry Rollins as Guard Henry
  • Michael Shamus Wiles as Guard Mike
  • Mink Stole (voice only) as Forewoman
  • Marilyn Manson and Twiggy Ramirez as porn stars


Lost Highway got mostly negative reviews at the time of its release in 1997, but since the film has gained a cult following, the film holds a 60% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 6.2 out of 10. The film lacks a critic consensus though.

Box Office

Lost Highway had a budget of $15 and bombed after it only made $3.5 million in North America.

Bad Qualities

  1. Weak and confusing story.
  2. Lame plot twist.
  3. Lame ending.
  4. A majority of the characters are weird and perverted.

Good Qualities

  1. Since the film has gotten a cult following, the film got so popular after its release that it got adapted into a musical in 2003.
  2. Decent soundtrack, such as "The Perfect Drug" by Nine Inch Nails and "Heirate Mich" by Rammstein.


  • This was the last theatrical film to star Richard Pryor before his death in 2005 and it was also the last film to star Robert Blake before he got in trouble with the law in 2001.

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