Director: David Lynch
Cast: Francesca Annis, Leonardo Cimino, Brad Dourif, José Ferrer, Linda Hunt, Freddie Jones, Richard Jordan, Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Silvana Mangano, Everett McGill, Kenneth McMillan, Jack Nance, Siân Phillips, Jürgen Prochnow, Paul Smith, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Dean Stockwell, Max von Sydow, Alicia Roanne Witt, Sean Young
Set in the distant future, the film chronicles the conflict between rival noble families as they battle for control of the extremely harsh desert planet Arrakis, also known as "Dune". The planet is the only source of the drug melange—also called "the spice"—which allows prescience, and is vital to space travel, making it the most essential and valuable commodity in the universe.
Even more than most of David Lynch's deliberately bizarre and idiosyncratic movies, Dune is a "love-it-or-hate-it" affair. An ambitious, epic, utterly mind-boggling--and, let's admit it, all-out weird--adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel, Dune remains one of the most controversial films in the director's exceedingly provocative career. The story (if Dune can be said to have just one story) is complex and convoluted in the epic tradition; it has something to do with political intrigue and a planet that is home to a precious spice and gigantic sand worms. Think Shakespeare's Henry IV with a dash of Tremors, and set in another galaxy. But despite plenty of strangely whispered voice-overs that explain the characters' thoughts (and endlessly detailed exposition), storytelling is not really among the film's strong points. There are, however, a lot of memorably fantastic/grotesque images, an extraordinary cast, and a soundtrack featuring Toto. I told you it was weird. Among the stars are Kyle MacLachlan, José Ferrer, Dean Stockwell, Brad Dourif, Sting, Kenneth McMillan, Patrick Stewart, Sean Young, and Linda Hunt. The DVD contains the original release version; a shorter version cut for television has been disowned by Lynch, who insisted his name be replaced by that famous Hollywood pseudonym "Alan Smithee." --Jim Emerson
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