Act Out: Blue Velvet

Read David Lynch's sexy, voyeuristic scene


The 1986 film noir, Blue Velvet, is director David Lynch’s most notorious work. In classic Lynch style, it takes a piercing look at the dark underbelly of small town life. The plot involves a slowly unraveling mystery that’s filled with disturbing discoveries. After his father has a stroke, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is forced to leave college and return to his hometown of Lumberton, North Carolina. He quickly stumbles into intrigue when he finds a severed human ear laying in the grass during a walk through town. That gruesome discovery triggers Jeffrey to do some amateur sleuthing. He meets up with a former high school acquaintance Sandy Williams (Laura Dern), the daughter of a local policeman, who tells him about some of Lumberton’s unsavory suspects who’ve been being watched by the cops. One of the suspicious figures is Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), a femme fatale nightclub singer who’s gotten mixed up with a psychopathic gangster named Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). In this scene, Jeffrey (with Sandy’s help) has snuck into Dorothy’s apartment to see what he can find out about her. He’s just come from the club where Dorothy sings and while he’s hiding in her closet, the Heineken he had at the bar has taken its toll and forced him to run to the bathroom just as Dorothy arrives.


A car drives up and a MAN helps Dorothy Vallens get out.  They walk into the building.


Jeffrey instinctively has flushed the toilet and because everything else is so quiet the water SOUNDS seem very loud.

Sandy begins to honk the horn.

Unable to hear the warning horn, Jeffrey nonchalantly leaves the bathroom as the tank is still filling. SUDDENLY, he hears something. a key going in the door. He bolts toward the closet. He flies inside it and is swinging the door shut as the front door opens. Just as suddenly, the toilet tank gets full and the water shuts off. SILENCE, except for Dorothy Vallens at the front door.

DOROTHY (V.O.) (we’re watching Jeffrey trying to control frightened breathing in the dark closet)
Thanks Jimmy, see you tomorrow. You want a drink, or something?

I better get back. thanks anyway.


Goodnight now.

The front door shuts and the living room lights go on. Jeffrey can see Dorothy come toward him. She walks RIGHT UP, almost to his face, when the phone RINGS. She turns immediately and goes to answer it. Jeffrey almost passes out. He thought he’d had it. He overhears.

DOROTHY (on the phone)
Hello. yes. yes sir, Frank. Let me talk to him. Please Frank, sir. I like to sing “Blue Velvet.” Don? It’s okay. Don’t worry. Don?? Can you hear me? Is little Donny OK? Is he there? Don? You mean Meadow Lane? Frank?! What’s the matter with him? I know. When? Okay. In an hour. I’ll be sweet. Momma loves you. Okay Frank, sir.

She hangs up the phone hard and puts her head in her hands.

DOROTHY (to herself)
Frank, you son of a bitch!

She goes and sits down and starts chewing a fingernail. She nervously gets up again and looks at a framed photograph for a moment then hides the photograph under a pillow on the couch. She puts on a record, “FOR YOUR PRECIOUS LOVE.” She sits back down and chews her nail again, listening to the MUSIC; she starts to cry.  She stops herself and takes the record off. She starts taking off her stocking.  She then takes off her dress. Underneath, she has on a bra and panties. She crosses the living room, goes down the hallway into the bathroom. 

Jeffrey can’t see her too well now. She takes off her panties in the bathroom. She is now naked. She looks at herself in the mirror. We see Jeffrey’s face as he watches her. She disappears from view completely and we HEAR her start a SHOWER.


Jeffrey’s face. He sees Dorothy—in a towel—come toward him again. He quickly moves back into the closet as far as he can. She opens the door, reaches in and gets a blue velvet robe. She doesn’t see Jeffrey even though he isn’t well hidden. She closes the door. It CLICKS shut.

Jeffrey is in almost total darkness. He listens. He can HEAR WALKING around, then silence. He hears the kitchen sink WATER RUNNING. He HEARS her WALKING AGAIN. Now he can see her. She sits down on her bed. She looks up. Just as Jeffrey shifts his weight. She looks at the closet strangely, but then calmly picks up a book and thumbs through it. She slowly gets up.

Jeffrey doesn’t know what is up. He looks but she walks out of view. SUDDENLY, he hears a DRAWER OPEN, and just as suddenly, the CLOSET DOOR FLIES OPEN, and there she is with a pistol pointed right at him. When she realizes that SOMEONE IS REALLY THERE, she SCREAMS ONCE, very loud.

DOROTHY (crazy scream, then)
GET OUT OF THERE!! GET OUT!! Put your hands up, on your head. GO ON!! Get down on your knees – DO IT!! What are you doing? Who are you? What’s your name? WHAT’S YOUR NAME?


Jeffrey. Jeffrey what?

Jeffrey nothing.

You tell me!! Let me see that wallet. (reads his license) Jeffrey Beaumont. What’re you doing in my apartment, Jeffrey Beaumont?

I wanted to see you.

What? Are you kidding me? Who sent you here?


Shit. You better tell me something.

I was. an experiment. Just to see if I could do it.

An experiment? Hey, I’ve seen you before.

I sprayed your apartment. I took your key. I really didn’t mean to do anything but see you.

Tell me what you saw tonight. TELL ME.

JEFFREY (scared, nervous)
I saw you come in, talk on the phone, get undressed.

DOROTHY (interrupting)
The phone. What did you hear on the phone? Tell me. Word for word.

JEFFREY (trying to remember)
You said hello to Frank. You wanted to talk to someone? Don? and little Donny. You said something about Momma loves you and something about a Meadow Lane. Something in an hour. I don’t remember any more.

Dorothy stares at Jeffrey studying him for some time thinking.

That’s right. That’s what I said. You have a good memory. Then what?



Then you got undressed.

How many times have you sneaked into girls’ apartments and watched them undress?

JEFFREY (quietly; feeling guilty)
Never before this.

How’d you like it if someone sneaked into your house and watched you.

(gets an idea)

Get undressed. I want to see you.

No. Come on.

NO, you come on. Take off your pants. I want to see you.

Look. I’m sorry. Just let me leave.

No way.

Dorothy moves to the kitchen counter and gets a knife.  She goes to  Jeffrey. Now she has a knife and a gun. He’s scared.

Get undressed. I want to see you.

Jeffrey begins to undress. First he takes off his shoes and socks. Then his shirt. He undoes his belt and unzips his pants and takes them off. Now he is only in his underwear.


He does.

DOROTHY (continuing)
Come closer.

Dorothy has a strange look on her face.  She reaches out and pulls Jeffrey’s underpants down to his knees. She looks at him.

DOROTHY (whispering)
What do you want from me?

JEFFREY (quietly, getting very hot)
I. I don’t know.

DOROTHY (whispering)
What do you want?

Dorothy is getting very DREAMY and begins to talk in a childlike voice. She opens her robe and pulls Jeffrey to her breasts.

Don’t move. don’t look at me.

Jeffrey’s eyes close with nervous ecstasy as Dorothy begins touching him.

Do you like that?


He tries to touch her.

Don’t move or I’ll kill you.

She looks at him.

DOROTHY (continuing)
Do you like talk like that?


Lie down on the bed.

He lies down. He looks frightened. There’s a KNOCK, KNOCK on the door. Dorothy looks VERY frightened. She quickly moves a finger to her lips in a “quiet” sign and whispers to Jeffrey.

DOROTHY (whispers, frantic)
Shut up. Hurry! Go in the closet. Don’t say anything or you’ll get killed. I mean it.

KNOCKING is heard louder at the door. Jeffrey picks up all his clothes and gets in the closet.  He’s naked and hiding in the closet. Dorothy closes her robe and glides to the front door.

Jeffrey sees FRANK come in. Frank is medium height and stocky with a burr hair cut. He is wearing a tight blue t-shirt and an old black sports jacket. He’s got on a pair of blue jeans and boots. He has a raw, mean sexuality—a “bomb about to go off”—presence. He comes into the room slowly, always looking at Dorothy. He sits on the couch.

Hello, baby.

FRANK (annoyed, condescending)
Shut up. It’s daddy. shithead.

Hello, daddy.

FRANK (can’t-you-remember-anything-attitude)
My bourbon.

Dorothy goes into the kitchen to get Frank his drink. As she passes the closet, Jeffrey can see the fear in her face. She returns with a small glass of bourbon and hands it to Frank. Frank sips on it.

Sit down. Get your chair.

Dorothy brings a small chair over from the wall and sits down. She adjusts her robe.

FRANK (studying her)
Spread your legs.

Dorothy slowly spreads her legs. She can see Jeffrey staring out of the darkness of the closet at her.


She opens her legs wider. Frank looks at her crotch and drinks his bourbon. He stares at the floor for a moment, then slowly looks back at Dorothy, her body—her crotch. Dorothy looks up at the ceiling, waiting. Frank suddenly reaches to his belt, where he has a small canister and a mask. He opens a valve on the canister and places the mask over his nose and mouth. The canister is filled with helium, which makes Frank’s voice very high and strange sounding. The result is frightening.

FRANK (high voice)

Dorothy jumps. She keeps looking at the ceiling.

FRANK (continuing, with high voice)

DOROTHY (frightened)
Mommy’s here.

FRANK (high voice)
Baby wants to fuck.

Then, Frank’s voice goes to normal.

FRANK (normal voice, but loud – like an army order to himself)

Frank goes to Dorothy and kneels down in front of her. He takes one more gasp of helium.

FRANK (high voice)
Baby wants blue velvet.

Dorothy opens her robe and gives a part of the robe to Frank.

DOROTHY (whispering)

Frank slowly moves his mouth to the robe and runs his lips along the texture of the velvet. His hands rub the velvet and feel Dorothy’s body underneath. His hands start feeling her breasts as he sucks and bites the velvet robe.

Dorothy is very frightened but she is getting hot in spite of her fear.