5 Best Scenes David Lynch Ever Directed

David Lynch is a weird, wacky and inspired director, and almost all of his films have his own deft touch, often demonstrated within scenes or moments that are perfectly ‘him.’ Here are five scenes from his films that, had someone else directed them, they would be nowhere near as good as Lynch made them.

1: The Pencil-Top Eraser Scene, Eraserhead (1976)

From the beginning, when The Lady in the Radiator sings her song, to Henry’s head popping off and getting taken away by a boy to a pencil factory, the scene is coated in weirdness. It is the one scene that remains most difficult to decode, but it is in some strange way a piece of pure genius.

2: “Don’t You Fuckin’ Look At Me!”, Blue Velvet (1986)

For obvious reasons, I can’t include a video here but this strangely rhythmic, horrifically violent “rape” sequence is directed with an eerie comic flair by Lynch, and acted stunningly by Dennis Hopper.

3: The Monster Behind Winkie’s, Mulholland Dr. (2001)

The most difficult and out of place scene in Lynch’s masterpiece is a scene that has developed a steady cult following. It’s one you can enjoy on its own, even without the rest of the movie, and prompts serious thought into the meaning of the film.

4: Susan’s Monologue, Inland Empire (2006)

In what I’m seriously starting to consider my favourite Lynch movie, there are a huge number of scenes that rival for this list, but one of the obvious picks would be Laura Dern deep in character as she plunges into a spiteful monologue about her life. This isn’t the whole thing, but it’s some of it.

5: Susan Running, Inland Empire (2006)

Okay, so this is only thirty seconds, and to some it won’t count, but there is so much meaning in this shot, about Nikki/Susan’s lust for the spotlight, how she yearns for it and runs at it; it’s also a huge shock and really jolts you back into the movie.

Anyway, so that’s my list. Anything I’ve forgotten, or something you’d like to add? What did you think of these creepy Lynchian scenes? Leave a comment below. Thanks.


About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on July 5, 2011, in Lists, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I totally agree with your selection!. I will add to that:

    – The inicial sequence in Blue Velvet, it has a lot of mening inside it, with the camera focusing on the grass and the ants.

    • You’re right, that was a great scene. It was really hard to cut this list down, but that’s certainly one of the most artistically strong scenes in the Lynch catalogue.

  2. These are all great choices, but here’s my pick:

    It’s easily the most shocking scene that I’ve ever seen on television. It’s the killing of Maddy on Twin Peaks during the second season. That long sequence is so brutal and frightening that I still can’t believe it was shown on TV in 1991. It still holds up really well, too. It was also a brilliant and unsettling way to reveal the killer of Laura Palmer.

    • I think I remember what you’re talking about. I had a long list, initially, but I decided not to do anything from Twin Peaks because I can’t remember the series that well. Another scene, while I think of it, is the scene where we see the seductive Patricia Arquette in slow motion in Lost Highway. Crap, there’s a lot. I could probably upgrade this list to ten.

      • You’re definitely right that Lynch has a lot more than five scenes that could make this list. Some movies on their own have enough to fill it. Twin Peaks is definitely worth revisiting if you have the time, especially now that the entire thing’s available as one set.

    • I’m definitely planning to do that.

  3. So glad that someone else likes INLAND EMPIRE, too.

    It seems to have divided a lot of people into a Love or Hate group. It’s one of my favourite films, and definitely my favourite Lynch, so it is glad to know that I am not alone in siding with the love side for Inland.

    Great selection of scenes, though. Except, I would have to include the prison scene in Lost Highway, and the final, heartbreaking, scene in Elephant Man.

    Other than that, great choices!

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