Wild at Heart: Special Edition (1990)

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Released 17-May-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of-Love, Death , Elvis & Oz
Featurette-Dell's Lunch Counter
Gallery-Photo-Sailor And Lula Image Gallery
Featurette-Specific Spontaneity: Focus On David Lynch
Featurette-David Lynch - On The DVD
Featurette-Original EPK Featurette
TV Spots
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 120:05
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (61:28) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By David Lynch

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Nicolas Cage
Laura Dern
Willem Dafoe
J.E. Freeman
Crispin Glover
Diane Ladd
Calvin Lockhart
Isabella Rossellini
Harry Dean Stanton
Grace Zabriskie
Sherilyn Fenn
Marvin Kaplan
William Morgan Sheppard
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Angelo Badalamenti
Chris Isaak
David Lynch

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, over the start of the credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    David Lynch is an interesting film maker. Having earned critical and cult acclaim with movies like The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet, Lynch then stunned the world with the massive success of his quirky TV novel that had everybody asking, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” – Twin Peaks. At the height of the success of that show, Lynch embarked on a new foray onto the big screen with Wild At Heart, a bizarre re-imagining of The Wizard Of Oz in the seedy underworld of America.

    Based on the novel by Barry Gifford, Wild At Heart is a love story, a road movie and a surreal thriller. It tells the story of Lula (Laura Dern) and Sailor (Nicholas Cage). When Sailor gets out of jail for manslaughter, he skips bail with the love of his life, Lula, earning the ire of Lula’s wicked mother, Marietta (Diane Ladd). Together, on the road, they try to stay one step ahead of the hitmen Marietta has set loose on Sailor with a little help from her gangster associate and former lover, Marcelles Santos (J. E. Freeman).

    While still outstanding in its own way, this is not my favourite Lynch film. In many respects, it is too conventional for me, and I prefer the twisted perversion of Blue Velvet and the surreal psychological horror of Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr.. I am very much looking forward to seeing Inland Empire. However, that’s my taste, and you are perfectly entitled to think otherwise. It is a lot of fun to sit there and poke through it for all the Wizard Of Oz references, and some scenes still give you the chills all these years on (it’s hard to believe this film is now 17 years old)

    At the end of the day, Wild At Heart is still a very entertaining romp, and has some excellent and memorable scenes that will stick in your head for months. While I still recommend Blue Velvet or Mulholland Dr. as a first base to see what kind of a “mindwarp” Lynch can really do when he sets his mind to it, or The Elephant Man if you want to see him at his conventional best, fans should not let this one slip by, and those out there looking for some bizarre cinema should definitely check this out.

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Transfer Quality


    Wild At Heart is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. This transfer is mastered from a new high definition print, producing an excellent image that far exceeds any other version released for home video to date, and any of the old film prints that still do the circuits at the cult movie houses I’ve seen this at (the old Westgarth and the Astor in Windsor). Compared to my VHS print, which is nearly unwatchable, or those old 35mm film prints, this is pristine gold. I watched it upscaled to 1080i at 50Hz, on a 100” white matte screen via front projection from my Sony VPL-HS60. I sampled some scenes via my 42” Sony E-Series rearpro.

    The big difference between this and the previous home video releases and old film prints is colour saturation, which really does make this look like a whole new film. Although the entirety of the film is shot through some sort of soft focus filter, the image is also sharper and more defined, lacking that murkiness that the earlier releases had.

    The other big difference is the massive improvement in shadow detail. The scene with Sherilyn Fenn is nigh unwatchable in the original home video releases, but this remastered edition has made significant improvement. The scene will never be perfect due to the film stock and lighting used, but at least now you can tell what is going on. Similarly, other shadowy scenes are significantly improved.

    Film-to-video transfer artefacts are all but eliminated. You can make out some faint background aliasing if you really try but it's nothing horrific.

    Subtitles available in an array of languages as listed above. I watched the subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired. They are quite accurate.

    The dual layer pause is at 61:28. It occurs in the middle of a scene change but is not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Audio is available in English in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.

    Dialogue is faultless. There is great range, some very impressive surround sound sequences, and all-in-all this is a nicely done audio mix.

    Angelo Badalamenti’s original score is extremely impressive and sounds much better in this full mix than the stereo VHS track that I was used to.

    The subwoofer gets some excellent use, particularly in the many scenes that use fire.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    All menus are 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has a sequence from the movie and the score in 2.0 Dolby Surround. The submenus are static and silent. All menus are uniformly clear and well presented and easy to navigate, though some of the submenus appear to be slightly reminiscent of laserdisc menus.

Featurette: Love, Death, Elvis & Oz – The Making Of “Wild At Heart” (29:37)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Surround. Very interesting making of.

Interviews: Dell’s Lunch Counter

    There are a sequence of interviews presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, all with a 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround audio concerning some bizarre aspects of the movie:

Sailor And Lula’s Image Gallery (2:08)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Surround.

Featurette: Specific Spontaneity – Focus On David Lynch (7:01)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Surround. A brief but interesting featurette with interviews of cast and crew recounting working with Lynch on this film.

Featurette: David Lynch On The DVD (2:44)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Surround. An interview with Lynch regarding the remastering of this movie for DVD and the next high definition format (apparently it’s been mastered in super high definition now).

Featurette: Original EPK Featurette (6:55)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo. Original marketing material.

TV Spots (1:08)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo. Original marketing material.

Theatrical Trailer (1:48)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo. Original marketing material.


    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 and R2 / R4 versions of this film are both the R-rated “US Theatrical Version” with the censorship supervised by Lynch, the remastered video and audio, and almost identical extras – although we get more subtitles whereas the R1 version has the original English 2.0 Dolby Surround audio as well as the 5.1 Dolby Digital remaster. The R2 French release has more extras, however it has forced French subtitles throughout the film. The Japanese and Korean versions are both fully uncut, but lack the extras and do not have the remastered video and audio. I would say this is a toss up between R1 and R4, though depends on how desperate you are for the uncut version with the substandard picture and sound. Although the R1 has a slight edge, I would say to buy whichever is cheapest.


    Wild At Heart is engrossing and memorable, though not quite as big a headspin as some of Lynch’s other films. Still definitely worth it for fans.

    This DVD transfer is the best I’ve ever seen this movie – shame it’s not the uncensored version.

    At least there are an excellent collection of those rarest of rarities – extras that actually enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the movie. Savour them while you can.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Monday, May 07, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS92, using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10,000:1 contrast ratio) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersJensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Praise much - cztery REPLY POSTED
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Original R4 Release - Matthew L REPLY POSTED
RE: Original R4 Release - Matthew L