An actress longing to be a star. A woman searching for herself. Both worlds will collide... on Mulholland Drive.
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesic, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
ActorsStarring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya, Justin Theroux, Brent Briscoe, Robert Forster, Katharine Towne, Lee Grant, Scott Coffey, Billy Ray Cyrus, Chad Everett, Rita Taggart, James Karen, Lori Heuring, Angelo Badalamenti, Michael Des Barres, Marcus Graham, Missy Crider, Robert Katims, Jeanne Bates, Dan Birnbaum, Randall Wulff, Maya Bond, Patrick Fischler, Michael Cooke, Bonnie Aarons, Michael J. Anderson, Joseph Kearney, Enrique Buelna, Richard Mead, Sean Everett, Daniel Rey, David Schroeder, Tom Morris, Melissa George, Mo Gallini, Mark Pellegrino, Vincent Castellanos, Diane Nelson, Charles Croughwell, Rena Riffel, Tad Horino, Tony Longo, Geno Silva, Monty Montgomery, Kate Forster, Wayne Grace, Michele Hicks, Lisa K. Ferguson, William Ostrander, Lisa Lackey, Brian Beacock, Blake Lindsley, Adrien Curry, Tyrah M. Lindsey, Michael D. Weatherred, Michael Fairman, Johanna Stein, Richard Green, Conte Candoli, Cori Glazer, Rebekah Del Rio, Lyssie Powell, Kimberly Clever, Joshua Collazo, David Frutos, Peter Loggins, Theresa Salazar, Thea Samuels, Christian Thompson
Neil Roberts, of the Sun, and Tom Charity, of Time Out, come close to providing a “real world” plot. Roughly the first half is an idealized dream of Diane Selwyn (“Betty” in her own dream) who, in real life, is rapidly descending into psychosis, full of fear, loneliness and regret, ending in her suicide, but that barely begins to describe the film as it unfolds:
A dark-haired woman is the sole survivor of a car crash on Mulholland Drive, a winding road high in the Hollywood Hills. Injured and in shock, she makes her way down into Los Angeles and sneaks into an apartment. Later that morning, an aspiring actress named Betty Elms arrives at the apartment, which is normally occupied by her aunt. Betty is startled to find the woman, who has amnesia and assumes the name “Rita” after seeing a poster for the film Gilda starring Rita Hayworth. To help the woman remember her identity, Betty looks in Rita’s purse, where she finds a large amount of money and an unusual blue key.
At a diner called Winkie’s, a man tells his companion about a nightmare in which he dreamt there was a horrible figure behind the diner. When they investigate, the figure appears, causing the man with the nightmare to collapse in fright. Elsewhere, director Adam Kesher has his film commandeered by mobsters, who insist that he cast an unknown actress named Camilla Rhodes as the lead in his film. Kesher resists, but after being thrown out of his house when he finds his wife cheating on him, he learns that his bank has closed his line of credit and he is broke. He agrees to meet a mysterious figure called The Cowboy, who urges him to cast Camilla Rhodes for his own good. Later, a bungling hit man attempts to steal a book full of phone numbers and leaves three people dead.
While trying to learn more about Rita’s accident, Betty and Rita go to Winkie’s and are served by a waitress named Diane, which causes Rita to remember the name “Diane Selwyn”. They find Diane Selwyn in the phone book and call her, but she does not answer. Betty goes to an audition, where her performance is highly praised. A casting agent takes her to a soundstage where a film called The Sylvia North Story, directed by Kesher, is being cast. When Camilla Rhodes auditions, Kesher capitulates to casting her. Betty locks eyes with Adam, but she flees before she can meet him, saying that she is late to meet a friend…