Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Mulholland Dr. (2001)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

In Best Director-nominated David Lynch's surreal, mystifying, mind-twisting, dream-like modern noir about Hollywood fame:

  • the twisting and turning dual characterizations of the two female protagonists: dark-haired brunette, full-bodied amnesiac and femme fatale Rita/Camilla Rhodes (Laura Elena Harring) and wholesome, pert blonde ingenue Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn (Naomi Watts) in the film's first 3/4ths
  • the basic plot: Diane had a romanticized dream in which she imagined herself as Betty - a perky, smiling, excited, strongly-willed, successful blonde ingenue and wannabe newcomer to Los Angeles (the city of dreams) from Canada - she had won a teen jitterbug dance contest in Canada (seen during the credits) that allowed her to travel to Hollywood: ("Oh! I can't believe it!...and now I'm in this dream-place"); she was staying in the vacant apartment of her beloved red-haired Aunt Ruth (away on vacation, or possibly dead, or as Betty claimed: "She's working on a movie... that's being made in Canada"), who left her an inheritance, in a building managed by "Coco" (Ann Miller), aka Mrs. Lenoix
  • in Diane's dream of stardom (in the person of Betty), she took charge of a relationship with glamorous amnesiac brunette, later dubbed 'Rita'; they met soon after a car crash - an incident that was symbolic of the relationship between Diane/Betty and 'Rita'; a confused, bruised and frightened 'Rita' had just escaped an attempt on her life by her limo driver (due to a pair of race cars that rammed her limo on Mulholland Dr. as she went to a party at the address 6980 on the drive), and had afterwards fallen asleep in the apartment where Betty was staying
  • her dream ended when a blue box found in Betty's purse was opened with a blue key that a now-blonde Rita found in her purse (after Betty disappeared) -- a clue that the two identities of Betty and Rita were somehow integrally inter-connected; Diane was really a dirty-blonde, failed actress and junkie (now working as a waitress named Betty) - looking jaded, haggard, and beaten down, and living by herself in a cheap rented apartment
  • the mysterious blue 'Pandora's' box with a blue key signified the break between the first part of the film's dream and the second part's reality (including Diane's suicidal death)
Various (Illusionary and Real) Versions of the Same Person
Betty Elms (Naomi Watts)
Diane Selwyn (Naomi Watts)

Waitress Betty (Missy Crider) at Winkie's Restaurant
Waitress Diane (Missy Crider) at Winkie's Restaurant
Amnesiac 'Rita'
(Laura Elena Harring)
Camilla Rhodes (Laura Elena Harring) Seen by Betty/Diane as 'Rita'

Actress Camilla Rhodes
(Melissa George)

Camilla Rhodes
(Laura Elena Harring)
The Target of Diane's Hit-Man

Camilla Rhodes
(During Audition)

Camilla Rhodes
Kissing Camilla Rhodes
  • the scene of Betty remaking Rita to look more like her as a blonde in order to be transformed into her ideal
  • the creepy but masterfully-acted audition scene in which naive wannabe starlet Betty performed a sexually-tainted script with a tanned and aging lothario Jimmy 'Woody' Katz (Chad Everett) - when she whispered into his ear and bit his lip: ("I hate you. I hate us both")
  • Diane had a delusionary vision that Camilla (also played by Laura Elena Harring), her unrequited love interest, was visiting in her apartment - guilt-ridden, hallucinating and depressed Diane fantasized that a half naked, bi-sexual 'Rita'/Camilla was awaiting her for sex on a couch (Camilla: "You drive me wild!"); after Diane touched Camilla and they kissed for a few moments, she was coldly rejected when told: "We shouldn’t do this anymore." Diane objected: "Don't ever say that." Diane's fantasy was shattered - she had imagined how her life could have been better - unrealistically, from the beginning of the film; she had seen herself as naive starlet Betty with both a successful Hollywood career and a love affair with Camilla - the film's major storyline
  • Diane enviously watched on set as casting director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) had chosen dark-haired Camilla for an actress role (competing with Diane), and kissed her; Diane knew that she had been rejected and jilted, and her relationship with 'Rita'/Camilla had ended; Diane masturbated in a fevered state, crying and anguished
  • jealously and with unrequited love over her lost girlfriend Camilla, Diane was seen arranging to hire a hitman at Winkie's diner (on Sunset Blvd.) to eliminate her competition; while being served by a clumsy Winkie's waitress named Betty, Diane contracted for $50,000 to kill the voluptuous Camilla; the hitman pulled out a blue key and told Diane that once the hit had been made, she would find the key in a prearranged location

Diane's Jealousy of 'Rita'/Camilla On-Set with Director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux)
Diane's Breakup From Camilla/'Rita'
Diane's Fevered and Anguished Masturbation
Diane's Fevered and Anguished Masturbation
Adam with Camilla - Announcing Their Engagement
Jealous Diane Arranging Camilla's Death with Hitman in Winkie's Diner
  • the monstrous character behind Winkie's diner - a disheveled homeless man - symbolic of the 'demon' that started to breed evil thoughts in Diane's disintegrating mind - to kill her girlfriend
  • the very strange scene in the nightclub called Club Silencio in which Rebekah Del Rio (as Herself) sang a Spanish version of Roy Orbison's "Crying"
  • at the end of the film, the story circled back to the beginning - now dirty blonde Diane (not 'Rita') was in a limo on its way to 6980 Mulholland Dr.
Two Different Trips on Mulholland Dr.
Beginning of Film
End of Film
  • in her home - with the blue key on the coffee table in front of her, Diane began wildly hallucinating, raced into her darkened bedroom, reached into her nightstand drawer for a gun, and suicidally shot herself in the head - she was found dead on her bed

Betty (Naomi Watts) and Dark-Haired 'Rita'

Betty's Audition Scene With Jimmy Katz

Diane With 'Rita'/Camilla on Couch: Their Second Lesbian Encounter

'Rita' Now a Blonde

Monstrous Creature Behind Winkie's Diner

In Club Silencio: Roy Orbison's "Crying

The Blue Key Opened Blue Box in 'Rita's' Purse

Diane's Suicide


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