• Don't be a stranger! Register today for a 100% ad-free experience

WILD AT HEART "Wild at Heart" is never on streaming in US

Cappy

Great Northern Hotel
Aug 4, 2022
62
40
Glad the old dugpa forum is living on in some form.

Its a little annoying how "Wild at Heart" is never on streaming in US. I know, I just need to buy the DVD at this point, but it might just be a little easier to VPN myself into France at this point.

Any particular reason why this film never shows up on streaming platforms?
 

Cappy

Great Northern Hotel
Aug 4, 2022
62
40
Anyone know who owns the North American streaming rights?
No clue, but its a shame that this film hasn't been able to have some sort of reevaluation or rekindling of interest. Its definitely not my favorite Lynch, but that one scene where Sailor and Lula listen to horrible news stories on the radio is so infinitely relatable in 2022.._
 

Ickles

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
200
299
I know TCM airs it on occasion and I believe it was briefly on HBO Max as part of the "TCM Presents" sub-section there but it was pretty fleeting (it was over a year ago, I think). Not sure who owns the rights now but I wonder if it might be in the pipeline for the Criterion/Janus treatment like LH and IE have been recently? Wouldn't surprise me but I guess it would hinge on the rights holders and all that.

I believe originally Wild at Heart was distributed by PolyGram which is a subsidiary of Universal so theoretically the "big" service that would have it is Peacock in the United States but outside of Lost Highway being on that service briefly a while ago I've never seen a Lynch film available there.
 

Tulpa

Bureau HQ
TULPA MOD
ADMIN
Apr 11, 2022
391
482
Just Watch has it that the film isnt even available to rent or buy on streaming in the US.

Is that accurate? Seems odd that it's not only unavailable as part of a package but just unstreamable at all.
 

Cappy

Great Northern Hotel
Aug 4, 2022
62
40
Just Watch has it that the film isnt even available to rent or buy on streaming in the US.

Is that accurate? Seems odd that it's not only unavailable as part of a package but just unstreamable at all.
Yeah I think JustWatch always says that about WAH. The only country I could find it streaming in is France, but tbh I only checked 7 or so other countries.
 

Mr. Reindeer

Glastonbury Grove
Apr 13, 2022
148
222
I know TCM airs it on occasion and I believe it was briefly on HBO Max as part of the "TCM Presents" sub-section there but it was pretty fleeting (it was over a year ago, I think). Not sure who owns the rights now but I wonder if it might be in the pipeline for the Criterion/Janus treatment like LH and IE have been recently? Wouldn't surprise me but I guess it would hinge on the rights holders and all that.

I believe originally Wild at Heart was distributed by PolyGram which is a subsidiary of Universal so theoretically the "big" service that would have it is Peacock in the United States but outside of Lost Highway being on that service briefly a while ago I've never seen a Lynch film available there.
Actually, although Polygram produced the film, I believe the distributor was Samuel Goldwyn Productions, which subsequently sold to MGM. All the DVD and Blu Ray releases have been MGM, or licensees like Shout Factory contracted through MGM. This might explain the difficulty since MGM has been such a financial mess for decades? Since Amazon now owns the MGM library, maybe it will end up on Prime someday.
 

Tulpa

Bureau HQ
TULPA MOD
ADMIN
Apr 11, 2022
391
482
Actually, although Polygram produced the film, I believe the distributor was Samuel Goldwyn Productions, which subsequently sold to MGM. All the DVD and Blu Ray releases have been MGM, or licensees like Shout Factory contracted through MGM. This might explain the difficulty since MGM has been such a financial mess for decades? Since Amazon now owns the MGM library, maybe it will end up on Prime someday.

It's possible the streaming rights and physical rights aren't owned by the same entities.

Do we know if this is a general pattern with MGM films?
 

Dustoff

Sparkwood & 21
Apr 12, 2022
11
16
No clue, but its a shame that this film hasn't been able to have some sort of reevaluation or rekindling of interest. Its definitely not my favorite Lynch, but that one scene where Sailor and Lula listen to horrible news stories on the radio is so infinitely relatable in 2022.._

Wild at Heart is full of indelible moments, but is not aging very well, to me. It seems to have a nasty homophobic streak which feels ever-more glaring, and harder for me to reason with as time goes on from a storytelling or character-building perspective. Don't know if this is the thread to drop this but I haven't heard it mentioned before. No evidence suggests that DL is at all homophobic (not what I'm alleging) and indeed there is much to the contrary, which makes that thread of WAH more of a mystery to me. Maybe it was a part of Gifford's novel? I dunno.
Edit to say sorry this has nothing to do with streaming.
 

Tulpa

Bureau HQ
TULPA MOD
ADMIN
Apr 11, 2022
391
482
Wild at Heart is full of indelible moments, but is not aging very well, to me. It seems to have a nasty homophobic streak which feels ever-more glaring, and harder for me to justify as time goes on from a storytelling or character-building perspective. Don't know if this is the thread to drop this but I haven't heard it mentioned before. No evidence suggests that DL is at all homophobic (not what I'm alleging) and indeed there is much to the contrary, which makes that thread of WAH more of a mystery to me. Maybe it was a part of Gifford's novel? I dunno.
Edit to say sorry this has nothing to do with streaming.

That topic would be an interesting thread starter tbh.
 

Dustoff

Sparkwood & 21
Apr 12, 2022
11
16
That topic would be an interesting thread starter tbh.

I would but I'm a little wary of starting a thread that leads to conjecture about 'what DL thinks about gays', which isn't where I meant to go. Just more of a gripe I've wanted to express about this particular film. But we can steer it there if anyone else is roused to discussion on the topic.
 

Cappy

Great Northern Hotel
Aug 4, 2022
62
40
I would but I'm a little wary of starting a thread that leads to conjecture about 'what DL thinks about gays', which isn't where I meant to go. Just more of a gripe I've wanted to express about this particular film. But we can steer it there if anyone else is roused to discussion on the topic.
WAH is far from a perfect film. I certainly have some criticisms of it myself. Personally, I can never tell if Sailor and Lula are "real" characters that I'm supposed to be invested in, or just farcical white-trash archetypes for me to laugh at. Granted, I've not seen WAH in a very long time, so that might not be my take whenever I revisit it.
 

AXX°N N.

RR Diner
Apr 14, 2022
33
77
I always found it funny that the one Lynch film that won a Palme d'Or is the least easy to view.

I would but I'm a little wary of starting a thread that leads to conjecture about 'what DL thinks about gays', which isn't where I meant to go. Just more of a gripe I've wanted to express about this particular film. But we can steer it there if anyone else is roused to discussion on the topic.
My experience with Tulpa so far is that everyone's civil, so I wouldn't be afraid to bring up the potentially incendiary. I've made a few posts that I was afraid could spin out into something heated, and likely would have elsewhere, but everyone is open-minded here seems to me. Maybe a more general thread about WAH's qualities would be more apropos?

Anyway, I guess I'm roused (so feel free mods to spin this off into a thread). I'm gay myself and have never felt there to be anything overtly, negatively homophobic in WAH, not that I'm the grand marshal of what is or isn't offensive, but my tolerance for what I take as outright homophobia is pretty low. I think there's a stark difference between a film itself being homophobic versus having homophobic characters, and I don't see anything wrong with the latter.

As for WAH, is it just the slur to the punks at the end? I always took that as a weird bit of character development because Sailor, after his epiphany, apologizes immediately and uses the more correct 'homosexual.' You could argue it remains, even post-epiphany, un-PC, as it frames the accusation or state of being no matter the terms as itself offensive, but I'm not sure I'd say that isn't itself without self-conscious irony, or that even if it were a band of gays that Sailor wouldn't in some like fashion treat them with epiphany-induced wholesomeness, the same way Cooper (against some expectation) took Denise in stride.

I'd argue Wild at Heart hasn't aged poorly, and it's more like it had already been in poor taste at the time; contemporary reviews reacted negatively to the opening, brutal murder being a black man at the hands of a white man, for instance. As a director, if you were conscious (or cared at all) even to a fraction of a degree of what might read as implicit racism, that's the last way you would start your film. But I think WAH is intentionally unhinged and stacked with abhorrent characters foregrounding an erratic backdrop of crazed society. In that case, I think it's aged into itself. I watched it last year and related to it more than ever, all the tone of confusion of everyone and everything. Sailor & Lula strike me as incredibly ordinary even today; I have relatives that say worse things than anything they might say and, just like them, I wouldn't chalk it up to them being mere bad eggs.
 

Dom

RR Diner
Jul 10, 2022
37
36
UK Amazon, by default, offers me a German Blu-ray release, so no obvious UK standalone is available. It makes me wonder what the situation is with the Sailor and Lula series in general; if the rights have been sold to anyone. Wild At Heart was a standalone at the time Lynch made the film, but Sailor and Lula have had lots of literary adventures since, growing old together, not to mention there's a Perdita Durango film kicking around, based on another Barry Gifford novel. Rights issues often explain mysterious absences of films or TV series in this day and age. Sailor and Lula would make perfect streaming series material for example...

My relationship with the film is an odd one. I loved it 30 years ago, when I was 17, and for a few years after, but when I saw it again about seven or eight years ago, I felt it hadn't aged well.
 

Mr. Reindeer

Glastonbury Grove
Apr 13, 2022
148
222
I think [email protected] is an outlier for many Lynch fans. Leaving out the three films that are less traditionally “Lynchian” (i.e., The Elephant Man, Dune and The Straight Story), [email protected] is probably the one that inspires the least conversation and passion, and is certainly the one I least frequently feel inspired to revisit. It’s certainly not a BAD film, in fact I think it’s quite good. Just a lesser work in comparison to most other things he’s done. My feeling is that the film is less than the sum of its parts. There are many individual scenes and moments that in isolation are among Lynch’s best, most notably the Sherilyn Fenn scene and the “fuck me” scene with Willem Dafoe, and even some deleted scenes that didn’t make it into the movie like Calvin Lockhart’s riveting monologues. But somehow the film as a whole never quite congeals, perhaps because it spends so much time being a kind of piece of pop art that it has you at arm’s length emotionally most of the time. As has been mentioned, this is a particular problem with Sailor, who remains a caricature from beginning to end, albeit a largely charming and likable one. It’s a credit to Dern’s incredible talent that Lula transcends being a stereotype.

Re: the anti-gay slur. I find that moment jarring too, but probably appropriate to Sailor’s upbringing and the character (especially in a moment when he’s angry at himself and therefore lashing out...and has just spent years in prison likely putting on a constant front of bravura out of self-preservation). That moment (and that word) are not in Gifford’s book, as the book ends with Sailor leaving Lula. The final portion of the film was conceived by Lynch because he felt the characters deserved a happy ending. He also added all the Elvis and Wizard of Oz stuff, which I’m not sure ultimately helped the material.
 
Last edited:

Cappy

Great Northern Hotel
Aug 4, 2022
62
40
Personally, I really disliked Wild at Heart when I first viewed it (circa 2000-ish?). The tone read so strange for me at the time -- clearly the characters were over the top representations of American cultural archetypes, but it felt intensely sincere at the same time. Like when Sailor gives the spiel about his jacket being a representation of individuality, it doesn't read as satire, but rather an honest statement from Lynch himself. So I never could quite figure out how to digest the film and its perspective.

Now I can at least appreciate specific scenes and sequences, and what the film says about Lynch as an artist. If Lost Highway is the Rosetta Stone that best explains the "fugue state" so commonly found in Lynch's later films, then Wild at Heart is the director plainly stating what he thinks is cool and worth preserving in America's cultural wasteland.
 

Stavrogyn

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
266
224
I'm wondering myself if Wild at Heart might get a Criterion release someday; out of the David Lynch feature films, only Dune, Wild at Heart, and The Straight Story remain.

As for the film itself, when I first saw it, I didn't like it at all. It was my least favourite of the seven "true David Lynch films". Then many years later, after starting to appreciate Nicolas Cage's over-the-top uniqueness, I saw it again and didn't like it any better (but the context in which I watched it wasn't adequate at all). And then finally, last year, I saw it for the third time - and loved it. Now I feel like I could rewatch it again even though it's only been a year.

However, I always found it strange that it won Palme d'Or. It's so trashy: the beginning especially feels like a trashy 90's film. It would have made much more sense if Blue Velvet or Mulholland Drive had won it.
 
Last edited:

Stavrogyn

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
266
224
The tone read so strange for me at the time -- clearly the characters were over the top representations of American cultural archetypes, but it felt intensely sincere at the same time. Like when Sailor gives the spiel about his jacket being a representation of individuality, it doesn't read as satire, but rather an honest statement from Lynch himself.
I saw The Fugitive Kind (1960) by Sidney Lumet recently:

snakeskin.jpg

The jacket was supposedly chosen by Nicolas Cage, so it's dubious if this particular cultural reference tells us anything about Lynch himself. But it's a nice piece of film trivia nevertheless.
 
Last edited:

eyeboogers

RR Diner
Apr 14, 2022
29
26
"Wild at Heart" is top 3 Lynch for me (along with FWWM and Inland Empire). I think the topic here about the film being somewhat unavailable - and therefore less curated, is the main reason for it falling out of favor. As much as I love the film, it is my impression that the various Blu Ray releases are all supposed to be flawed/rushed, and therefore I have been waiting for a definitive version to be released.

Also I think the Wizard of Oz + Elvis stuff + the new ending and other assorted Lynch add-ons elevated Gifford's book quite a lot. They are added because Lynch diagnosed an idealised version of US culture (from around his own youth) as having been corrupted, and saw Gifford's material as a vehicle to convey that.

In terms of the gay slur, it is clear that Sailor is not being homophobic from a personal value point of view, but rather he is saying the one thing he culturally knows will escalate the fight with that biker gang ca. 1990. In general I can't recognice Dustoff's critique of "Wild at Heart" generally having "...a nasty homophobic streak". Sure it cast a dark mirror on many aspects of humanity - especially archetypes from the US south, but it is sort of an equal opportunity offender. Basically it is a film that never holds anything back. It is a super-saturated critique of where US culture was headed at the time, and a plea for people to re-learn how to be civil to each other (hence the happy ending). We did end up in exactly the Alex Jones/Trump version of America that the film was warning us about. And it is hard to make a film like that without depicting the ugliness of society along with the beauty. It is a masterpiece.
 

Mr. Reindeer

Glastonbury Grove
Apr 13, 2022
148
222
"Wild at Heart" is top 3 Lynch for me (along with FWWM and Inland Empire). I think the topic here about the film being somewhat unavailable - and therefore less curated, is the main reason for it falling out of favor. As much as I love the film, it is my impression that the various Blu Ray releases are all supposed to be flawed/rushed, and therefore I have been waiting for a definitive version to be released.

Also I think the Wizard of Oz + Elvis stuff + the new ending and other assorted Lynch add-ons elevated Gifford's book quite a lot. They are added because Lynch diagnosed an idealised version of US culture (from around his own youth) as having been corrupted, and saw Gifford's material as a vehicle to convey that.

In terms of the gay slur, it is clear that Sailor is not being homophobic from a personal value point of view, but rather he is saying the one thing he culturally knows will escalate the fight with that biker gang ca. 1990. In general I can't recognice Dustoff's critique of "Wild at Heart" generally having "...a nasty homophobic streak". Sure it cast a dark mirror on many aspects of humanity - especially archetypes from the US south, but it is sort of an equal opportunity offender. Basically it is a film that never holds anything back. It is a super-saturated critique of where US culture was headed at the time, and a plea for people to re-learn how to be civil to each other (hence the happy ending). We did end up in exactly the Alex Jones/Trump version of America that the film was warning us about. And it is hard to make a film like that without depicting the ugliness of society along with the beauty. It is a masterpiece.
But wasn't the genesis of the entire MAGA ideology precisely the kind of nostalgia you're talking about: people being convinced that some indeterminate point in the 1950s or 1930s or 1800s or whenever was some American utopia that we need to return to? In that way (playing devil's advocate here), your reading of the film actually feeds into that dangerous type of nostalgia.

Also, of course, back in the 1950s, Elvis was viewed by most respectable people as the downfall of western civilization and the corruption of an entire generation of youths. Now, his music is just about the safest thing to play in an elevator that you could name this side of Kenny G. Funny how perspectives change.

EDIT: Just want to clarify that my above reply isn’t meant to be at all snarky or dismissive of either the film or your view of it (as it occurs to me that it might come across that way). I find the film genuinely fascinating and am always trying to understand it, and fine-tune my own feelings about it, better. It really is an odd one for me in the Lynch canon. Interested to hear your reply if and when you get around to one!
 
Last edited:
Top