The City of Absurdity Lost Highway funny how secrets travel...
a film by David Lynch
Script Alterations

The Lost Highway screenplay contains – as usual if you compare a script and the film – several scenes that are not included in the film version. After an initial test screening with a hand-picked 50 person audience twenty-five minutes were cut. David Lynch:

"Mary [Sweeny, editor/ producer] screened it for about fifty people. It was early enough so that it would be a good time to get some input we knew it was too long, but we knew we were going to do more things to it. BeforeMary showed it, I saw the film with Barry, and it drove me crazy. I knew what we had to attack; we attacked those things and more, before we got it right.

Even with only ten people, you can feel a film differently than if you see a film by yourself. By yourself, you're too relaxed, and you're not really forced to get that feeling of many people in the room which is a horrific feeling, sometimes, but it forces you to see a film through a group's eyes, and you can learn a lot of things from it. Up to that time, you've been working scene by scene and getting the individual scenes working; but seeing it all at once, it could work great scene by scene, but as a whole, it doesn't."

And Barry Gifford adds:

"Some people didn't quite understand things at first, especially in the longer version. My youngest son, who's 21, got it all he's amazing that way. Some people had some resistance, I think, just because they were trying to make sense out of it, but if you keep an open mind, the sense comes to you; you see what it is; and you can interpret it several ways."

Here is a first list of missing scenes (not yet completed):

  • Fred and Renee Madison receive only 3 videotapes and thus the detectives Ed and Al visit them only on one occasion
  • Dining Room scene (where Renee is reading a book) deleted
  • Luna Lounge scene, the second one where Fred sees Renee and Andy is now only a short flashback
  • Forensic experts examination of the Madison house, deleted
  • complete City Morgue sequence deleted
  • Court Room sequence deleted, voice over only
  • Lingerie Shop sequence, deleted
  • Death row sequence: Death Chamber scene deleted (so we won't hear Scott Ian (from Anthrax) saying: "Don't take it personal, pal")
  • when Fred metamorphoses to Pete there is no cut to Andys house (Raquel and Marian swinging Andy)
  • Sequence after they've found Pete in Freds cell: Scene where Pete is examined by Dr. Rogoff, deleted
  • Johnny Mack looking around in Freds cell, deleted
  • long sequence between Pete, his parents, Dr. Rogoff and the Warden, deleted, we only see Pete's parents enter the Prison (wearing sunglasses)
  • scene inside V's car, Van Nuys Boulevard and Tops Drive In, deleted
  • Dayton House, Pete's parents (smoking a joint) and do not see Pete and vice versa, deleted
  • Pete and Alice followed by a car (Ed and Al), deleted
  • second Tops Drive In sequence (Pete fighting), deleted
  • Sheila calls Pete, deleted
  • Residential street, edge of desert, Alice talking to Houseboy, deleted
  • no sign on highway saying "Lost Highway"
  • Lost Highway Hotel, office sequence deleted

  • Plus the succession of the sequences is sometimes slightly different (mostly due to the deleted scenes)
  • Ed and Al are actually two fifferent detective couples in the movie
    the two detectives in the first part are different from the cops in Petes story (they're named Lou and Hank), and none of them urinates in a coffee cup, all four of them examine Andys house,"Mr Denthead"
There are some more differences between the film and script version which I will add soon, i.e. as soon as I find some time ;-)

David Lynch/ Barry Gifford
Lost Highway

The book contains the screenplay, a David Lynch interview and many beautiful pictures.

Paperback from for $11.16

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© Mike Hartmann