Wild at Heart - The story of Sailor and Lula

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German title Wild at Heart - The story of Sailor and Lula
Original title Wild at Heart
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1990
length 120 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director David Lynch
script David Lynch
production Steve Golin ,
Monty Montgomery ,
Sigurjon Sighvatsson
music Angelo Badalamenti
camera Frederick Elmes
cut Duwayne Dunham

Wild at Heart - The Story of Sailor and Lula is a road movie by David Lynch from 1990. It is the film adaptation of Barry Gifford 's novel of the same name.


Lula Pace and Sailor Ripley are young lovers. After Sailors was sentenced to prison for killing a man with his bare hands who threatened him with a knife, the two set off on the run. They want to start a new life together. Lula's mother Marietta, on whose behalf the knife attack on Sailor was already carried out, sends her lover Johnnie Farragut, a detective, to track them down. At the same time, without her boyfriend's knowledge, she hires the gang boss Marcello Santos, another "friend of the family", who is supposed to kill Sailor. The background to her murder plans is her involvement in the arson attack that cost her husband his life, and Sailors' possible knowledge of what happened. Even then, Marcello Santos was behind the act, Sailor worked as a driver for him.

Lula and Sailor have no idea of ​​the danger and enjoy their apparent freedom and independence. Only a serious traffic accident that they pass can affect their carelessness. Finally, financially completely burned out, they reach a small town where Sailor still has supposed friends. Bobby Peru, whom he met there, persuaded Sailor to undertake an allegedly completely uncomplicated and safe robbery in which he would earn enough to be able to start the longed-for new life with the now pregnant Lula. Indeed, it is a trap: Peru is acting on behalf of Marcello Santos; Sailor is said to die in this attack. A random police intervention prevents this plan. Bobby Peru shoots his head off his neck in a grotesque way in the hopeless situation, and Sailor comes behind bars again.

After Sailors' imprisonment for several years, the couple are hoping again for a life that they want to start with their son. At first Sailor does not feel up to this role, fears that he will be a burden for Lula and her son, and withdraws. When a short time later he is beaten up by a street gang and collapses unconscious, he realizes that it is he who has to decide which way to go on; He returns to Lula back and sings for her the song Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley , what she has always wanted.


Literature template and further inspiration

Wild at Heart is a film adaptation of the first novel by Barry Gifford's novel series Sailor and Lula . The film Perdita Durango is also based on the "Sailor & Lula" novel series. In Wild at Heart , Perdita Durango is a supporting character played by Isabella Rossellini , then Lynch's partner .

In Auberi Edler's documentary Once Upon a Time ... Wild at Heart , you learn that Wild at Heart is an homage to Victor Fleming's 1939 musical film The Wizard of Oz . During the film's plot, the two main characters Lula Pace and Sailor Ripley often talk about the fairy tale The Wizard of Oz , with the wicked witch of the east flying past on her broomstick in three dream-like scenes in Wild at Heart . In addition, Lula Pace wears red women's shoes, just like the girl Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz . In the scene in which Sailor Ripley and Bobby Peru agree on the planned robbery, the scene appears in a white crystal ball , over which a hand with long black fingernails strokes.

Producer Monty Montgomery originally had the idea for the cinematic implementation of Barry Gifford's novel and wanted to act as a director. However, Montgomery suggested the idea for the film project to his friend David Lynch , who was convinced and took over the direction; Montgomery himself acted as a producer.

In the scene where Lula Pace and Sailor Ripley dance in front of the stage in a music club where the thrash metal band Powermad is playing their song Slaughterhouse , the guitarist wears a white t-shirt from the metal band Gwar ( Rigor Mortis Concert ). The bass player, on the other hand, wears a black T-shirt from the guitar manufacturer PRS Guitars . After a fight with a concert goers Sailor Ripley sings in this scene for his girlfriend the ballad-like song Love Me by Elvis Presley .

In the role of Marietta Fortune, the mother of Lula Pace, the actress Diane Ladd can be seen, the actual mother of actress Laura Dern .


The soundtrack was released in 1990 on CD and LP: on London Records for Great Britain and Europe, on Polydor for the USA and Canada. The title Wicked Game became a top 10 hit in the US, UK and Germany after being used in the film.

Title List :


Like many other David Lynch films, Wild at Heart set a trend and influenced the film landscape. In particular, the film Lulu & Jimi (2008) by German director Oskar Roehler is largely based on Lynch's film, without explicitly naming Lynch or Gifford's literary source.


Wild at Heart was dubbed at Berliner Synchron under the dialogue direction by Clemens Frohmann .

actor German speaker role
Nicolas Cage Rolf Zacher Sailor Ripley
Laura Dern Daniela Hoffmann Lula Pace
Willem Dafoe Thomas Petruo Bobby Peru
Harry Dean Stanton Friedrich Georg Beckhaus Johnnie Farragut
Diane Ladd Kerstin Sanders-Dornseif Marietta Fortune
Isabella Rossellini Susanna Bonaséwicz Perdita Durango
Crispin Glover Matthias Klages Dell
Sherilyn Fenn Dorette Hugo Girl at the scene of the accident
JE Freeman Kurt Goldstein Marcelles Santos


“An operatic mixture of ' amour fou ', gangster story and road movie, staged with a huge amount of images, sound and music , which illuminates the horrible and disgusting sides of life from an ironic fairy tale, but also illuminates lasting human values ​​and the beauties of existence conjures. A not infrequently tasteless collage, which at the same time can be understood as a condensed snapshot of a contemporary view of reality and the world. "

“David Lynch succeeded in creating a love tale full of movie quotes, full of violence and black humor. Cine tip: Crazy trip through the depths of the psyche. "

Quotes from the movie

  • “It's a snakeskin jacket. It is a symbol of my individuality. And my belief in personal freedom. ”
    (Sailor Ripley, played by actor Nicolas Cage, on his extravagant snakeskin jacket)
  • “Sailor, baby. Do you sometimes feel as if you hear the wind and see the wicked witch of the east riding by? "
    (Lula Pace, played by actress Laura Dern, lying in bed after sex with her boyfriend Sailor Ripley)
  • "Damn shit, is this Night of the Living Dead or what? I can't hear that damn radio anymore. I haven't heard so much shit at once in my life. Sailor Ripley, I'll give you two seconds to find a rock station, I can't take it anymore! "
    (Lula Pace, when she drives a convertible with her friend Sailor Ripley and hears shocking reports on bypass operations, child murder, Necrophilia and water pollution)
  • "My dog ​​is barking something. Do you know what kind of dog that is? You can't do that without me telling you what kind of dog I have. Maybe you think it's little Toto from the Wizard of Oz ? But I tell you, my dog ​​is always with me. Woof! "
    (Spinner-Spool, played by actor Jack Nance)
  • “The world has a wild heart and has gone completely crazy. Why don't you sing me Love me tender ? If only I were in the land behind the rainbow. ”
    (Lula Pace to Sailor Ripley)
  • “If you really have a wild heart, then you will fight for your dreams. You mustn't run away from love, Sailor. ”
    (The fairy godmother who appears to Sailor Ripley after being beaten up by a street gang)



  • Kathleen Murphy: David Lynch's sweet bird of arrested development. In: Film Comment 26.1990,6, p. 59
  • James M. Welsh: Wild At Heart. In: Films in Review 41.1990, 11/12, p. 554
  • Bert Olivier: Dislocating the everyday. David Lynch's “Wild at Heart” as cinema of the grotesque. In: South African journal of philosophy 11.1992,4, pp. 96-102
  • Gerhard Bühler: Postmodernism on the screen, on the canvas. Music videos, commercials, and David Lynch's Wild at Heart . Gardez-Verlag, Sankt Augustin 2002. ISBN 3-89796-034-6 (Dissertation University of Heidelberg)
  • Volker Pietsch: Split personality in literature and film. On the construction of dissociated personalities in the works of ETA Hoffmann and David Lynch . Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2008. ISBN 978-3-631-58268-8

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of Approval for Wild at Heart - The Story of Sailor and Lula . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , October 1997 (PDF; test number: 64 509-a KV).
  2. Once upon a time ... Wild at Heart ( Memento of the original from December 31, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Accessed January 13, 2011) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.arte.tv
  3. Chart statistics for "Wicked Game" on chartsurfer.de
  4. http://www.discogs.com/Various-David-Lynchs-Wild-At-Heart-Original-Motion-Picture-Soundtrack/release/411120
  5. a b Wild at Heart - The story of Sailor and Lula. In: synchronkartei.de. German synchronous file , accessed on May 19, 2017 .
  6. Wild at Heart - The Story of Sailor and Lula. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  7. TV magazine TV Spielfilm , No. 14, June 26, 2020: program announcement, TV Spielfilm Verlag GmbH, Hamburg. P. 125