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LAURA + VERTIGO = TWIN PEAKS

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Dewey1960
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LAURA + VERTIGO = TWIN PEAKS

Postby Dewey1960 » June 2nd, 2007, 3:39 pm

LAURA + VERTIGO = TWIN PEAKS ??

Recently I had the opportunity to revisit David Lynch's groundbreaking early 1990s television series TWIN PEAKS and it reawakened a curiously speculative notion I had about the original sources of the director's inspiration. It seems there are many large doses of Preminger's LAURA (1944) and Hitchcock's VERTIGO (1958) integrated into the deepest inner workings of Lynch's modern classic--too many and too specific in fact to casually dismiss as merely coincidental.

Take the first name of the girl the entire mystery of TWIN PEAKS revolves around--Laura (as in Palmer) whose lifeless body is discovered by the lakeshore, wrapped in a plastic bag. It is her horrifying death, much like the violent death of Laura Hunt in LAURA, that brings a curiously obsessed lawman (Kyle MacLachlan in TWIN PEAKS, Dana Andrews in LAURA) to conduct similarly unorthodox investigations. Remember too, the hypnotic portrait of Laura Palmer behind the closing credits of each episode of TWIIN PEAKS, not unlike the beautiful portrait of Laura Hunt that looms hauntingly over Dana Andrews throughout LAURA.

The mysterious linkage betwixt these films deepens when Laura Palmer's twin cousin (!) turns up--a woman named Madeleine FERGUSON, who looks just like Laura Palmer (both young women, of course, played by Sheryl Lee). In Hitchcock's VERTIGO, MADELEINE Elster is the name of the coolly detached blonde (played by Kim Novak) who claims to be haunted by the spirit of a dead woman. Soon after, she winds up falling in love with a policeman (James Stewart) whose name is Scotty FERGUSON. Furthermore, MADELEINE is presumed to be dead in VERTIGO only to turn up again as a very alive look-alike named Judy Barton (also Novak) in a brunette wig. Halfway through LAURA we come to realize all isn't exactly what it seems and that suddenly the detective (Andrews) has the chance to fulfill his morbid fantasy, just as Scotty Ferguson has a chance to remake Judy into the image of Madeleine by dressing her differently and dying her hair. (Whew! Are you still with me?)

It gets stranger still. In all three films, the policemen are compulsively pulled into the private dramas of "deceptively deceased" beautiful women and feel either outright romantic yearnings (as with Andrews and Stewart) or faint stirrings (MacLachlan). And in both VERTIGO and TWIN PEAKS, the detectives have disturbing dreams about their women that are brimming with visual clues that will ultimately prove invaluable to solving the mystery. (In LAURA, Dana Andrews also has a dream, falling into a drunken sleep next to Laura's portrait, although we are never shown the visions of that dream.)

Other interesting and indisputably baffling links: In VERTIGO, Madeleine wears a broach that later becomes a major clue. In TWIN PEAKS, the jewelry theme is carried out with a broken locket that was worn by Laura Palmer on the night of her death. In TWIN PEAKS there's a mysterious mynah bird named Waldo, who just happened to be at the scene of Laura Palmer's murder. Waldo is in the office of a veterinarian named Lydecker. In LAURA, Clifton Webb famously plays WALDO LYDECKER, who is madly in love with Laura Hunt and is insanely jealous of any other man who comes near her. Music plays an important element in both LAURA and TWIN PEAKS. When someone puts on a record in LAURA, out comes David Raksin's main theme music; when a record player spins or a radio comes on in TWIN PEAKS it's the melancholy theme by Angelo Badalamenti.

Thanks for indulging me in my rambling ruminations. Perhaps on some rainy Sunday afternoon you might want to watch a double feature of LAURA and VERTIGO and then follow it up with a total immersion in the entire run of David Lynch's wonderfully weird TWIN PEAKS.

-Dewey
Last edited by Dewey1960 on June 3rd, 2007, 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mrsl
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Postby mrsl » June 2nd, 2007, 4:57 pm

Sounds interesting Dewey. If I ever have the chance, I might rent the series of Twin Peaks, if nothing other than to note the similarities.

Anne
Anne


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Dewey1960
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Re: LAURA + VERTIGO = TWIN PEAKS

Postby Dewey1960 » June 3rd, 2007, 6:11 am

John, before TWIN PEAKS I was always lukewarm on LAURA; now I find it considerably more watchable. TP has also enchanced my appreciation for VERTIGO, which I have always enjoyed, only now more so!
Last edited by Dewey1960 on June 8th, 2007, 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

filmlover
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Postby filmlover » June 6th, 2007, 3:53 pm

Dewey, that is an excellent analysis, and I think you are on to something. I never noticed the resemblances before but it does seem to be more than coincidental. And I don;t want to give away any surprises in each, but look at the killers and their connection to the person killed in Vertigo and Twin Peaks.

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Dewey1960
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Postby Dewey1960 » June 6th, 2007, 4:56 pm

Hi - thanks for your comments. But I'm not entirely clear about that connection... I will ponder further.

(ponder time)

Yes, now I see what you mean! Ouch!


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