Dune (movie)

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Template:Infobox Movie

Dune is a 1984 movie directed by David Lynch, based on the book, Dune, by Frank Herbert, starring among others Kyle MacLachlan and Sting.



(in credited order)


Shot almost entirely in Mexico, the movie is an adaptation of the first part of a series of novels (see Dune (novel)), by Frank Herbert, containing elements from the later parts. The major plot concerned a young man foretold in prophecy as the Kwisatz Haderach who will save a desert planet from the evil race of Harkonnens.

David Lynch originally wanted to create a much longer movie; his 135 page screenplay resulted in a three and a half hour long movie. During post production, though, producer Dino De Laurentiis did not want to risk releasing a 40 million dollar movie that was three hours long, so he had David Lynch cut the film down to 137 minutes.

Box office

This film wasn't the blockbuster science fiction film the filmmakers had hoped, renting only $15 million in its domestic run off an estimated $42 million budget. This might have been due to the complexity of the story and its already excessive length.

Departures from the novel

The film makes numerous departures from the novel, including the following.

  • In the novel, the "Weirding Way", properly termed "prana-bindu training", is a super-martial art form that allows an adept like Paul Atreides to move with lightning speed. The Lynch movie replaces this with "weirding modules" (essentially, sonic guns) that amplify the user's shouts into a destructive force. This change literalizes a moment in the novel in which Paul says his name has become a death-prayer because the Fremen shout "Muad'dib!" before killing an opponent. In the movie, the Fremen actually destroy their enemies by shouting his name, leading Paul to make the remark "my name has become a killing word".
  • The character of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen is diminished so that he contributes less to the story, even in the climactic scene. In the novel, Paul and Feyd get into a dramatic knife-fight. In the movie, there is little fighting in the climax and Feyd is overcome extremely quickly.
  • The movie ends with Paul commanding rain to fall on Arrakis. In the novel, this is accomplished through years of terraforming, and it does not rain for decades after Paul ascends the throne. This is because there is nothing mystical about Paul's powers; he is the product of genetic breeding and training, and could not possibly command the sky to rain on Dune.
  • In the novel, the final line, spoken by Jessica to Chani, is "Those of us who bear the name of concubine, history will remember as wives" (in reference to Paul's marriage to and refusal of Irulan). In the movie, the final line (spoken by Alia) is "He is the Kwisatz Haderach!".

Cult success and revisions

Despite the original complaints by some disgruntled Herbert fans, the movie has become an enormous cult favorite of which at least three different versions of this film have been released:

  • The original theatrical version (137 minutes)--This version is the only director-approved and authorized version. It has been widely found on videocassette and DVD.
  • The Allen Smithee Version (approx. 190 minutes)--The less-seen 3 hour "Allen Smithee" version is a cult classic on its own. Prepared originally for syndicated television (and later seen on basic cable networks), it has just been released into some markets (including Canada and Europe) on DVD. The missing footage includes a painted montage at the prologue, and some scenes added back into the mix, including the "little-maker" essence-of-spice scene. The TV version was edited almost haphazardly (for example, certain shots were repeated throughout the film to give the impression that footage had been added). Lynch objected to these edits and had his name removed from the credits of the TV print (his name remains on the theatrical print as it is the only version authorized by the director).
  • The Channel 2 Version (approx. 180 minutes)--KTVU, a San Francisco, CA Fox affiliate, pieced together a hybrid edit of the two previous versions for broadcast in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1992. It is essentially the TV version with all the violence of the theatrical version reincorporated into the film proper.


The film inspired a praised series of video games, including Emperor: Battle for Dune, by Cryo Interactive and Westwood games. Westwood also published Dune 2000, which featured live actors (including John Rhys-Davies as the Atreides mentat), in cut-scenes. The ground-breaking games were obviously inspired by, and are faithful to, the Lynch movie. It was also recently remade as a three part miniseries for the Sci-Fi Channel and later released on video/DVD.

See also: All Dune universe articles

Other Topics

List of fiction inspired by Dune

External links


fr:Dune (film) it:Dune (film) nl:Dune pl:Diuna (film) sl:Dune (film)


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