- Directors: David Lynch
- Producers: Fred C Caruso
- Writers: David Lynch
- Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
- Actors: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell
Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) returns home from Oak Lake College after his father (Jack Harvey) suffers a near fatal stroke. While walking home from the hospital, he cuts through a vacant lot and discovers a severed ear. Jeffrey takes the ear to Police Detective John Williams (George Dickerson), through whom he meets the detectiveâ€™s daughter, Sandy (Laura Dern). She tells him details about the ear case and a suspicious woman, Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini). Increasingly curious, Jeffrey enters Dorothy’s apartment by posing as an exterminator, and while Dorothy is distracted by a man (Fred Pickler) dressed in a yellow suit at her door, steals her spare key. Jeffrey and Sandy attend Dorothy’s nightclub act at the Slow Club, leaving early so Jeffrey can sneak into her apartment to snoop. He hurriedly hides in a closet when she returns home. However, Dorothy, wielding a knife, finds him and threatens to hurt him. Thinking his curiosity is merely sexual and aroused by his voyeurism, Dorothy makes Jeffrey undress at knifepoint and fellates him. Their encounter is interrupted by a knock at the door, and Dorothy hides Jeffrey in the closet. From there, he witnesses the visitor, Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), inflict his bizarre sexual proclivities â€” which include inhalant, dry humping, and sadomasochism â€” upon Dorothy. Frank is an extremely foul-mouthed, violent sociopath whose orgasmic climax is a fit of both pleasure and rage. Frank has kidnapped Dorothy’s husband and son to force her to perform sexual favors. When Frank leaves, a sad and desperate Dorothy tries to seduce Jeffrey again and demands that he hit her, but when he refuses, she loses interest in sex and asks to be left alone.
Jeffrey insists on returning to Dorothy’s apartment and tells Sandy to send her father there immediately. At Dorothyâ€™s apartment, Jeffrey finds the crudely lobotomized Yellow Man and the dead body of Dorothyâ€™s husband, with a missing ear. When he tries to leave, he sees the well-dressed man coming up the stairs and recognizes him as Frank in disguise. Jeffrey talks to Detective Williams over the police radio, but lies about his location inside the apartment. Frank enters the apartment and brags about hearing Jeffrey’s location over his own police radio. While Frank searches for him in the apartment, Jeffrey retrieves the Yellow Man’s gun and shoots Frank with it. Detective Williams arrives with Sandy in tow. With their lives back to normal, Jeffrey and Sandy, along with Dorothy and her son, are reunited.