Returning home to visit his father who is in intensive care at the hospital, Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) stumbles upon a human ear he finds in a field. With local police detective Williams and the local police department unable to investigate, Jeffrey and Sandy (Laura Dern), Detective Williams's daughter decide to do their own investigation. But what Jeffrey and Sandy's investigation leads them to discover that a dark underworld exists in their hometown. Jeffrey becomes suspicious of nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini), who is involved with Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), a violent and evil man.
Factual error: Right before Frank humiliates Dorothy for the first time, he blows out one of the gaslights in her apartment. That is never done in real life, for the same reason you would not blow out the pilot in your stove.
Sandy: I don't know if you're a detective or a pervert.
Jeffrey: Well, that's for me to know and you to find out.
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