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Dune (1984)

December. 14,1984
| Adventure Action Science Fiction

In the year 10,191, the most precious substance in the universe is the spice Melange. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel. The spice exists on only one planet in the entire universe, the vast desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. Its native inhabitants, the Fremen, have long held a prophecy that a man would come, a messiah who would lead them to true freedom.


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Ok the special effects are from the 80s but the storyline is just amazing. The film inspired me to read all the books. If you are a sci-fi fan this has to be in your top 5

Henrik Erlandsson

David Lynch did good with what was a rather dusty book at its release in the 60s; it reads (and therefore views) like Buck Rogers slash English costume drama after decades of much more modern Sci-fi greats, and doesn't satisfy.Herbert displays lack of knowledge in the field, and in pulp this was compensated for by fantasy, but as with pulp this too lacked innovation - with one exception: the Sandworms. They became truly iconic; the concept, established. The Spice was stolen from Asimov like much else in the 60s; there's some attempt at politics but it never takes off beyond quarreling families, medieval style.After Star Trek made the movies (also without knowledge in the field) and the partially mature/partially childish Space Fantasy of Star Wars, this movie came at exactly the wrong time (and, essentially over a decade too late).A few memorable scenes, but you will want to know that you want to watch this to have the patience to stay for the duration. It's educational in that it tells the story of an immature mind; the writer.


One of the fundamental errors in the film is that a great novel of ~600 pages with appendixes on planetary ecology, religious systems etc. has been boiled down to a 2 hour movie. The story is told way too quickly, and several great discoveries in the novel are just given away in the film. At some point it felt like I was watching a trailer for a tv series... Stuff that is essential to the original story has been left out, e.g. Paul's visions on the coming jihad and his struggle with it, the death of Paul's son, etc. The resulting gaps have often been filled with totally idiotic crap.If you are interested in the Dune saga, please read the books. Do not be led to believe that this movie is what the saga is about. I would have rate 1/10 but for the great scene with Patrick Stewart and a pug.


This could have been a great movie! The beginning and really, all of the footage up until the Baron is introduced, even the poor casting of Piter, is really great. The movie went completely downhill for me with the introduction of the Baron Harkonnen. In the book he is hugely obese and requires the suspensors to hold up his weight as his legs can no longer carry his weight. He is described in the book as: "grossly and immensely fat' with a "basso voice." He is ruthless and cruel, but also extremely intelligent and cunning and talented at manipulating others and exploiting their weaknesses. In this movie, for some unknown reason, he is given these horrific sores and a character called 'the doctor' added to disgustingly pick at and suck out the nastiness, which the Baron then flies up to the holding tank of this and lets the contents of his sores pore over his face. GAH!! WTF?? I didn't know those terms when I saw this movie when it first came out. But wished that I had. I saw absolutely NO reason for what they did to the character of the Baron. It was one of the things that really went a long way toward ruining the film. Things that saved it were some of the scenes that so closely followed the book...like the desert scenes with the worms. I was so excited to see the movie because I had read the book in high school and was so anxious to see it brought to life. Then they added the 'heart plug' nonsense. It is like they thought us so stupid that we couldn't accept the fact that he was a horrible person without giving him sores. I don't know if this is what people have called a homophobic attempt to make him disgusting because he was homosexual, or if it was simply an attempt to make him even more disgusting than weighing 1000 pounds or so would make him, but both his character and Beast Rabban were made so ridiculous, that when they are plotting together and the Baron tells him to squeeze the population of Dune, he says, "yes, Baron" almost like they are villains on a very poorly written episode of the original Batman TV show complete with BooHooWaaahahahaha laughter. Also, the casting of Sting was ridiculous. We got no background on his character at all other than what the Baron wanted for him. None of the scenes that showed him to be a flawed but important adversary for Paul. They are supposed to be approximately the same age. In the book, Paul is 15 at the beginning of the story, 17 by the end and Feyd is approx. the same age. They were supposed to be a mated pair in the Bene Gesserit breeding program and would have been if Jessica had not had a male baby instead of a female as directed. I didn't care for the 'weirding modules' either. Once again another attempt at complicated simplification because the weirding way described in the book is more a form of martial arts and David Lynch didn't want 'Kung Fu' on the sands. Still, that was another thing that I could overlook. However...the ending. Paul making it rain...PLEASE! Especially when I learned that the ending had been filmed as written...with Paul marrying the Princess Irulan (only in name, as Chani was still Paul's mate and became his 'concubine' as Jessica had been his father's true love, but not his wife), the Emperor exiled to his own prison planet, and Paul becoming the new Emperor of the known universe. It sets up the next chapter in the series and is so important. Paul did fulfill the Fremen's prophecy, but he was not a God. He couldn't make it rain. He fulfilled the prophecy, because it had been implanted in the Fremen culture by the Bene Gesserit generations earlier just in case the Kwizatz Haderach (sp) appeared somewhere down the line. The missionaria protectiva as it was called in the book. It was Bene Gesserit practice to create religions to suit their own ends and the Fremen were set up to receive a 'super being.' His ability to see into the future was his power. He was genetically manipulated to be able to do this. All of this being ignored and the ridiculous scene of it raining at the end. I wanted to throw my popcorn at the screen!! All that aside, when I saw the extended version on television the first time it was run, I was stunned by how much better it made the movie. So many things that had been left out, making the movie that much more confusing. The fact that all of these scenes were shot, and then cut tells us that those in charge of cutting the final film weren't interested in telling the best version of the story, but in time constraints. I don't blame Lynch for being absolutely appalled at the final cut of the movie and the betrayal of any vision or collaboration between him and Frank Herbert. Frank Herbert was mostly just satisfied to see his creation brought to life, but was dismayed mostly by the same things that I was...especially the ending. When you consider all of the money spent to make this movie and all of the sets and a fine cast (who did a really good job with what they were given), it is just appalling that the final cut is what it is. So many of the important scenes that were left out, were shot!! That is the thing that is the most distressing. I wish that Lynch would make a directors cut. I would watch a 4 hour version. Happily! I would love to see the correct ending restored. I know that there wasn't an alternate Baron shot, but I could get past that. One other scene always makes me mad. The scene where Paul and Jessica are getting out of the crashed 'thopter' in the desert and Jessica says, completely randomly and having no relationship to anything happening, "A million deaths are not enough for Yueh!" That line actually comes from one of the little poems or short references to one of Irulan's future history books as introductions to each chapter in the book. So to insert that dialogue completely out of any context was another WTF moment! Also, making Jessica so whiny. She was Bene Gesserit and although distraught at the death of the Duke, she holds it together until she and Paul are in the tent after they are relatively 'safe' for a brief time before they meet the Fremen. Then she lets her grief out, but her stumbling after Paul was just infuriating. Her character was so much more complex than they made her. Paul was, too. So much potential...it could have been a great movie! As is it is only mediocre. I still always watch it if I stumble across it and reading that there has been an extended version released on DVD, I will probably buy it and just skip over the scenes with the Baron, as I always do when I watch it. I usually turn if off after the Baron is sucked into the worm as well. Not in the book, but fitting...especially the changed Baron as depicted in the film. .