Dune

 (13,655)
6.32 h 17 min1984X-RayPG-13
Director David Lynch's controversial film version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel of political intrigue, giant sand worms and a gallery of bizarre scenes and grotesque characters.
Directors
David Lynch
Starring
Kyle MacLachlanStingFrancesca Annis
Genres
Science FictionDramaEPGAdventureAction
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Leonardo CiminoBrad DourifJose FerrerLinda HuntFreddie JonesRichard JordanVirginia MadsenSilvana ManganoEverett McGillKenneth McMillanJack NanceSian PhillipsJurgen ProchnowPaul L. SmithPatrick StewartDean Stockwell
Producers
Raffaella DelaurentiisRaffaella De Laurentiis
Studio
UNIVERSAL PAY TELEVISION
Rating
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Foul languagesexual contentviolence
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

13655 global ratings

  1. 73% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

M. G WatsonReviewed in the United States on June 2, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Bad Opera (GREAT bad opera)
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In 1984, my dad took me to see DUNE at a big theater in Washington, D.C. As we sat down, an usher passed out one-page "glossaries of terms" for the film's terminology. Though only twelve years old, I was already a veteran moviegoer (we probably saw 50 movies a year as a family when I was growing up, not including matinee rewatches) and remembered thinking, "Uh-oh...since when does a film need a glossary?" I'd never seen anything like that before. I never saw anything like that since. But that's David Lynch's take on DUNE. It's unique. And the "Extended Edition" in this pretty steel case is even more unique.

DUNE was an almost incredibly deep science-fiction work by Frank Herbert which developed a rabid cult following and finally became the best-selling sci-fi novel of all time. Eccentric director David Lynch was tapped to helm what its producers hoped would be another "Star Wars" - style mega-hit. He tackled the intimidating task of cramming an enormous and intricate universe into a single movie by making the most lavish, operatic film you've ever seen. It's bad opera, but it's SO lavish, and so curiously sincere, that it too has developed a rabid cult following. I don't know if I belong to the cult, but I respect those who do. The book DUNE sucked you in with the complexity of its creative surround; this movie does the same, but on a largely visual level. If I can use a different metaphor, it's like that scene in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" when our famished heroes sit down to the royal banquet and get served fried insects, live snakes, and monkey heads. The food is weird and disgusting, but it's served on silver platters and white linen, and all the cutlery is gold.

DUNE is set in the distant, distant future, when humanity spans the entire galaxy and is theoretically ruled by the corrupt and devious Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV and his terrifying legions of Sarduakar. Balancing the emperor's might are the Great Houses, the hereditary rulers of each individual planet in the imperium, each with its own army. The most valuable substance in the universe is the spice melange, a substance which extends life and gives prescient powers to those who take it in large quantities, but also allows spaceships to "fold space" and travel instantaneously anywhere in the galaxy, "traveling without moving." This substance is found on only one planet, Arrakis, known as Dune because its a giant desert. At the story's opening, the emperor schemes to destroy a particular house of which he has become jealous, House Atriedes, by throwing his weight behind the Atreides' worst enemy, House Harkonnen.

House Atreides is ruled by the virtuous Duke Leto, his witch-concubine the Lady Jessica, and their teenage son Paul. Although Paul does not know it, he is the end-product of a breeding program 90 generations old, designed by the witch sisterhood the Bene Gesserit, to produce a superhuman being. In the mean time, the Atreides have developed a new battle technique called "the weriding way" which uses sound as a weapon, but the technique is in its infancy when the Emperor orders the Atreides to take over spice-mining from the Harkonnens on Dune. The Atreides know it's a trap, but have no choice but to obey; in any case the Duke hopes to win over the local populace, the fierce desert warriors known as Fremen, to his cause. He suspects the Fremen are the key to holding Dune. Not long after the Atreides arrive, however, they are betrayed from within and largely wiped out in a sneak attack conducted by the Harkonnens and Sarduakar. Only Paul and his mother Jessica survive, and flee into the deep desert. They soon join the Fremen, who are awed by the fighting abilities Paul and his witch-mother possess, and accept them into their tribe. Paul, whose powers are growing due to his proximity to so much spice, becomes a religious figure among the Fremen, a warrior-prophet, and, after mastering the secret of "desert power" begins the long bloody process of trying to wrest Dune from Harkonnen control. This guerilla war prompts the exasperated Emperor to openly side with the Harkonnens, and he arrives at the film's climax with his entire army, ready for the showdown. Because, after all, he who controls the spice controls the universe!

If this seems a bit involved for a recap, just imagine everything I left out! DUNE, as a novel, was layered with all sorts of ideas, concepts, and unfamiliar terms. Mentats, sandworms, guild navigators, Bene Gesserit witches, Sarduakar, sword-masters, thumpers, body shields, Suk doctors, Great Houses, the Landsraad, CHOAM, the spice, etc., etc. What's more, much of the book is written via internal monologue, which is a very tricky thing to translate to film. David Lynch manfully attempted to drag as many of these concepts into the movie as possible, including many sequences in which we can hear the characters' thoughts, and probably did too good of a job; he overloaded the 127 minutes of the theatrical version to the point where it could barely move...hence the "glossary" I got as a twelve year-old. What's more, it's fairly evident that a great deal more time was spent on the costume and production design than on the script, which is horribly clunky and often falls out of the actors' mouths like wet wooden blocks. Though the movie is positively jam-packed with talent (Kyle Maclachlan, Juergen Prochnow, Jose Ferrer, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, Dean Stockwell, Sting, Kenneth McMillan, Virginia Madsen, Freddie Jones, Brad Dourif, Max von Sydow, etc., etc.) one gets the sense some of the cast just didn't know what the hell they were doing or how to approach doing it. Some scenes are terribly over-acted, almost to the point of silent movie style emoting. The final theatrical product is a bold, brassy mess of a movie, visually often stunning, intellectually charismatic, but executed in such an eccentric, awkward style that it's just bizarre...too weird for most people to enjoy.

After DUNE bombed -- if it wasn't a bomb, it was certainly a disappointment critically and commercially -- many people voiced the opinion that a longer version with less choppy editing and a more fleshed-out story would have worked wonders. So a massive 176 minute version, incorporating many deleted sequences as well as a completely different opening with much more exposition and backstory, was put together and released on television. I watched this when it came out, and was very intrigued by the added sequences, some of which -- like the dining-room scene where Gurney Halleck plays his balliset, or where Feyd-Rautha stuffs the Atreides insignia into Dr. Yeuh's mouth, or the fight scene between Jamis and Paul -- would have helped the story flow more smoothly together had they been shown in the theater. Unfortunately, others, like some of the scenes where Paul is taught Fremen mysteries, are so badly written as to be embarrassing. Everett McGill was saddled with nearly all the film's worst lines, and one gets a sense that Lynch was aware of this, for he made sure to employ McGill (and Machlachan) in TWIN PEAKS. A few sequences, like the throne-room confrontation at the opening of the movie, both gain and lose by the changes: some of the takes used in the Extended Edition are worse than in the Theatrical, but they reveal more information. One thing that particularly annoyed me was that even though this version is 39 minutes longer, it has several cuts -- the Baron's infamous "heart plug" assault on one hapless Harkonnen minion is cut out, as is the sequence where he spits on Lady Jessica's face. So amidst all the addition there are some subtle subtractions meant to make the film more palatable to a TV audience.

It is well known that David Lynch wanted nothing to do with the Extended Addition and had his name taken off it, hence the "Alan Smithee" at the beginning. And truth be told, it's not an easy film to watch at one sitting. It's slow and heavy and sometimes quite incomprehensible, and while you can be visually seduced by the uniforms, gadgets, sets and props, it takes a better man than me to sit through some of it with a straight face (or open eyes). Having said that, if you watched the Theatrical version of DUNE and felt frustrated by what seemed to be missing, or are a hardcore fan of the film period, you pretty much have to own this version. It contains enough extra material to more than pay for itself and as I've said, some of the added stuff is well worth watching. This is one bad opera that will have you coming back for more.
466 people found this helpful
C. JonesReviewed in the United States on September 23, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best version yet!
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First I'll give you a very short review of the movie. If you're already a fan, skip to part two where I talk about which version to get.

1) This movie has a fanatical cult following for good reason. You will not find visuals like this in any other movie out there. the sets, costumes, and special effects are all incredible. You have never seen anything like this, I guarantee you.

Imagine Lawrence of Arabia in space while on drugs, except *more*. More *everything.* It's like someone ran through all of human history, grabbed everything that looked the coolest, and fashioned it into a seamless, beautifully crafted tableau.

It is definitely hard to follow (I recommend reading the book beforehand--it's simply one of the best works of science fiction extant), but the fact that it's a hot baroque mess is part of its charm. If you love visually intense directors like David Lynch, this is definitely your jam.

~

2) So there are a million versions of this movie out there, and on Amazon it's no exception. I own six copies of this movie. All of them are different versions.

I got the Dune Extended Edition with the yellow "PG" rating in the lower left corner this time around because the DVD in the metal case version got messed up somehow. I expected it to be the same version. It isn't. Unlike every other copy of this movie I own, this version has had the lighting cleaned up. You can actually see everything. No more moody shadows obscuring the beautiful sets! While I adore the mood lighting in other versions, if you really want to get the full impact, this version is the one to get
165 people found this helpful
Lisa BaryschpolecReviewed in the United States on April 16, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
So much was cut from this version...
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This version has been hacked to pieces and bears little resemblance to the original full uncut movie....Recommendation don't watch this version.. The original movie gets a 4.. This version 1..

I don't know who is cutting these movies but this is the second one I've watched on Amazon and both where hacked to bits and ruined
118 people found this helpful
James W. AndersonReviewed in the United States on April 2, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
If you love it, you'll love this even more. If you hate it? Well...
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This movie is one of those you either love or you hate. The studios took a big leap of faith when they hired David Lynch to direct this big screen adaptation of the classic novel, and apparently there was much conflict behind the scenes that contributed to the sometimes disjointed storytelling. Plus, the director might have been overly ambitious trying to realize parts of Frank Herbert's vision of life in the year 10191, and this movie, made in 1984, shows the limitations of Hollywood special effects at that time, before Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) transformed the industry. Still, I personally enjoy this film, and this Blu Ray release allows me to see the film in a level of detail I've not seen since I saw it for the first time on opening night many years ago.

There are no added scenes or CG-enhanced scenes that I noticed; this is not the George Lucas Special Edition of "Dune," but rather the original theatrical release, digitally restored and enhanced to look as sharp and colorful as Blu Ray can offer.

I haven't yet looked at any of the additional content included on the disc, or listened to commentary on the disc's secondary audio tracks, but they're there and when I do get to view them I'll update this review with my thoughts. As far as the movie itself, though, I'm proud to say the studio gave it the white glove treatment, and gave to us the very best visual and aural presentation of this now-classic (in my opinion) film.
81 people found this helpful
wrenhunterReviewed in the United States on September 10, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Review of the 4K feature
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This is a review of the 4K transfer only, not the movie (although you have to love the one-line reviews of 30 year old films!).

In brief, it's good not great. I haven't seen other transfers of this film, but I have been watching a lot of older sci-fi in 4K over the past year. Compared to Alien, for example, of the same era and also shot on film, Dune comes up short. Alien looks like it could have been made yesterday, and the surround sound (on a 5.1 DTS system) is superb. (Granted, that disc uses HDR10+ which is also supported by my TV.)

For Dune, the high-def is not really an enhancement. You never forget this was shot on film. Mind you, I love film, but I was hoping for a bit of transformation. The surround sound, again, is OK, but falls short of Alien or the original Star Wars trilogy 4K discs. The special effects still hold up well, particularly the "shield" fighting.

I'm not one for bonus discs, so maybe that might add a star for some folks. If you don't have Dune in digital at all, this set is probably worth it. If you do, maybe think twice.
7 people found this helpful
speedythecatReviewed in the United States on October 12, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Arrow Video 4K
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We have the usual game being played where all reviews for all versions are just slapped together and you have to sort out which review goes with which version. Good luck with that. My review is for the new Arrow Video 4K version that comes in a slim box with book, 2sided poster and lobby cards.

I could complain this doesn’t have the extended cut included. I could, but I’m not. Instead ima slap 5 stars on it because for me it certainly is worthy of 5 stars.

I’m a fan of the movie, and a fan of director David Lynch. So it has everything I need. Lynch won’t put his name on the extended cut, and my understanding is Universal wouldn’t let Arrow use the extended cut. I have the extended cut and I prefer the theatrical. It’s not that big of a deal for me, but vote with your dollar.

The film has never looked better, the package is first rate as most Arrow Video are and it’s truly a pleasure to watch this movie in 4K.

4K discs don’t always wow me compared to standard bluray. This one does. Dolby Vision
5 people found this helpful
H. P.Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
David Lynch’s Dune is gorgeous and epic and weird and I love it
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I recently reread Dune (for the second time, about 15 years after reading it the first time), and I decided to watch David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation for the first time after that.

So what did I think? MAYBE I don’t love it (it does have its issues), I liked it a LOT. In fact, I like it more than the book. It also looks GREAT on blu-ray.

Alright, let’s get started.

And…the movie is dropping a ton of stuff on us in the opening monologue that the book doesn’t reveal until end. Dune is, quite frankly, a damn fine successor to the original Star Wars trilogy, and the opening monologue is sort of the Star Wars opening scroll on drugs. It’s much longer, and Princess Iruna’s face, in a nice hat tip to the chapter openers in the book, fades in and out throughout.

Some people insist that the movie is incomprehensible without having read the book. I’m not so sure. The movie goes to great lengths to lay out exposition very clearly (more than I think is strictly necessary).

Some of the effects are hokey—the shields, for example—but in general they hold up pretty well. ESPECIALLY the worms.

And I LOVE the set design. Every planet is so distinct and odd and cool. The whole thing is outlandish and super baroque and very H.R. Giger-esque. Some of it is just bizarre, sure—Baron Harkonnen flying, the wild Mentat hair and eyebrows—but weird is good.

Perhaps taking a page from the book, the movie makes heavy use of internal monologue. Like, weirdly heavy. Characters frequently think that we they could easily say. It was probably necessary in parts, but Lynch uses it way too much.

The romance with Chani could easily be cut entirely. It adds nothing and is hilariously underdeveloped.

Alia provided the only real ‘Holy s___!’ moment for me reading the book. The weirdness of her character works because it isn’t simple weirdness but is instead a result of a child talking and acting like an adult when everyone expects otherwise. The more straightforward weirdness of movie Alia is meh.

The fights scenes, and especially the final fight, are awful.

Paul’s time with the Fremen is given short shrift. The climax is a bit abrupt as well, if not as bad as the book.

The Dune movie works well enough—very well—but it cuts several plot threads to the bone or rejects them entirely. If Lord of the Rings gets nine hours stretched over three movies, then surely Dune deserved a full three hour movie. This blu-ray cut is a little over two hours, clocking in at 2 hours, 17 minutes according to the back cover. I understand there is a 3-hour cut, but I haven’t heard good things about it. Just because a movie deserves three hours doesn’t mean it benefits from the extra hour. The biggest part of the movie in need of more time and development is Paul’s time with the Fremen. It is maybe the best part of the book, and it gets short shrift here (heck, it gets short shrift in the book). The romance with Chani and the return of Gurney in particular would benefit from this.

All in all, it is gorgeous and weird and epic and, you know what? I do love it—enough to overlook all the flaws.
33 people found this helpful
Curtis W. JacksonReviewed in the United States on April 14, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
1984’s Dune Is Doomed Cinema
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In this film adaption of Frank Herbert's famous science-fiction epic, a young nobleman awakens to become a saving messiah leading a battle against a criminal empire controlling a precious spice harvesting planet nicknamed Dune. The film is dated, over 30 years old; it's my first time seeing it. I did not read the book.
It is evident that the filmmakers put sincere duty to bring Herbert's vision to life. The film is favorably produced with excellent casting, art direction, and set designs. The actors put forth their best effort without busting with laughter from the outrageous dialogue provided.
Director David Lynch's film version is a silly space opera. After decades since its release, Mr. Lynch is embarrassed to list this feature on his resume; I can't blame him. As quickly noted, his screenplay is loaded with lead, overwritten with unnecessary details, narratives, and nearly ceaseless explanations from multiple characters.
Mr. Lynch's staging of scenes isn't award-winning. It is an ideal model of how not to make a film adaption. Alternatively, it may be a visual statement not to try initially; the readers might have a better movie screen in their minds envisioning classic literature.
The film contains violent threats, deaths, aftermaths, battle scenes whereas many persons are killed. There are sexual overtones (some hidden) including same-gender lust. An unmarried couple engaged in passionate kissing, are seen in bed together (no nudity). A married couple briefly practices relations under the covers, apparently unclothed. A man appears bare-chested in costumed underwear. During the film, God is referencing numerous times and "holy war" expressed; it does not mean this a morally suitable movie.
10 people found this helpful
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