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The 50 Greatest American Independent Movies
Empire celebrates Independence Day the independent way

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25. Blue Velvet (1986)

Blue Velvet

Director: David Lynch

After being critically slapped around for Dune, you could have forgiven David Lynch if he’d never wanted to make another film again. Thank your lucky stars, then, that Lynch is an optimist at heart. For Blue Velvet he again placed his trust in Dune overseer, Dino De Laurentis, who afforded him final cut in exchange for a two hour movie made for less than $6 million. The result is, of course, a strangely personal journey back to a seemingly more innocent time both in Lynch’s own childhood and America as a whole. Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern are the peachy-keen, wholesome couple colliding with life’s underbelly, but it’s Dennis Hopper who not only steals the show, but dry-humps it at knifepoint. It’s an icon of American cinema - and of Americana - and a shining example of why some artists should be left to their own devices.
 

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Your Comments

1 Love it but...
Great list and of course there is no way to fit in more in a list of just 50. I'm missing Badlands on this one. It's a masterpiece and probably Malick's best. More

Posted by scparegien on Tuesday August 20, 2013, 15:55

2 No documentaries?
Great list, but would have liked some documentaries on the list. Fantastic with inclusion of 'In Search of a Midnight Kiss', but would have liked to see 'Zero Day' (http://indiemondo.com/zero-day/) on the list as well. More

Posted by indiemondo.com on Saturday June 15, 2013, 19:23

3 Great Feature Film Shot On DSLR
Hot New Indie Film "STEEL CHAMBER" (Suspense/Thriller) You Can Play A Major Role In Its Success! Watch Trailer: http://tinyurl.com/SteelChamberMovie Get Behind This Indie Film! More

Posted by bobbywash on Monday April 15, 2013, 07:15

4 RE: I booked Christopher Cross
Support for that? More

Posted by elab49 on Monday April 1, 2013, 10:09

5 I booked Christopher Cross
A great list, but most of these are unavailable to stream on Netflix. This is quite lame. It's time for these studios and distributors to ante up and accept the fact that most people are not going to purchase DVD's anymore. More

Posted by TikiMan on Sunday March 31, 2013, 05:02

6 The best of the best is not on this list
I've seen the vast majority of the movies on this list, and I agree that they all belong on the list. But, in my opinion the best independent movie of all time is: Special (2006). More

Posted by jay.baker on Sunday January 20, 2013, 03:53

7 What the hell?
Most of the list was correct, but the fact you forgot Halloween is amazing. That had a very low budget and it helped pave the way for other horror indies (like the Last House On the Left, or Friday the 13th). More

Posted by RicoDiGiorgio on Friday November 23, 2012, 17:21

8 RE:
Fine list which makes makes me want to watch a lot of those films. One MAJOR flaw to the list which is I think is a crime: Where the hell is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? More

Posted by R W on Monday July 4, 2011, 13:13

9 RE: The 50 Greatest American Independent Movies
A well-considered list; although I'm sure many will question why their favourites etc aren't on there. With this in mind, here's a cursory handful worth looking into if the American Indie list there gets anyone interested: The Living End (Gregg Araki) Gummo (Harmony Korine) Ken Park (Larry Clark) More

Posted by Keyser_So_So on Monday July 4, 2011, 01:32

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