Dune is a 1984 American epic science fiction film written and directed by David Lynch, based on the 1965 Frank Herbert novel of the same name. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan as young nobleman Paul Atreides, and includes an ensemble of well-known American and European actors in supporting roles. It was filmed at the Churubusco Studios in Mexico City and included a soundtrack by the rock band Toto, as well as Brian Eno.
Set in the distant future, the film chronicles the conflict between rival noble families as they battle for control of the extremely harsh desert planet Arrakis, also known as “Dune”. The planet is the only source of the drug melange—also called “the spice”—which allows prescience, and is vital to space travel, making it the most essential and valuable commodity in the universe.
After the novel’s initial success, attempts to adapt Dune as a film began as early as 1971. A lengthy process of development followed throughout the 1970s, during which Arthur P. Jacobs, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Ridley Scott unsuccessfully tried to bring their visions to the screen. In 1981, executive producer Dino De Laurentiis hired Lynch as director.
The film was negatively reviewed by critics and was a box-office failure, grossing $30.9 million from a $40 million budget. Upon release, Lynch distanced himself from the project, stating that pressure from both producers and financiers restrained his artistic control and denied him final cut privilege. At least three versions have been released worldwide. In some cuts, Lynch’s name is replaced in the credits with the name Alan Smithee, a pseudonym used by directors who wished not to be associated with a film for which they would normally be credited. The extended and television versions additionally credit writer Lynch as Judas Booth. The film has a cult following but opinion varies among fans of the novel.
Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. Joint winner of the 1966 Hugo Award and also winning novel in the inaugural Nebula Awards, Dune is popularly considered one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, and is frequently cited as the best-selling science fiction novel in history. Dune spawned five sequels written by Herbert, and inspired a film adaptation by David Lynch, two mini-series made by the Sci Fi Channel (United States), computer games, board games, and a series of prequels co-written by Brian Herbert, the author’s son, and Kevin J. Anderson.
Dune is set far in the future amidst a sprawling feudal intergalactic empire where planetary fiefdoms are controlled by noble Houses that owe allegiance to the Imperial House Corrino. The novel tells the story of young Paul Atreides, heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and scion of House Atreides, as he and his family relocate to the planet Arrakis, the universe’s only source of the spice melange. In a story that explores the complex interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, the fate of Paul, his family, his new planet and its native inhabitants, as well as the Padishah Emperor, the powerful Spacing Guild, and the secretive female order of the Bene Gesserit, are all drawn together into a confrontation that will change the course of humanity.
The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Analog from 1963 to 1965 as two shorter works, Dune World and The Prophet of Dune. Herbert’s dedicatory remarks were, “to the people whose labors go beyond ideas into the realm of ‘real materials’- to the dry-land ecologists, wherever they may be, in whatever time they work, this effort at prediction is dedicated in humility and admiration.”
- Francesca Annis as Lady Jessica
- Leonardo Cimino as the Baron’s Doctor
- Brad Dourif as Piter De Vries
- José Ferrer as Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV
- Linda Hunt as the Shadout Mapes
- Freddie Jones as Thufir Hawat
- Richard Jordan as Duncan Idaho
- Kyle MacLachlan as Paul Atreides
- Virginia Madsen as Princess Irulan
- Silvana Mangano as Reverend Mother Ramallo
- Everett McGill as Stilgar
- Kenneth McMillan as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
- Jack Nance as Captain Iakin Nefud
- Sian Phillips as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
- Jürgen Prochnow as Duke Leto Atreides
- Paul Smith as the Beast Rabban
- Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck
- Sting as Feyd-Rautha
- Angélica Aragón as Bene Gesserit Sister
- Dean Stockwell as Dr. Wellington Yueh
- Max von Sydow as Dr. Kynes
- Alicia Roanne Witt as Alia Atreides
- Sean Young as Chani
- Danny Corkill (deleted scenes) as Orlop
- Honorato Magalone as Otheym
- Judd Omen as Jamis
- Molly Wryn as Harah, Jamis’ wife
- David Lynch (uncredited) as Spice worker
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The plural word Atreidae or Atreidai (meaning literally “those of Atreus”) refers to Agamemnon and Menelaus, sons of Atreus in English, the Atreides. The term is also used for their children and (less often) for their further descendants.
In the Dune series, Frank Herbert tells the story of Leto, Paul and Leto II of House Atreides, the enemies of the Harkonnen clan. The Atreides claim to trace their ancestry back to the original Atreides of the Trojan War.
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