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Mulholland Drive


  • German Blu-ray / DVD
  • US Blu-ray (Criterion)
Release: Jun 21, 2020 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the German Blu-ray by Concorde and the American Blu-ray by Criterion Collection.


David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, released in 2001, is certainly one of the most interesting works of the exceptional director, especially visually it is still a powerhouse. The lesbian love scenes between the leading actresses Naomi Watts and Laura Harring are also notorious. Both present themselves bare-breasted up here and Harring can also be seen in full glory in one shot.

It is probably not possible to verify 100% how it looked like in the cinema back then, but on VHS and DVD this scene was censored on all worldwide known releases with a blur effect over her genital area. Allegedly, this was initiated by Lynch himself, because he wanted to prevent such nude shots of the actress from circulating. In the bonus interview with Laura Harring on the Criterion Blu-ray she also mentions that Lynch promised her not to show her "fully exposed" in the nude scenes.

It was already noticeable with the Blu-ray released in Germany in 2011 that the scene was now also heavily darkened. The blur effect was still visible on closer inspection, but it was much less noticeable than on the DVD. In 2015, Criterion then released a new 4K restoration in the US. The scene in question is also darkened, but at least on closer inspection it is noticeable that the blur effect is no longer present. In addition to this, other curious mini deviations were revealed, mostly in the form of altered crossfades.

Runtimes are ordered as follows: German Blu-ray / American Blu-ray

Other logos at the beginning.

US-Blu-ray 22,9 sec longer

German Blu-rayUS Blu-ray

00:35-00:37 / 00:58-01:00

After the credits, the very first silhouette shot on the US Blu-ray starts a bit earlier and you see a musician here. Then, the German Blu-ray fades into black, also here the silhouette is better visible in the US at the beginning.

No time difference

German Blu-rayUS Blu-ray

02:34-02:35 / 02:57-02:58

The pillow can be seen for just under a second longer on the German Blu-ray, while the US Blu-ray dims black correspondingly earlier.

No time difference

59:36-59:40 / 59:59-60:03

As the door is closed and moved to the side, the US Blu-ray zooms in a little closer in the middle of the shot. As a result, the picture is black a little earlier as the camera reaches the door frame. With the German Blu-ray, the camera movement goes through there in one go and thus the picture is never completely black at any moment. Thus, the US takes a short black picture timeout here and at this point, in contrast to the German Blu-ray, it looks more like a change of location.

No time difference

German Blu-rayUS Blu-ray

99:06-99:10 / 99:29-99:33

Rita pulls the dress down while walking to the bed. The picture is already quite darkened here, but you can still see the blur effect. On the small screenshots it's difficult to show, but with a contemporary screen diagonal this can be seen without any problems.

In the master of the US Blu-ray, the effect is no longer present, although you can hardly see anything more precise at the critical point in the dark picture anyway. In these screenshots, one also notices the slightly deviating, larger image detail on the sides in the German Blu-ray.

No time difference

German Blu-rayUS Blu-ray

Here, the US master by Criterion in a subsequently brightened version. As far as we know, the film has never been released in such a brightened and uncensored form. Thus, the comparison shots only serve as a confirmation that the blur effect in this dark part of the picture in the American HD-master is in fact no longer present.

US Blu-ray - OriginalUS Blu-ray - extremely brightened

Last but not least, some screenshots of the old German DVD. Here the shot was not that darkened. This was accompanied by the blur effect (which was identical in all earlier home cinema releases), but it was all the more obvious.

107:56 / 108:19

It's hard to say whether this is a conscious alteration or just a feature of the largely similar, but sometimes evenly matched colour scheme of Criterion's American Blu-ray master: the man on stage keeps a natural skin colour there a little longer, just before he disappears.

No time difference

German Blu-rayUS Blu-ray

128:17-128:19 / 128:40-128:42

The Mulholland Drive shield can be seen somewhat earlier in the American Blu-ray, while it remains black in the German Blu-ray. When it then flickers, the German Blu-ray is also still extremely blurred in some frames.

No time difference

German Blu-rayUS Blu-ray

138:16-138:18 / 128:39-128:41

After the scene in the restaurant, the crossfade is a little extended in the case of American Blu-ray: Betty fades out a little later.

No time difference

German Blu-rayUS Blu-ray