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A Duke's son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father's evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor's rule.


David Lynch


Frank Herbert (novel), David Lynch (screenplay)
249 ( 907)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Francesca Annis ... Lady Jessica
Leonardo Cimino ... The Baron's Doctor
Brad Dourif ... Piter De Vries
José Ferrer ... Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV
Linda Hunt ... Shadout Mapes
Freddie Jones ... Thufir Hawat
Richard Jordan ... Duncan Idaho
Kyle MacLachlan ... Paul Atreides
Virginia Madsen ... Princess Irulan
Silvana Mangano ... Reverend Mother Ramallo
Everett McGill ... Stilgar
Kenneth McMillan ... Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Jack Nance ... Nefud
Siân Phillips ... Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam (as Sian Phillips)
Jürgen Prochnow ... Duke Leto Atreides


In the distant year of 10191, all the planets of the known Universe are under the control of Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV and the most important commodity in the Universe is a substance called the spice "MELANGE" which is said to have the power of extending life, expanding the consciousness and even to "fold space" ; being able to travel to any distance without physically moving. This spice "MELANGE" is said to only be produced in the desert planet of Arrakis, where the FREMEN people have the prophecy of a man who will lead them to true freedom. This "desert planet"of Arrakis is also known as DUNE. A secret report of the space "GUILD" talks about some circumstances and plans that could jeopardize the production of "SPICE" with four planets involved: ARRAKIS, CALADAN, GIEDI PRIME and KAITAIN, a world at least visually very alike to Earth and house of the Emperor of the known Universe. The "GUILD" sends a third stage navigator to KAITAIN to ask details from the Emperor and to demand him ... Written by David del Real ---@DavidRealActor----

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A world where the mighty, the mad, and the magical will have their final battle. See more »


12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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USA | Mexico



Release Date:

2 May 1985 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Duin See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (special edition) | (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sir Patrick Stewart and Max Von Sydow have done voice work for games from The Elder Scrolls franchise. Stewart in Oblivion (2006) and Von Sydow in Skyrim (2011). See more »


When Paul prepares to ride the worm he is surrounded by Stilgar and other warriors in the desert, some of them having red paint on their shoulders identifying them as the "Fedaykin". AFTER the worm riding scene however, Stilgar is seen putting red paint on those same warriors and pronouncing them Fedaykin in a ceremony. This indicates those two scenes were filmed in reverse chronological order but edited together incorrectly. See more »


[first lines]
Princess Irulan: A beginning is a very delicate time. Know then, that it is the year 10191. The known universe is ruled by the Padisha Emperor Shaddam IV, my father. In this time, 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 Spacing Guild and its navigators, who the spice has mutated over four-thousand years, use the orange spice gas, which gives them the ability to fold space. That...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gurney's Baliset is Based on "The Stick" Created by Emmett Chapman See more »

Alternate Versions

Japanese Laserdisc boxset TV version correct feature running time is actually 176min 34 sec despite being cited as 189 mins. This is due to the fact that the end of Part 1 (side 2) has the closing credits 3 mins 27 secs, and the intro to Part 2 (side 3) has a summary of Part 1 using repeated footage of 6 mins 41 secs. Part 2 (side 4) has same closing credits of 3 mins 27 secs. The laserdisc has the same Prologue as the TV version available on Castle Home video release and appears to be the same version as on the DVD. See more »


Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Kamandi at Earth's End #1 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Outland Empire
21 October 2012 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Say what you will about incoherence, this is more sensuous than any Star Wars. In fact, it is the most expensive 'tripping' ever produced in film - though far from the most satisfying.

It helps to know the book and forget it as you watch this. Not being familiar with the book, you're left with a disjointed tapestry of weird costumes and special effects, some of them impressive, but if you are, and don't have to burden yourself with following the constantly clumsy explanation of the multifaceted Dune universe, you can enjoy this as illustration of a few core ideas.

Herbert's novel was the product of strange and powerful times. The US public was experiencing the Civil Rights upheaval, its short-lived infatuation with Islam and meditation, and the same year as the book came out, LSD had spilled out of some top-secret government labs into the streets and youth culture of San Francisco. The first satellite images of Earth had just been published. The Black Panthers had entered the vernacular.

So all the stuff about prescient visions, mentats and mastering mind, (herbally) expanded consciousness as the tool to the navigation and 'folding' of space, Herbert wrote with one eye on the Jordan Belson, Beatles and Maharishi crowd - the generation between noir and Lucas that for a brief time projected truths into constructed cosmologies.

Herbert was more erudite than most. But he was caught under the same spell - the expectation of a noble jihad of the people and wise lamas from the East coming to teach 'the way'. And you can tell that he was exposed to Eastern thought through Jungians, by his laboriously constructed mythology and (now trite) focus on a Chosen One's journey.

Lynch was a late bloomer in that scene. To my knowledge, he fell in with what was being marketed as 'transcendental meditation' in his AFI years, during filming of Eraserhead. I don't know what they practice behind closed doors - my interest lies with the Chinese model and they seem cultish to me. But, there's no doubt to me that he passed on the Lucas gig, thinking he was going to work on a vision of some power.

The film outright fails because the scope of the book is too big (to think that Hobbit is being stretched into a trilogy these days), and because he lacked the right collaborators and probably the predisposition to make an 'action' Dune.

Now Jodorowsky's Dune would have been something to see, probably as cumbersome about spirituality but much more organic. But, it's worth noting a few interesting things about this, in context of how Lynch would expand in later years.

He zeroes in on the transcendental experience of 'awakening the sleeper'. He does so in an obvious manner. Rambaldi's spiceworms as blossoming desert flowers top his visual meditation. And that all of Herbert's pomp and mythological noise works against him submerging the idea.

Keep in mind the Chinese notion - from the Tao Te Ching - that the 'soft beats the hard', stressed twice in the film even though no one actually fights in the Chinese style. Discard everything that is hard, from the crass Harkonnen to the acting style (mentat Dourif!) to the sophomoric rousing of Fremen rebellion, laser battles and final redemption.

The one part that is soft is at House Atreides, the preparation for Dune. What is there? Familiar dynamics - it is soap opera if you take out the costumes. Premonitions of murder and telepathic wiring with a fabric behind reason. A woman with her box of illusory sensations. A space flight through the doors of perception.

It's heady. None of it really works, because Herbert's synchretic universe is not one of internal martial arts, what we see matters. But does any of it remind you of a David Lynch film you know?

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