Present Tense: On Dennis Hopper’s Out of the Blue (1980)

My new column for Film Comment is about Dennis Hopper’s wild and nihilistic Out of the Blue, starring Linda Manz, in a definite high watermark for performances by teenagers. She’s an icon, and WAS an icon to me when I was a kid, due to her appearance in a TV movie called Orphan Train (which I wrote up as a novelization, old-timers will remember). I didn’t see Days of Heaven until I was an adult, nor did I see Out of the Blue until I was an adult (and Out of the Blue is very hard to find. It’s almost never screened. Once you see it, you will understand why. This movie is tough, scary, and brutal).

Additionally: I chose to write about this movie not just because it’s great (although that too) but because next week is Elvis Week and … while there are many movies haunted by Elvis (Mystery Train, True Romance, Bubba Ho-Tep, to name a few – Out of the Blue is the most Elvis-haunted movie of them all.

This entry was posted in Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Present Tense: On Dennis Hopper’s Out of the Blue (1980)

  1. bainer says:

    “But he did exist in the tension where a bridge should be, that space in-between fraught with duality.”

    What a great line, Sheila!

  2. Jim Reding says:

    It was actually streaming on Amazon Prime a couple of months ago, but it appears to be gone again. Damn.

    • Jim Reding says:

      The Big Little Lies season 2 controversy inspired me to finally get around to digging into Andrea Arnold’s filmography. This and Fish Tank would make a great double feature, although Fish Tank is a little more hopeful.

      • Jim Reding says:

        And I just noticed your Tweet in the sidebar (I’ve recently had to disengage from logging in). Guess my comment was a little redundant.

      • sheila says:

        I think whatever was paired with it would have to be a little bit more hopeful because Out of the Blue is the end of the road!

    • sheila says:

      yes – I couldn’t believe it when it showed up on Prime. Word spread like wildfire among a very small group of people. and yes, it’s gone – I don’t understand how these things work. At all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.