Color Themes Within Mulholland Drive

Exclusively reserved for discussion regarding David Lynch's 'Mulholland Dr.'
User avatar
Posts: 196
Joined: 24 Oct 2010
Status: Offline

Color Themes Within Mulholland Drive

Postby ctyankee » 06 Dec 2010

This is a repost of a color theme analysis I did on the dominant colors within Mulholland Dr. back in 2002 and one of the very first posts I made on MD. I find it helpful to take one element of MD and examine it. It may not directly help anything in particular but may help you see and wonder about things that you might not have occurred to you otherwise. While I did it with color someone else might choose another aspect such as sound design or numerology - each may help as an examination of one element can turn off the 'noise' caused by the film in its entirety. (2010)

I decided it might be useful to put all the significant color themes in Mulholland Drive together in one thread. I’ve been confused as to the meaning(s) of the color red or any other well used colors within the movie. There have been plenty of posts that have talked about the use of red, blue, pink, and green in the movie but nothing comprehensive. I also added the color brown regarding the color choices within Aunt Ruth's apartment. I also encorporated the "Red Thread" post that I did. It just seemed to be a better idea to put the colors all together so perhaps some associations would be easier to make. If you find references to any significant colors that I've overlooked or references to any color listed please let me know and I will update the list.

Some color references are so often repeated that I don’t include them by scene such as red (even ruby red) lipstick and red nail polish. I also don’t mention things like some red flower in the background or things like Heinz ketchup (at a diner). If it seems that the color might be intended or that it might make an impression I tried to include it.

Is it useful? Time will tell. I have made some associations that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t done it. Hopefully this will help you work some thoughts out too as well as serve as a reference source.

Color References By Scene

Jitterbug Scene

Red Shirts on Guys
Red Skirts on Girls
Redheaded Girl

Magenta Background

Bedroom (Falling into the Pillow)

Red Sheet/Red Pillow

Mulholland Dr.

Bluish/white flash of light (car lights) shine on Mulholland Dr. street sign
Camera follows red brake lights on limo for a while
City view shows one lone red-lit building
Moon blue street
Bluish smoke coming from crash

Rita on Foot

Blue city lights as she descends down the hill
Bloody left earlobe (shown to viewer when she crosses a street)
Bloody forehead

Blue haze in the air as she runs across the street
Red and blue lights on police car
Red fire truck
Blue Sunset BL 7000W sign

Detective Scene (maybe someone's missing)

Blue tag on pearl earring evidence
Detective wearing a blue shirt looks out over the valley

1612 Havenhurst

Red clay planting pots
Aunt Ruth’s red hair and red bag she’s carrying


Red/Tiffany Blue/Yellow Winkie’s Sign
Red letters on diner specials
Green window sign (seen between Herb and Dan)
Booth seats are emerald green
Red Counter seats (by register)
Someone passes front door (on outside) wearing top to bottom yellow outfit
Red painted cross shown across the street as they go around the corner …
Red “Entrance” sign on blue background with black arrow pointing to the front
Green painted posts, trim and railings (outside diner)
Red sign obscured behind black and white sticker with a baseball catcher on it
Red Graffiti on wall near the bum

Mr. Roque’s Studio Office

Brownish/Red Desk with blue light on it. Later we see that he has a emerald green sofa in the office

Hairy Man's Place

Yellow Phone
Lime colored Wall


Red Light Shade by push-button phone


Betty wears a pink sweater
Woman of color passing through wearing purplish outfit (top and bottom)
Red and white International symbol for “do not enter” sign within airport (security)
Couple of women with green blouses behind Betty
Man with blue jacket on escalator
Blue Welcome to Los Angeles Banner
Man with blue jacket on outside the opening doors
Betty has two pale blue suitcases
Green enter sign on doors they exit from
Red and white international symbol for no smoking, and no dogs at entrance (of interest, they exit by way of the entrance door)
Red Poster to right of door
Man with red tie
Redheaded lady going by behind Betty
Red stripe on side of taxi
Red Sign as old couple exit airport
Several Blue signs as old couple exit airport
Blue Van in front of limo

1612 Havenhurst

Coco wears a black outfit
Wood chair with green cushion by livingroom window
Red Fruit in a bowl
Red Perfume sprayer
Rita Hayworth’s picture - red hair with blue dress on movie poster
Red letters of the word “Gilda” on movie poster
Diane wearing blood red towel
Red cosmetic bottles
Red Candy in dish

Red Chinese (?) lettering on picture frame behind Rita (most visible during the “dream place” discussion).
Red robe with note pinned to it

Studio Meeting

Helicopter landing strip on top of building with a Red 01 or 10 written on it
Another Red helicopter landing pad on top of building
Large red statue between buildings in the shape of a ‘S’
Red Parking lot sign with rates on it
Waiter (coffee bearer) wearing red jacket
Manager (Robert Smith) wears a blue shirt
Meeting chairs are emerald green
Ray Lott wears a blue shirt
Red ties on both Castigliane brothers
Red painted Mexican Restaurant (with pinkish top) across the street from the parking lot.
Red Home Improvement Center sign next to Mexican Restaurant
Painted blue curb next to parked limo
Parking lot attendent wears a pink shirt

Seedy Office

Red Carpet
Green file cabinet
The crook standing is wearing an army green colored t-shirt - also his right eye appears odd colored and his left eye is blue.
Red Poster (Italy)
Red Door sign for Health & Plus Enzymes
Blue jacket on heavy set woman
Red Poster (now with blood dripping off of it)
Pink tag on desktop
emerald green key chain on frame of window

Prostitute Scene

Pink's sign in pink lettering
Prostitute wears a blue top and blue jeans
passerbys one wearing a bright green satin jacket and a green shirt
Parked Red Fire truck
Man carrying very long and flexible red pipe on sidewalk behind prostitute
Red trash can
Parking for Pinks sign is in red but the actual Pink’s Sign is in pink
Bad guy wears a red shirt under his jacket
Prostitute gets into a blue van

1612 Havenhurst

Green pillow on couch
The apartment is flooded with browns. Brown couch, brown walls, brown carpet, brown furniture, brown door etc. etc. While the characters where a lot of reds in the scenes - the apartment is projected as very soothing.

Director’s Home

Gene Clean sign on truck is in blue
Red and Green Adirondack Chair by pool
Bright blue object on the marble sink counter
Dark green vase on center kitchen work area
Green container in garage
Bright blue paint on can
Pink Paint Can
Pink paint poured on jewelry and cabinets (splashed).
Pink paint splashed on Lorraine's blue dress
Pink paint splashed on Adam's black suit
Red brake lights from Adam’s Porsche are shown on as he is leaving his house (these are his brake lights as it is a day scene, unusual is the length of time they are shown as well as there is no need for him to apply the brakes.)
Gardener with red wheelbarrow

1612 Havenhurst

Blue hat box (where they hide the money).
Green Pillows on Bed
Set of three Green figures on (mostly brown) closet doors

Winkie’s (Betty/Rita)

Vertical Red streak within window of Winkie’s as they approach the pay phone.
Red Pay Phone Company Logo
Red Stop notice on pay phone
Waitress (Diane) wears a pink shirt
Red 6.39 sign (backwards) in window (as they are seated)

Cookies' Hotel

Park/Hotel sign in red and blue
Red hotel room door #16
Red couch in hotel room
Cynthia is wearing a red necklace (phone conversation).

1612 Havenhurst (someone’s in trouble scene)

Coco wears a bright red Chinese outfit with white flowers
Louise Bonner wears a Cape with Black and Blue trim

Corral Scene

Follow Adam’s red brake lights up the road
In the headlights we see several blue garbage cans on the side of the road
Porsche looks pale blue in the dark (when he parks).
Cowboy is wearing a red bandanna with mostly brownish colors on clothes.

1612 Havenhurst (movie line rehearsal)

Betty is wearing a pink robe
Rita is wearing a red robe with black trim

1612 Havenhurst (get rid of it scene)

Coco is wearing a (red with black pattern) Chinese outfit with ruby colored earrings
Betty has a red hairpin in her hair and is wearing blue jeans

Casting/Producer’s Office

Betty wears a blue blouse
Linney James is a redhead
Martha Johnson wears a pink shirt
Woody wears a blue shirt
Wally wears a blue checkerboard sweater
Cover of script is pink (seen in Director’s hand)

Casting Call

Blue jackets on backup male singers
Pink dresses on girls and Carol
Pink and Blue background to recording booth
Orange around clock in background
Adam has a black and blue megaphone
Set crew – red shirt on one, red plaid shirt on another
Tall Red stepladders are in the background
Camilla Rhodes II wears a pink outfit with pink lipstick
Smoke from Adam's cigarette has a decidedly blue color

Sierra Bonita Apartments

Rita is wearing a red blouse
Guys in car (waiting out front) are sitting in front of a red van by a red wall
Rakes with red handles
Redheaded woman getting into a limo
Red Sheet and Red pillow on bed (Apartment 17)

1612 Havenhurst (Haircutting Scene)

Red Hair Rollers
Red Wig
Red Hair Dryer

Blue Tout Paris book
Green Sin[color=#FF00FF]k
[/color]Pink Pajamas on Betty
Rita has on a Red towel on before getting into bed

Club Silencio

Blue lights on top of building (during cab ride)
Blueish street out in front of the club
Blue Lights of Club Silencio
Blue interior door or wall
Blue haired lady
Betty is wearing a light red blouse
Red curtains at the theatre
Red Theatre seats
Red Suit on emcee
Blue light off forehead of magician
Rebekah is wearing red earrings with red and yellow mascara
Blue smoke
Blue light off mike and stage
Blue cube

1612 Havenhurst

Blue key and blue cube

Diane's Apartment

Green couch
Red Pillow/Red sheets
Camilla is wearing a red dress

Adam Directs the Movie

Red Sign
Camilla is wearing a red dress (in car)
Red Shirt on leading man
blue shirts on stage hands

Masturbation Scene

Cut-off blue jeans on Diane

6980 Mulholland Drive Party

Red Shade by phone (limo out front message).
Red brake lights from limo.
Blue light shines into limo
Camilla is wearing a red scarf (hmmm)
Coco is wearing a red and black Chinese outfit with high collar
Diane’s wears a black dress with red shoulder straps
Pool lighting washes their faces a bit with blue color
Blonde Camilla is dressed in a pink dress with pink lipstick
When Blonde Camilla kisses Camilla you can see dark red lipstick smeared on her pink lipstick.
During engagement announcement, you can see a blonde woman wearing a red dress (seated in a table in back of them)


Green rug (seen under broken plate being picked off the floor)
Red and green stripes on wall
Red globe sized lighting fixtures overhead
Diane is wearing a t-shirt with a red DiVinci “man” on it.
Waitress (Betty) wears a pink shirt
green cash register

Behind Winkie’s

Red color is reflecting towards and around the bum’s spot.
Blue cube

Diane’s Apartment (death scene)

Blue light appears and reflects on old couple chasing Diane
Red sheets/red pillow on bed
Blue box in drawer
Bluish smoke appears after she shoots herself
Red and blue lights are shown in cityscape scene before a white lighted reunited Betty and Blonde Rita

Club Silencio

Blue light within Club Silencio
Blue shadows
Blue haired lady

Hope this helps ...

Return to Mulholland Dr.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot]