The Smiths

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The Smiths

Postby kmkmiller » 04 Apr 2013

I wrote a long post at the IMDB board so wanted to recycle it here somewhat.

here are some smiths in lynch movies.

Harold Smith - Twin Peaks.
Robert Smith - Mulholland Drive.
Smithy - Inland Empire.

did i miss any?

Of these three characters Smithy is the most prominent and enigmatic although Harold Smith is pretty enigmatic too.

Robert Smith is a very small part but who's to say what kind of part he would have had in a Mulholland Drive TV series. He is apparently Adam Kesher's agent and implores Adam to keep an open mind about the actress who will be in his film.

Harold Smith is a shut in, Laura Palmer's friend and confidant who seemingly knows the most about Laura and her relationship with BOB. He is the keeper of her diary, and therefore out of all the peeps in Twin Peaks it's safe to say he knows the MOST of her secrets. He is also one of the last people to see Laura and in FWWM Laura tells him the only way she can get rid of BOB is to die.

Smithy is more enigmatic, the strength or weakness (depending on your mood or predisposition) of Inland Empire is you can't say if Smithy cares about Nikki or just wants to keep her caged in her havenhurst like mansion. he smacks her around a bit in the valley house so one (the feminist reading of the movie) is that he's the abusive jealous husband, but then high tails it out of there to the circus and Sue ends up on the streets of Hollywood. And then, in the end, Smithy, befuddled and clearly feeling responsible for Nikki/Sue's very soul travels with a giant and bald headed guy to two shacks in a forest (one light one dark), determines that the phantom has chased Nikki/Sue to Inland Empire and then goes with baldy to the seance and procures a gun that he leaves for Nikki/Sue in the drawer so she can blow away the phantom.

while it's fun to talk about the history of Smithee-made movies, or perhaps the name denotes anonymity... i like to look for any common themes or threads that might tie these three characters together. i can see some. i think.

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Re: The Smiths

Postby derekfnord » 05 Apr 2013

I don't have much to contribute to the larger topic (largely because I haven't seen Inland Empire yet, and it sounds like that one is the most significant of the Smiths, at least in terms of screen time). But as a side note specific to MD's Smith... I've always thought there was something just the tiniest bit odd in Ray's voice when he introduces Adam's manager to the Castigliane Brothers. I'm probably just reading too much into it, but it's like, I don't know... like he's making up a generic-sounding name for the man, right there on the spot, as he introduces him. There's just something odd in the cadence of how he says it or something, that makes it sound to my ear like a clumsy lie.

So I've always wondered, running with the idea that the Ryan Enterprises scene is part of Diane's dream, if perhaps Diane didn't know Adam's manager's name, therefore dream-Ray just sort of invents a bland one for him on the spot when he has to introduce him. Diane knows Ray and Adam's names; of course she knows the Castiglianes because they're probably her inventions, and don't exist in real life. But she only knows Ray's colleague as "Mr. Darby" (doesn't know his first name), so that's all he's called. She assumes Adam has a manager (or perhaps has seen him or something, but doesn't know his name at all), so she inserts him in the meeting. But when pressed for a name (via dream Ray) she comes up with "Robert Smith" (which, after all, is about as vanilla as John Smith when you come right down to it...)

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