The 50 Best Movies of the '90s

26. Wild at Heart (1990)

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, Crispin Glover, Diane Ladd, Isabella Rossellini, Harry Dean Stanton

Though Diane Ladd's bonkers performance as Marietta Fortune in David Lynch's adorable Wild at Heart is a thing of beauty, Willem Dafoe's turn as Bobby Peru provides the movie with its real rotten core. Fortune angers viewers by keeping the film's lovers, Lula (Laura Dern) and Sailor (Nic "The Cage" Cage), apart, but Peru has the audience reaching for the vomit bags. Sporting the most fucked-up grill in cinematic history, Peru is the abject personified, a small-time gangster with a shitty stick-up plan that ensnares our couple.

In one scene, as a prelude to a pass at Lula, he asks her to take note of the "deep" sound he makes when urinating. In just a few minutes worth of dialogue he likens his sex game to that of a jackrabbit; inquires after the current moisture level of Lula's "pussy"; compares her genitals to a Christmas present; breathes on her heavily (obviously); and threatens to remove her heart, all while speaking largely in the third person and wearing a tasseled leather blazer. Again, this is just one scene. RS

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