Frank Booth’s Language of Love

Frank Booth is a fictional character in David Lynch’s 1986 film, Blue Velvet, portrayed by Dennis Hopper. He is widely considered to be one of the most memorable, funny, frightening and downright evil movie villains in cinematic history.

Frank Booth’s Language of Love //
red hat with frank by unomoralez

Expressions which we would loke to become, or perhaps have already become, part of the hip cult vernacular. Very helpful to break the ice at the start of a new relationship. And at parties…

(1) (the all-purpose sex and human interaction expression) Frank’s line, “Don’t move. Don’t look at me.” or the more popular variant, “Don’t you fuckin’ look at me!” Another romantic line: “Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!” (while inhaling the gas of course)

(2) (in response to someone saying “Hello” to you when you enter the room) Frank’s line, “Shut up! It’s Daddy, you shithead! Where’s my bourbon? Can you fuckin’ remember anything?”

(3) (whenever anyone switches off the light) Frank: “Now it’s dark.”

(4) (more romantic lines for the boudoir) Frank: “Baby wants to fuck!”; also, “Daddy’s coming home! Daddy’s coming home!” or variants of “Mommy!” “Daddy!” (although we’re sure you say that in bed now)

(5) Jeffrey: “It’s a strange world.” (the other person responds with Sandy’s line, “It’s a strange world.” or “It sure is.”)

(6) (can be used almost anywhere) Jeffrey: “Why are there people like Frank? Why is there so much trouble in the world?”

(7) Sandy’s “robin” speech: (worth memorizing in its entirety): “I had a dream. In fact, it was the night I met you. In the dream, there was our world, and the world was dark because there weren’t any robins. The robins represented love. For the longest time, there was just this darkness. And all of a sudden, thousands of robins were set free and they flew down, and brought this blinding light of love, and it seemed like that love would be the only thing that would make any difference… and… it… did! So I guess it means that there’s trouble till the robins come.”

(8) (uses are many) Dorothy, to Jeffrey: “I have your disease in me.” Variant “He put his disease in me.”

(9) (upon meeting a new person, preferably local) Frank: “Who is this fuck? Oh, you’re from neighborhood. A neighbor. Well, what’s you name, neighbor?”

(10) (at a bar, ordering beer. Other beer names may be substituted for Heineken) Frank: (knoking the beer off the bar) “HEINIKEN! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!”

(11) (can anyone give a nicer compliment?) Frank, to Ben: “Goddam, you’re one suave fuck.” variant, “You’re so fucking suave.”

(12) (as a toast, so use your suave voice) Ben: “Here’s to your fuck!”

(13) (if anyone within earshot uses the word “please”) Frank: “Don’t say please, fuckhead!”

(14) (when using your car) “Want to go for a little JOY RIDE?”

(15) Frank’s “love letter” speech: (perfect for dating teens) “I’ll send you a love letter STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART fucker. Do you know what a love letter is? It’s a bullet from a fuckin’ gun, fucker. You receive a love letter fron me and you’re fucked forever. You understand, fuck? I’ll send you straight to hell fucker.”

(16) (There are plenty of opportunities at parties, to put on “In Dreams”, which should always be reffered to as “Candy Colored Clown.” In homage to Ben, lip synch the song into a drop light. Purists will want to go the distance, with…)

(17) Frank: (spoken, as accompaniment to the Roy Orbison hit, which must be playing in the background. Don’t forget to (a) smear the lipstick, while muttering “candy colored clown, candy colored clown” (b) use the accompanying finger gestures: “In dreams I walk with you; In dreams I talk to you; In dreams you’re mine all the time we’re together/ In dreams.”) (NOTE: Girl in mini skirt dancing on the hood of a car is not optional.)

Frank Booth’s Language of Love //

Character history in Blue Velvet

A sadistic sociopath with a taste for torture and rape, Booth is the central figure in Lumberton, North Carolina’s (fictional) underworld of drugs and prostitution. He partakes of both enthusiastically; his drug of choice, amyl nitrite, fuels his frequent bursts of sexual violence.

His empire’s most prized asset is Dorothy Vallens, a beautiful torch singer who brings huge crowds into his nightclub, and whom he takes complete control over when he murders her husband and kidnaps her son. He extorts sadomasochistic sexual favors from her by threatening to kill the child if she doesn’t give in. He insidiously makes her his slave, to the point that, after pretending to enjoy his abuse for so long, she begins to derive a genuine, masochistic pleasure from it. Booth is so confident that she will never leave him that he even cuts off her husband’s ear to make her believe he is still alive, simply to torment her.

His criminal empire is threatened by college student Jeffrey Beaumont, who found the missing ear and, in the course of investigating the mystery, becomes involved with Vallens. At first, Booth writes Beaumont off as a mere nuisance, so he and his cronies rough him him up just to send a message.

When Beaumont refuses to back down, Booth beats Vallens nearly to death, strips her naked, and throws her out of a moving car in front of Beaumont’s house. Beaumont tells his girlfriend’s father, the local police detective, what has been going on, and he sets out with the police to capture Booth and rescue Vallens’ son. Booth finally meets his end when Beaumont, in hot pursuit, shoots him to death.

Unexplained drug

Throughout the film, Frank Booth uses a mask to breathe a gas from a tank. The identity of this gas is a subject of controversy. Lynch’s script specified helium, to raise Frank’s voice and have it resemble that of an infant. However, during filming, Hopper, an experienced drug user, claimed to have insight into Frank’s choice of drug and that helium was inappropriate:

«…I’m thankful to Dennis,» Lynch said, «because up until the last minute it was gonna be helium — to make the difference between ‘Daddy’ and the baby that much more. But I didn’t want it to be funny. So helium went out the window and became just a gas. Then, in the first rehearsal, Dennis said, ‘David, I know what’s in these different canisters.’ And I said, ‘Thank God, Dennis, that you know that!’ And he named all the gases.»

In a documentary on the DVD version of the film, Hopper claims that the drug was amyl nitrite, an angina medication that was first used recreationally as an inhalant in the disco club scene. However, amyl nitrite is a yellow-gold liquid which is inhaled as it evaporates, not a gas that comes in a canister. Frank’s drug is more likely nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. It is used legitimately for dental anesthesia and making whipped cream in aerosol containers. It is also used as a recreational drug, because in small doses,it produces a brief but intense high. In larger doses, nitrous oxide can cause auditory and visual hallucinations.


The part of Frank Booth was originally offered to Robert Loggia, then Willem Dafoe (both of whom would later go on to star separately in Lynch’s Lost Highway and Wild at Heart as similarly vicious characters) and later Richard Bright, all of whom turned it down. Dennis Hopper—Lynch’s third choice—accepted the role, reportedly saying «I’ve got to play Frank! I am Frank!»