“I’ve been rather like a cat,” Harry Dean Stanton told Uncut in 2002. “I’m finicky and I’ve done a lot of things, and made career choices, missed meetings and so forth that would have made me a much bigger actor, I think. But, by the same token, that would have demanded more of my time, too.”

“I’ve been rather like a cat,” Harry Dean Stanton told Uncut in 2002. “I’m finicky and I’ve done a lot of things, and made career choices, missed meetings and so forth that would have made me a much bigger actor, I think. But, by the same token, that would have demanded more of my time, too.”



The late American film critic Roger Ebert once devised something he called the “Stanton-Walsh Rule”, which follows – accurately, I believe – that any starring either Harry Dean Stanton or M Emmet Walsh can’t be entirely without merit. In Stanton’s case, Ebert had a career spanning over 50 years and more than a 150 films to chose from, including Cool Hand Luke, Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid, Repo Man, Paris, Texas and Wild At Heart, all of which benefited from his worn-out, hard bitten blend of philosophical cool and weary melancholy. Hearteningly, he continues to work well into his nine decade: most recently he’s popped up in Avengers Assemble, This Must Be The Place and Seven Psychopaths.

Stanton is also the subject of a documentary, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, which shamefully has yet to find a UK release. And Stanton, aged 87, is about to release his first album. Admittedly, it’s the soundtrack accompanying the documentary, but it finds Stanton covering George Jones’ “Tennessee Whiskey”, Kristofferson’s “Help Me Making It Through The Night” and a reworking of “Canción Mixteca”, which he originally recorded with Ry Cooder for Paris, Texas. By way of celebrating what I hope will be a momentous release, here’s some reminders of Harry Dean’s genius: some movie clips, interviews, a Procul Harum music video and a brilliantly rambling testimonial at a black-tie bash in honour of his friend, Jack Nicholson…

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Dillinger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBQl0hCmV5I

Paris, Texas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YMCWR8jzpU

Repo Man

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcJXT5lc1Bg

Procul Harum, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” [1986 video]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG6AQsvgPSw

Pretty In Pink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxHTPahkN6M

Wild At Heart

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-3lxC65wHE

At the American Film Institute Tribute to Jack Nicholson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTuu7r9imtw

“Canción Mixteca”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9ZxQ-5vZLE

Reading Charles Bukowski’s “Torched Out”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK3ST6HUOK0

Harry Dean Stanton: Party Fiction

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2-QZ35P_yY

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