Theme Times – Harry Dean Stanton

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I Use the following resources to compile the bios
Wikipedia Bio
Wikipedia
IMDB
YouTube Trailer Clips
Theme Times Directory
Dedicated to Ian Kay of Moon Is Rising
Harry Dean Stanton By Charlie Llewellin
Harry Dean Stanton (July 14, 1926 – September 15, 2017) was an American actor, musician, and singer.

In a career that spanned more than six decades, Stanton played supporting roles in films such as Cool Hand Luke (1967), Kelly’s Heroes (1970), Dillinger (1973), The Godfather Part II (1974), Alien (1979), Escape from New York (1981), Christine (1983), Repo Man (1984), One Magic Christmas (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Wild at Heart (1990), The Straight Story (1999), The Green Mile (1999), Alpha Dog (2006) and Inland Empire (2006). He had rare lead roles in Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas (1984) and Lucky (2017), his last film.


Stanton also occasionally toured nightclubs as a singer and guitarist, playing mostly country-inflected cover tunes. He appeared in the Dwight Yoakam music video for “Sorry You Asked”,portrayed a cantina owner in a Ry Cooder video for “Get Rhythm”, and participated in the video for Bob Dylan’s “Dreamin’ of You”. He worked with a number of musical artists, Dylan, Art Garfunkel, and Kris Kristofferson among them, and played harmonica on The Call’s 1989 album Let the Day Begin
I am a huge fan of many actors, this series would never run out of content of those who grace the big screens as far as l am concerned. I fell in love with film from a young age, l was watching films before l was reading by myself – oh l love to read, but my first passion is film, then it’s music, then it is literature, then the arts and crafts and then everything else follows after that.

Of the thousands of actors who perform for us, l also like those characters that have their very own unique style of deliverance of their craft … l like the quirky and the eccentric and the unusual and for me certain actors cut this grain very well – Bruce Dern, Faye Dunaway, Marlon Brando, Joaquin Phoenix, Tilda Swinton, Helena Bonham Carter, John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper ….. the list is endless but also this is where for me Harry Dean Stanton slots in so well. Because of his uniquity.

The first film l watched him in was Kelly’s Heroes when l was 12 and living in Australia, and the next one l saw him in was Cool Hand Luke 1967 living here in the UK and one of the many reasons l wanted to watch Alien 1979 was because it had HDS in the cast. Alien was a brilliant film by itself anyway, but made even better with the cast.

I had watched Harry over the years in many films, and was sad to hear of his passing in 2017, but he had a career in the business that spanned for more or less 60 years – an icon, a veteran – a great actor.


Below are my personal Top 13 of his films – so how about you – fan or not – let me know below.
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Cool Hand Luke 1967

Luke Jackson, a gutsy prisoner, manages to escape from prison every time he is captured. The staff of the camp devise a plan to catch him.
Kelly’s Heroes 1970

In the midst of World War II, an array of colorful American soldiers gets inside information from a drunk German officer about millions of dollars worth of gold hidden on enemy soil. Kelly (Clint Eastwood), a private with the platoon, devises a plan to sneak past the German officers to steal the loot for his crew. They recruit more men and set their plan into action. Despite several casualties, the men are determined to press forward, even if it means striking a deal with the opposing army.
Dillinger 1973

During the Great Depression, John Dillinger (Warren Oates), a ruthless, arrogant criminal, is the most wanted man in America. Along with his gang, which includes the likes of “Baby Face” Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) and “Pretty Boy” Floyd (Steve Kanaly), he robs Midwestern banks and leaves a trail of devastation in his path. But Melvin Purvis (Ben Johnson), an unrelenting federal agent, is hot on the trail of Dillinger’s gang, and will stop at nothing to bring them to justice.
Straight Time – 1978

After being paroled, a burglar tries to get a normal job legally. He is back in prison soon due to an immoral parole officer. When he is paroled again, he attacks the parole officer, and robs his car.

Alien 1979

The crew of a spacecraft, Nostromo, intercept a distress signal from a planet and set out to investigate it. However, to their horror, they are attacked by an alien which later invades their ship.
Escape from New York 1981

Gruff Snake Plissken, an ex-soldier turned convict, is sent to Manhattan, now a maximum security prison, to rescue the stranded US President.
Christine 1983

Arnie restores an old car and names her Christine, but he is unaware that she has an evil presence within her. When anyone tries to come between her owner and her, they are not spared.
Rep Man 1984

After being fired from his job, Los Angeles slacker and punk rocker Otto (Emilio Estevez) lands a gig working for an eccentric repossession agent named Bud (Harry Dean Stanton). At first, Otto is reluctant to work as a repo man, but he grows to love the fast-paced job. After learning of a Chevy Malibu that has been given a $20,000 price tag, Otto embarks on a quest to find the car with the beautiful Leila (Olivia Barash), who claims the trunk’s contents are otherworldly.
Paris, Texas 1984

A disheveled man who wanders out of the desert, Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton) seems to have no idea who he is. When a stranger manages to contact his brother, Walt (Dean Stockwell), Travis is awkwardly reunited with his sibling. Travis has been missing for years, and his presence unsettles Walt and his family, which also includes Travis’s own son, Hunter (Hunter Carson). Soon Travis must confront his wife, Jane (Nastassja Kinski), and try to put his life back together.
Pretty in Pink 1986

Andie, a young girl, is not popular at school. She mostly kept to her friend Iona and childhood sweetheart, Duckie. But what happens when one of the popular guys at school, falls in love with her.
Wild at Heart 1990

After breaking parole for self-defensive manslaughter, Sailor Ripley and his girlfriend Lula head down the highway to California while discovering hidden secrets about one another.
The Straight Story 1999

Alvin Straight, a 73-year-old, learns that his estranged brother, Lyle is critically ill. Unable to drive, Alvin embarks on a journey from Iowa to Mt. Zion, by riding a lawn mower. Will he succeed?
Lucky 2017

A 90-year-old atheist has outlived and out-smoked his contemporaries, and as he comes to terms with his own mortality, he searches for ever-elusive enlightenment.

Bonus Too

17 thoughts on “Theme Times – Harry Dean Stanton

  1. I have always loved the performances of both Harry Dean Stanton and Bruce Dern. Thanks for introducing me to the word “uniquity.”

  2. I only really know him from Pretty In Pink. I saw Escape from New York (and LA) but don’t remember him.
    He played that harmonica pretty well.

  3. I enjoy this series, Rory! Harry Stanton is one of those actors that I’ve seen in several movies but never knew who he was. Thanks for sharing your well written and informative post about a great actor.

    1. Hey Eugenia, many thanks – glad you enjoyed it.

      HDS was in fact an actor many loved, and sadly not many knew his name – it’s the way of some of the greats l think.

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