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Paris, Texas (1984)

R | | Drama | 23 August 1984 (UK)
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Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.

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(adaptation), | 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #242 | Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Travis Henderson
... Jane Henderson
... Walt Henderson
... Anne Henderson (as Aurore Clement)
... Hunter Henderson
... Doctor Ulmer
Sam Berry ... Gas Station Attendant
Claresie Mobley ... Car Rental Clerk
... Woman on TV (as Viva Auder)
Edward Fayton ... Hunter's Friend
Socorro Valdez ... Carmelita
Justin Hogg ... Hunter - Age 3
... Screaming Man
... 'Slater'
Jeni Vici ... 'Stretch'
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Storyline

A man wanders out of the desert after a four year absence. His brother finds him, and together they return to L.A. to reunite the man with his young son. Soon after, he and the boy set out to locate the mother of the child, who left shortly after the man disappeared. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where lost love is found.... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 August 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Motel Chronicles  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,162,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,709, 10 November 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,181,987
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) doesn't speak at all until 26 minutes into the film. See more »

Goofs

When Walt gets Travis to a motel at the beginning and wants to buy him new clothes, they compare feet and decide that Travis wears one size bigger than Walt. Later, at Walt's house, Travis asks to wear Walter's old boots and puts them on and they fit fine. See more »

Quotes

Travis: [crashing in a fleabag motel/laundromat seating area with his son] This is not a place to bring a fancy woman. Wouldn't you say? If you had a fancy woman, would you bring her in a place like this?
Hunter Henderson: What's a fancy woman?
See more »

Connections

References Hardcore (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Ultimate Anti-Romance.
18 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

I would say that Paris, Texas is not for everyone, but, truly, that can be said about every movie. But I will say this: fans of methodically paced, beautifully shot, existentially rooted, and purely experiential cinema will not be disappointed.

Paris, Texas is virtually my favorite movie, and a movie that, whether you like it or not, will leave some impact on you. It is a journey, an experience, an odyssey.

Yes, it is long. Yes, it is slow. Defined plot points? Please.

But what this movie does do is place into the mind of it's lead character. Travis Henderson, an older man, gruff and worn out with age, wanders out of the Texas desert after missing from his family for four years. He is mute, and apparently unaware of who he is. His brother Walt finds him, and tries to rehabilitate him back into sanity. The film then covers Travis's journey to reconnect with a past which he has long since forgotten. He reunites with his son, his sister in-law, and eventually, in a scene which I tear up just thinking about, his wife.

But that is all I will divulge about his wife. That is a scene which you really have to see to believe.

While this film really doesn't rely on plot, it does have structure and tone. And what carries us through this mystical story is the unbelievably beautiful photography. We see the world as it should be seen: a starkly beautiful, but uncompromising, place. The use of color and motifs really makes this film a marvel to look at.

And then we get to performances. Everyone's great, so I will focus on our two truly main characters. Harry Dean Stanton plays Travis, a gentle, kind man, that, despite having personal demons, is a great fatherly figure (fine, maybe he isn't the best father...but there's no denying he left an impact on his son's life). And seeing Stanton bring this character to life in the most subtle and somber way possible is amazing. And then we have Natassja Kinski, who plays Jane, his wife. She doesn't show up until the third act, and 95% percent of her performance takes place in one room. But Kinski's portrayal of emotion...and her quiet, yet powerful demeanor...and the way she talks...god, it's unbelievable. Stanton and Kinski have some of the best chemistry ever, which is even more impressive considering they're never in the same room (see the movie...you'll understand). In the end, these two carry the movie on their backs, and do an amazing job doing it.

You may not cry, but you will think about crying. You will think about all the sad moments in your life. And it will all be washed out of you by movie's end. Believe me, I know this from personal experience. This movie is almost therapeutic in the way. Because the story is healing our own souls at the same time as it is healing Travis's.

So. What's more to say about Paris, Texas? It's a beautiful movie, one that relies on photography and performances to tell it's story, and a movie that portrays emotions on a master class level. And what do I mean by 'Anti-Romance'? It's not worth explaining here. See the movie, you'll understand.


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