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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

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It brings magic back to the cinema... See more »

Genres:

Drama

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R | See all certifications »

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Details

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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 »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The restaurant that Travis calls Walt's home from is actually located in Cabazon, CA (not San Bernardino, which is about 45 miles away.) This of course is home to Claude Bell's famous concrete T-Rex and brontosaurus. See more »

Goofs

When Travis and Hunter are following the red Chevrolet from a downtown bank, they merge onto US HWY 59 northbound, just south of interstate 45 and north of the HWY 288 interchange with US HWY 59. After a few moments pass the next shot shows them approaching the HWY 59 and HWY 288 interchange (going northbound on HWY 59). This interchange is located about 1/2 mile south of the onramp they took in the previous shot so there is no way they would have been able to approach this interchange going north on HWY 59 had they taken the northbound onramp in the previous shot. See more »

Quotes

Travis: He thought if she never got jealous of him that she didn't really care about him. Jealousy was a sign of her love for him, and then one night, one night she told him that she was pregnant, she was about three or four months pregnant and he didn't even know and then suddenly everything changed, he stopped drinking, he got a steady job, he was convinced that she loved him now that she was carrying his child and he was going to dedicate himself to making a home for her. But a funny thing started ...
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Connections

Featured in Sonic Youth: Teenage Riot (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unique portrait at family life in early 'eighties America.
13 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

"Paris, Texas" is by far one of the best films ever made. It's a well-photographed film; it's almost like a portrait. In the center you have the characters: Travis, Walt, Hunter, Jane, and Anne; and all around them you see the desert and the empty space and the places they inhabit. The major characters are all memorable, especially Harry Dean Stanton as Travis and Dean Stockwell as Walt.

The film is about reunion. The first third of the film, dealing with the reunion of brothers Travis and Walt in the Texas desert, is both very touching and very real. You can sense the frustration on Walt's face when Travis doesn't want to talk to him about anything, and throughout the road trip, you begin to get more interested in Travis' ramblings to Walt about Paris, Texas.

The second third deals with the reunion of Travis with his son, Hunter, and, to a lesser extent, since he's only been gone for less than a week, the reunion of Walt with his wife Anna and Hunter. This is by far my favorite part of the film, because it shows a young boy (Hunter) trying to readjust after his father returns after a four-year absence. Hunter (by the way, he's a great actor) is nice to Travis at first, but refuses to walk home from school with him because "Everyone drives." The fact that director Wim Wenders focuses on this little portion of the film shows true family life--it expands the little "sin" that Hunter has done. This event sets up perhaps my favorite scene in any film: Hunter and Travis walking home "together"--on opposite sides of the street--with the boy mimicking the movements of his real father. In the following scene I'm touched because the neighborhood reminds me of home--Hunter stops and allows his father to cross the street to join him. There is also a scene (also with no dialogue) that deserves mention--the family watching Super 8mm film of a family fishing trip. Here we see Jane for the first time (a beauty), and we get a portrait of the happy family while the film plays background music for us. It's a wonderful scene that's executed beautifully. The film of the fishing trip allows Hunter to make an observation to Anne about his father--he sees by the way Travis looked at Jane that Travis still loves her very much.

The last third of the film comes as a real shock, and I won't spoil it for anyone because this third of the film is what made me REALLY love the entire film. The sequence of events in the final third actually came out of left field, because I was never really expecting that. You should have figured out, though, that there is a reunion between Travis and his estranged wife, Jane. Harry Dean Stanton's monologue is perhaps one of the best ever caught on film. It's really long but you hear every word and every pause. And what I like about that particular scene is the lighting--notice how the sunlight comes in through the window in Jane's room, and suddenly near the end you realize that it's been artificial light after all. There is a similar lighting effect in "A Clockwork Orange"--during Alex's chat with F. Alexander and his two co-conspirators over wine and spaghetti.

Overall, "Paris, Texas" is a great film that should be noted both for its photography and for its realistic look at family life. These are people who are a real family--opinionated, angry, happy, sad, melodramatic, judgmental, high-strung, incommunicado, etc. They refuse sometimes to admit their true feelings and that is exactly what makes a family a family sometimes, the fact that you can't say what you really want to say at a certain time.

This is the kind of film directors really want to make--small, realistic, poignant...and with zero special effects.


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