Harry Dean Stanton: 10 Essential Movies

From 'Alien' to 'Twin Peaks' – our picks for the late character actor's greatest onscreen moments

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'Paris, Texas' (1984)

Did any actor have a better 1984 than Harry Dean Stanton? The same year that he brought depth and wit to Repo Man, he got the best role of his career in director Wim Wenders' heartbreaking, profoundly American masterpiece. Co-written by Sam Shepard and L.M. Kit Carson, Paris, Texas has Stanton playing a lost soul named Travis, who emerges from the desert and gradually reconnects with the family he abandoned. The mute drfiter is brought back to life by his pre-teen kid (played by Carson's son Hunter), whom he takes to meet the boy's long-lost mother (Nastassja Kinski). The climactic scene – set in a peep-show booth – features a stunning autographical monologue that's one of the most mesmerizing pieces of screen acting ever filmed. NM

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