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Paris, Texas (1984)

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2:17 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

L.M. Kit Carson (adaptation), Sam Shepard | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,400 ( 429)
Top Rated Movies #243 | Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Dean Stanton ... Travis Henderson
Nastassja Kinski ... Jane Henderson
Dean Stockwell ... Walt Henderson
Aurore Clément ... Anne Henderson (as Aurore Clement)
Hunter Carson ... Hunter Henderson
Bernhard Wicki ... Doctor Ulmer
Sam Berry Sam Berry ... Gas Station Attendant
Claresie Mobley Claresie Mobley ... Car Rental Clerk
Viva ... Woman on TV (as Viva Auder)
Edward Fayton Edward Fayton ... Hunter's Friend
Socorro Valdez Socorro Valdez ... Carmelita
Justin Hogg Justin Hogg ... Hunter - Age 3
Tom Farrell ... Screaming Man
John Lurie ... 'Slater'
Jeni Vici 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:

A place for dreams. A place for heartbreak. A place to pick up the pieces. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | France | UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 November 1984 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Париж, Техас See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Ry Cooder recreated blues guitarist Blind Willie Johnson's 1927 tune "Dark Was the Night" as the centerpiece of his Paris, Texas (1984) soundtrack. 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

Walt: I thought you were afraid of heights.
Travis: I'm not afraid of heights. I'm afraid of fallin'.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in See This Movie (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A European View Of America
14 September 2006 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

At face value, the screen story, about a dysfunctional family, is weak. The plot is not really credible. The lead character (Travis) is an older man who in the first ten minutes of the film wonders alone in the desert like a horse with no name, seemingly suffering from severe trauma. But Travis' later behavior and the behavior of other characters in the film are not believable, given this opening gambit.

However, if we discard our need to interpret behavior rationally, then the film works, either as a dream or, more generically, as a parable of modern day America, from the viewpoint of a European film director. The characters and their journey through the film's story are symbolic of American culture as a whole, with its ever-present loneliness, urban alienation, emotional separation, and general rootlessness.

The film's visuals and music combine to prop up the thin story, and give the film its enduring cultural theme. Cinematographer Robby Muller's images are stunning. His location shots both in the desert and in the urban jungle, using polarizing filters, are works of true photographic art. The images, with their florescent greens, reds, blues, and yellows in dim light are just terrific. More than any dialogue could, these visuals effectively convey the loneliness, alienation, and lost love that are so characteristically American. And Ry Cooder's simple but haunting Tex-Mex guitar sounds amplify this grim mood.

The film's main flaw is its length. With a runtime of 150 minutes, some parts of the film could have been edited out, without loss of the film's message.

"Paris, Texas" is a memorable art house film about the modern American experience. Like other art house films, the story is not necessarily to be taken literally. Instead, the story provides narrative support for the visuals, the music, and other film elements, the combination of which imparts some broader or deeper social message than could be conveyed by story alone.


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