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Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction

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DVD: Available Now
Consumer Advice:

Coarse language and drug references

Run Time:
77 minutes



Sophie Huber


As themselves:

Harry Dean Stanton
David Lynch
Wim Wenders
Sam Shepard
Kris Kristofferson
Debbie Harry
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Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

IMDB: 7.7/10



Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction is a mesmerizing, impressionistic portrait of the iconic actor comprised of intimate moments, film clips from some of his 250 films and his own heart-breaking renditions of American folk songs.

Stunningly lensed in color and black and white by Seamus McGarvey, the film explores the actor's enigmatic outlook on his life, his unexploited talents as a musician, and includes candid reminiscences by David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Sam Shepard, Kris Kristofferson and Debbie Harry. The fragile soul of an actor emerges from the poignant collage.

Uncensored, unguarded moments with wry humor pockmark scenes filmed at locations including Stanton's home and his favorite local watering hole, Dan Tana's in West Hollywood. Stanton discusses his friends Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, how his family influenced his musical leanings, the women he almost wed, and his preference for film over theatre. In the end it is an unflinching, unabashed, romantic Valentine from one artist to another, from a galvanizing truth teller to a yarn-spinning survivor.


5 stars for Harry Dean!

Rotten Tomatoes

Sophie Huber’s Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction… lives up to its acclaim and then some. The Swiss director’s portrait of the legendary thespian – whose voice is heard over the opening credits shouting, “I’ve been doing this for 50 fucking years!” – is notable not just for its unprecedented access (Harry Dean being asked a list of questions by David Lynch, Harry Dean reminiscing with Kris Kristofferson about working with Peckinpah, etc.) but also for its pure artistry. The film’s interviews are shot in gorgeously rich black-and-white, which thrillingly contrasts with the clips from the Paris, Texas star’s many iconic roles. Indeed, through the swift editing, which connects the man’s life to his movies, we see that the line between fact and fiction is not just fine for Harry Dean, but blurred. Sam Shepard says that the actor “knows that his face is a story,” which is why he can convey everything by doing “nothing.” As can the doc’s director. By focusing less on the octogenarian’s few words, but instead on his expressive physiognomy, and listening while he sings and plays harmonica (music being his true love), Huber offers up everything we need to know about this quiet Kentucky man who also happens to be one of our most powerful character actors of all time.

 Lauren Wissot, Filmmmaker [Read more]

Shot beautifully by Seamus McGarvey, "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction" is a compelling collage of a man who has been ubiquitous in American films for over half a century and is still with us, still working, still staring out at that horizon. 

 - Sheila O'Malley, [Read more]

The astonishing career of the man who's perhaps Hollywood's pre-eminent post-war character actor is adoringly chronicled in Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, a Swiss documentary from newcomer Sophie Huber. Now 86, Stanton has popped up in literally dozens of high-profile productions over the past five decades and has earned a rock-solid cult status that will translate to plentiful festival and small-screen bookings for this entertaining and quietly illuminating profile.

– Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter [Read more]

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