Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

‘Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction’: He Says Little, Smokes a Lot

David Lynch and Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton does not want to talk about himself. This might stop many potential documentary filmmakers from attempting a profile of the weathered actor, now 87. But director Sophie Huber tried anyway; and if the movie fails to give us much factual information about its subject, it certainly captures the aura that surrounds him. We do learn that Stanton was born in Kentucky, did military service, roomed with Jack Nicholson for a while, and has never been married. He lets a few things slip, including the tidbit “She left me for Tom Cruise”—somehow one of those sentences you never expected to hear from the mouth of a character actor this unglamorous. (The ex-girlfriend in question was Rebecca De Mornay, who lived with Stanton before she met Cruise on the set of Risky Business.)

One thing Stanton does like to do is sing, and the movie is strung together with craftily crooned numbers from the country-folk songbook.

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