Paris, Texas

A place for dreams. A place for heartbreak. A place to pick up the pieces.

145 min     8.111     1984     France


A man wanders out of the desert not knowing who he is. His brother finds him, and helps to pull his memory back of the life he led before he walked out on his family and disappeared four years earlier.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Harry Dean Stanton is on cracking form here the amnesiac "Travis". He turns up in a Texan clinic dressed in a striped suit, but recalling little for the slightly roguish doctor who helps him after some dehydrating time in the desert to use to help identify him. A tiny scrap of paper in his wallet enables him to, though, and soon "Walt" (Dean Stockwell) arrives to try and get his long-lost brother back to his own home in Los Angeles. As the story now gradually unfolds, we discover that "Travis" has a son who lives with "Walt" but we are unsure as to just what has led him to his current, absent-minded, predicament. Unwilling to fly, the two take the long road trip back getting to know each other and slowly building a renewed sense of trust before he is to be re-introduced to the son (Hunter Carson) he hasn't seen for four years and who requires some answers of his own. The last half hour brings the threads together neatly, if a little conveniently, allowing a few brief appearances from Nastassja Kinski that brings the story of "Travis" and his trauma full circle. To be honest, I found the actual plot rather weak, indeed the story isn't up to much at all really - it's the performance from HDS that is measured and engaging. His flawed character gradually comes out of his self-induced shell as it seems he is learning about himself almost at the same pace as we are - and that makes the film compelling for the most part. It's a story that takes it's time, and watching it I found it did take me a few minutes to get myself into a suitably low gear to appreciate it. It's isn't a plod, or a slow watch - it is a nuanced, occasionally amusing, search for identity - oh, and for a field in Paris, Texas!