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Paris, Texas (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Sam Berry, Bernhard Wicki
  • Directors: Wim Wenders
  • Writers: L.M. Kit Carson, Sam Shepard
  • Producers: Anatole Dauman, Chris Sievernich, Don Guest, Pascale Dauman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002U6DVPS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,735 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paris, Texas (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Audio commentary featuring Wenders
Interview with Wenders by German journalist Roger Willemsen
Excerpts from the 1990 film Motion and Emotion
New interviews with filmmakers Allison Anders and Claire Denis
"Wim Wenders Hollywood April '84"
Deleted scenes and Super 8 home movies
Gallery of Wenders' location-scouting photos
Behind-the-scenes photos by Robin Holland
Theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Nick Roddick

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

German New Wave pioneer Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) brings his keen eye for landscape to the American Southwest in Paris, Texas a profoundly moving character study written by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Sam Shepard. Paris, Texas follows the efforts of the mysterious, nearly mute drifter Travis (a magnificent Harry Dean Stanton, whose face is a landscape of its own) to reconnect with his young son, living with his brother (Dean Stockwell) in Los Angeles, and his missing wife (Nastassja Kinski). From this simple setup, Wenders and Shepard produce a powerful statement on codes of masculinity and the myth of the American family, as well as an exquisite visual exploration of a vast, crumbling world of canyons and neon.

Stills from Paris, Texas (Click for larger image)




Amazon.com

Something like a perfect artistic union is achieved in the major components of Paris, Texas: the twang of Ry Cooder's guitar, the lonely light of Robbie Muller's camera, the craggy landscape of Harry Dean Stanton's face. In his greatest role, longtime character actor Stanton plays a man brought back to his old life after wandering in the desert (or somewhere) for four years. He has a 7-year-old son to get to know, and his wife has gone missing. The material is much in the wanderlust spirit of director Wim Wenders, working from a script by Sam Shepard and L.M. Kit Carson. If the long climactic conversation between Stanton and Nastassja Kinski renders the movie uneven and slightly inscrutable, it's hard to think of a more fitting ending--and besides, the achingly empty American spaces stick longer in the memory than the dialogue. Winner of the top prize at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Director Wim Wenders, Writer Sam Shepard,and Cinematographer Robby Muller all did splendid work with this film.
"sukcha"
In him's a heart that's torn between his love for what he knows and for what he wants to run away from, between his son, Hunter, his ex-wife Jane, and himself.
LGwriter
To be honest, I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about until toward the end of the movie; it really carries an emotional punch with it.
Matthew L. Cloner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 134 people found the following review helpful By LGwriter on June 24, 2005
Format: DVD
Sam Shepard, the actor-writer, wrote this beautiful film; his friend Wim Wenders directed it. This is a cinematic emotional masterpiece with a core that points straight to the things we love and says, Are we in love with them as they are, or as we imagine them to be?

The title is a perfect representation of this point; it's the town where Travis, played by Harry Dean Stanton in probably his best role on screen, was conceived and where his father said his mother was from, without giving the name of the state, only the town. Paris--as in France--is the fantasy. Paris--as in Texas--is the reality. Did his father love his mother for what she was, a plain girl from Texas, or what he imagined her to be, a "fancy woman" from France?

Travis has the same problem; he's the real focus of the film and around him the Texas twilight casts long, sad shadows that glisten with hope, brilliant colors, and soon to be approaching night. In him's a heart that's torn between his love for what he knows and for what he wants to run away from, between his son, Hunter, his ex-wife Jane, and himself. The only one of these he knows is real is his son, who's the second core of the film. Hunter is the reality of his marriage to Jane, the one thing he knows is solid and true and right in front of him.

Nobody makes films like this anymore. This was done in 1984 and deservedly won a Palmes d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival, one of the top awards given to a film director.

Nobody makes films with this much heart anymore. Things have changed.

Things have changed.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is my very favourite movie of all time. This is a perfect film. From Robbie Mueller's breathtaking cinematography, to Ry Cooder's haunting score everything is an excercise in beauty. (Lead actor) Harry Dean Stanton conveys a disturbing yet gentle portrayal of desire, fatherhood, and loss with great lucidity and pathos. Also noteworthy is Nastasja Kinski, whose chemistry with Stanton is unparalleled in recent cinema. The story is certainly one of Sam Sheperd's finest, as is L.M Kit Carson's nuanced adaptation (he wrote the screenplay--and his son plays Hunter, the child star of the film). While this film is a fine achievement in every aspect it is not for the impatient. Some have called it "slow moving," and it is definitely slow in its pace, but one needs time to savour a film of such subtlety as this. Paris Texas is a film that should not be left out of any serious collection, and is a must see for anyone who still regards filmmaking as a craft. I have lost count of how many times I have watched this film and shared it with others.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Bonesteel on January 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This film is a German-French coproduction, so it is interesting as a product of how Americans are viewed by the Europeans. Every scene seems to contain images of something that is decaying or something that is being built. Cars are everywhere. Expansive desert vistas mirror the barrenness of the main character's inner life. Motion is seen as an antidote to pain. The final confrontation between Harry Dean Stanton and Nastasia Kinski is very moving, and the plight of Stanton's character at the end of the film is heartbreaking.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on February 1, 2010
Format: DVD
Films made about the United States by foreign filmmakers are interesting because quite often they provide a unique perspective - someone from the outside looking in. German filmmaker Wim Wenders did just this with his film Paris, Texas. It was a collaboration with acclaimed playwright and actor Sam Shepard and can be seen as a kind of lament for an era of the American west that no longer exists. It's an American road movie about characters living on the fringes of society and was made during the peak of the materialistic Reagan era. Paris, Texas went on to win the coveted Palme d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival and firmly established Wenders as an art house darling.

The first disc features an audio commentary by filmmaker Wim Wenders. The director talks about how he and Ry Cooder decided to use the music that is in the Paris, Texas. Wenders also talks about the origins of the film and working with Sam Shepard on the screenplay. The director talks about the genesis of the film's title and how it relates to Travis. Wenders tells many filming anecdotes on this informative track.

Also included is a theatrical trailer.

The second disc starts off with an interview with Wenders from 2001. He had wanted to make a film about America but hadn't done it to his satisfaction with his previous films. It wasn't until Paris, Texas that he felt like he had achieved this goal. It was also the first time he worked in a spontaneous fashion without a pre-planned shot list.

"The Road to Paris, Texas" is a collection of interviews with key collaborators of Wenders over the years. They all speak admiringly of the man. Wenders talks about the influence of rock `n' roll and road movies on his work.
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Suppose you had lost everything you ever wanted, and it was your own fault. How would you try to get it back? That's the situation facing Travis, who deals with his loss by starting over--literally, tracing his life back to the place where he was conceived. As the story unfolds, Travis realizes that you can't always get everything back...but sometimes, if you're willing to pay the price, you can make up for past mistakes.
It's not a flashy movie. But if you have the patience to sit and watch it, you'll be left with a feeling of being overwhelmed by the quiet drama of life that the movie holds. I hope it comes out on DVD soon. And that music...wow.
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