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Harry Dean StantonHollywood's Zen Rebel$
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Joseph B. Atkins

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813180106

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813180106.001.0001

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A Repo Man and His “Tense Situations”

A Repo Man and His “Tense Situations”

(p.117) 8 A Repo Man and His “Tense Situations”
Harry Dean Stanton

Joseph B. Atkins

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter details the production and subsequent success of writer-director Alex Cox's Repo Man (1984), the first film in which Harry Dean Stanton at least shared top billing. He was 57 and his co-star, Emilio Estevez, was 21. Cox was 29. Harry Dean got the role in part because of what Cox described as his "Old West-cadaver look," but he and the director frequently clashed during filming. Harry Dean questioned Cox's direction again and again, and often rightly so, Cox later admitted. However, they helped create an underground classic with this story of socially marginalized men who repossess cars from owners delinquent in their payments and who stumble onto the radioactive remains of aliens in the trunk of a 1962 Chevy Malibu. With its punk rock soundtrack, quirky, comic-strip-like plot, and infinitely quotable lines and gags, Repo Man established Harry Dean as one of the hippest soon-to-be sexagenarians in Hollywood.

Keywords:   Alex Cox, Emilio Estevez, Repo Man, '62 Chevy Malibu

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