With a career spanning over six decades, Harry Dean Stanton was beloved for his weathered face, easy tenor voice, and candid approach to acting and life. After decades of playing bit parts in westerns and gangster films, in the late 70s and early 80s Stanton began to attract the attention of rogue directors like Monte Hellman and Alex Cox, who recognized that a dash of Stanton’s quiet presence could add the texture and grit needed to make a good film great. Stanton had two lead roles in his lifetime: as a heartbroken wanderer in Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas, and an aging cowboy-philosopher in John Carroll Lynch’s new drama Lucky. But he’s best known for playing small yet memorable parts in cult films like John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, Ridley Scott’s Alien, and Howard Deutch’s Pretty in Pink.

Though his death in September was a blow to film lovers everywhere, Harry’s work is preserved in hundreds of films to be felt and appreciated by future generations. In December, we remember this American legend with a survey of his acting work—in roles big and small.

In the month of December, bring a ticket stub from any December MFA film to the Coolidge Corner Theater for a $3 discount on regularly priced feature films, subject to availability.

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