What’s Goin’ On

Starring Harry Dean Stanton

Final film gives the character actor top billing


Near the end of his long, memorable career, Harry Dean Stanton got "Lucky."

Sadly, he won't get to see it in a theater, The lanky character actor died September 15 at 91, just two weeks shy of the September 29 premiere of his final film.

In the title role, Stanton plays a small-town curmudgeon who does yoga every morning, watches game shows all afternoon and holds court in the local diner. He also smokes three packs a day as he contemplates his impending mortality.

"Everything Harry Dean Stanton has done in his career, and his life, has brought him to his moment of triumph in 'Lucky,'" raves Variety, later adding, "It is, quite simply, the performance of a lifetime."

"Lucky" is the first feature film directed by John Caroll Lynch, the actor perhaps best known as Frances McDormand's stamp-painting husband in "Fargo" and Drew Carey's cross-dressing brother in "The Drew Carey Show."

There are cameo appearances by Ed Begley Jr. as Lucky's doctor, Tom Skerritt as a wise World War II veteran and "Twin Peaks" director David Lynch as a desert community resident in search of his lost tortoise.

But "Lucky" is destined to be remembered as the swan song of a dark actor whose career spanned 60 years and more than 100 films, including a supporting role as a an FBI agent in "The Godfather, Part II" and star turns in two 1984 cult hits, "Repo Man" and "Paris, Texas."

Stanton was always good. But in the end, once and for all, he's "Lucky."