Harry Dean Stanton’s Repo Code

Harry Dean Stanton is without question one of my favorite character actors, if not my favorite. He has been in a number of great movies with some amazing roles—I’m thinking Cool Hand Luke, Alien, Escape from New York, Pretty in Pink, Paris, Texas, Wild at Heart, etc. And I certainly echo the following sentiment articulated by Roger Ebert (I’m doing a bit of this lately, strangely enough), “No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad.” Amen.

Out of Harry Dean’s many, many roles, I would have to rank his playing of the seasoned repo man “Bud” in Alex Cox’s Repo Man his most memorable. In particular, the scene wherein he introduces Otto (Emilio Estevez) to the sacred values of the Repo Code.

What a genius!

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6 Responses to Harry Dean Stanton’s Repo Code

  1. Keira says:

    Yes on Harry Dean! Yes to M. Emmet Walsh! Yes to Repo Man! This sent me off on a google trail which led to this video via Bob from Brockley. http://brockley.blogspot.com/2007/06/bob-dylan-peter-himmelman-and-harry.html

    I wondered “could Dylan be a hidden link between Stanton and Walsh? Not the reason for their greatness but another indication of it?” Stanton was in both Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, as well as Renaldo and Clara with Dylan. More googling, then I realized I’d spent 20 minutes doing this. But before I pulled myself back up the rabbit hole I was reminded of my fave Walsh role in Blood Simple, which reminded me that the Coen’s featured Dylan’s “The Man in Me” from “New Morning” in Lebowski, which was great without either Harry or Emmet, though they would have fit right in. So I am going to put that on and go have a bath. Thanks!

  2. jimgroom says:


    That is the sickest video ever! Bob Dylan and Harry Dean together performing Hava Negilah. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

    Here’s a good story, I was in a barber shop on Catalina Islan d and I got my haircut next to M. Emmet Walsh, which was pretty lucky timing wise. Best bpart of it it is that he gave me his autograph upon leaving and was just as cool as they come. Oh all my seven years in Los Angeles, that is the only autograph I have, and the only one I would want, save maybe Harry Dean.

    But I also had the privilege to see Harry Dean play with his band at a small club/bar on Pico Blvd in LA. He sang his Mexican ballads, and I just sat back and said wow, that’s Bud from Repo man. it was a moment.

    Unfortunately no such luck with Bob Dylan. Which is probably a good thing because his genius would have been wasted on me since I know so little about him. That said, now that i know he played with the great harry Dean i might have to give him a little bit more attention :0

    Awesome stuff Keira. I think at NV this year we have to talk 80s movies exclusively. We have some deep seated tastes in common in that regard.

  3. Scott Leslie says:

    If you haven’t been watching it, I highly recommend the HBO series Big Love, if only for Harry Dean’s performances. He plays the demagogue of a polygamist compound in Utah, and and his ability to convey this cloyingly sinister character is just delicious. Real treat.

  4. This is quite weird, as Repoman is one of my favourite films, and I quote verbatim from it endlessly, to the irritation of my friends and family. (In particular the bit about the “plate of shrimp” and the “cosmic lattice of coincidence”.) So I am pleased to have found your page, thanks to Keira, and pleased to have brought you pleasure, thanks to Hava Negila.

    A haircut next to M Emmet! Wow!

  5. Brian says:

    Harry Dean is right, not many people have a code to live by. I think we need a code.

  6. jimgroom says:


    That Hava Neglia video was about as good a find on YouTube as I have yet to see. That really deserves the Wow!


    I couldn’t agree more, when do we start drafting the script? Could a code skit be part of Moose Camp? You could be Harry Dean, I’ll be Lite (or vice versa of course).

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