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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Career-best performance by James Woods as the founder of A.A.

Author: Carl Halling from United Kingdom
26 December 2001

James Woods puts in the most magnetic performance of his career in this stunning neglected classic. Normally known as a tough guy, Woods is profoundly affecting, and heartrendingly vulnerable as the charming and brilliant young stockbroker who succumbs to alcoholism, before going on to found AA, and help so many to find the strength to stay sober. It is wonderfully well directed, but of course the subject matter would prevent it from being a "classic" in the commercial sense. Artistically however, it is a triumph, well-paced and almost hypnotically powerful, with an Oscar-meriting performance.

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Why is this out of print?

10/10
Author: Charles Tomaras from United States
15 May 2005

Message to the rights holders of this fine film: Why is this out of print and selling used for between $35 and 70$? How about another run of this...maybe this time on DVD?

I've found it to be one of the best and only movies to deal with Alchoholics anonymous and a must have for any member of AA and anyone wanting to share the experience with others.

Since I need to have at least 10 lines of text to post here I guess I'm just gonna keep typing even though I'm completely out of things to say. My name is Charlie T and I'd rather not share today but I am being forced.

Thankfully...this is my 10th line of text!

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Insightful movie; incredible experience

10/10
Author: rpbndc1
15 November 2004

I was a partly-involved spectator during the filming of the movie, and it was an incredible experience. The quality of the actors was usurped only by their unending interest in the story of Bill W and the important message they were delivering.

James Garner and James Woods were intensely focused on keeping the story of Dr. bob and Bill as true to form as possible. Jo Beth Williams played Lois Wilson incredibly well; first as a confused wife with no options and a drunkard husband; then as a strong willed but understanding partner for life.

If anyone has a loved one or knows of a friend whose life is impacted by an alcoholic, then this movie is both an eye opener and an inspiration to keep trying to find a way to fight and deal with the disease.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

There is a solution

10/10
Author: jespereilertsen from Copenhagen, Denmark
7 April 2003

This movie carries a great message, and I was deeply touched by the story of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. It's an important historic treasure being preserved in a true and respectful film. The story is straightforward and strong and gives and honest impression of the pioneers of AA. Let this movie carry the message too.. There is a solution.. ;-)

If you liked this one - watch "Pay it forward" - a wonderful movie with a similar theme.

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

James Woods excels in this.

8/10
Author: Brigid O Sullivan (wisewebwoman) from Toronto, Canada
28 December 2003

A wonderful heartfelt story of the founding of AA, focusing on the life of Bill Wilson both before and after recovery. Here James Woods gives an amazingly vulnerable performance as a man who cannot get sober and it is one of his best. The rendition of the founding of AA comes across as true due to its understatement. No apocalyptic two by fours, almost an accidental discovery of the way out of a seemingly impossible state of mind and body. Very moving and believable. Kudos to all involved. A masterpiece. 8 out of 10.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

I channel surfed onto it and couldn't leave, plus add'l info

8/10
Author: Walt-11 from New England
2 September 2002

This was a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation. James Woods won the lead actor in a special or miniseries Emmy for this. James Garner's role is quite small, but key. This movie wisely spends most of its time with Bill W before the AA formation to give us a strong sense of the long hell that he lived before he found his answers. It is about him more than about AA. A very intelligent, well written, well acted, important story.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

An excellent review of the founding of AA

Author: (drsmls@inreach.com) from Sacramento, CA, USA
10 February 1999

This is the story of the founding of the organization Alcoholics Anonymous. I am acquainted with two people who knew Bill W (the main character in the movie) and they say that they believe this is an accurate depiction of the events shown in it.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

10/10
Author: Granada321 from Los Angeles, Ca. USA
14 March 2002

This is an Excellent movie showing how AA started and how it works. It Shows non AA people how the program works. The two actors who played Bill and Bob are very believable as recovering alcoholics too. I wish everyone would watch this movie so they could see how the program works and so they would understand why people want to go to meetings the rest of their lives.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A definite must see for anybody who is in a 12 Step Program

10/10
Author: garyhu from Canada
7 February 2006

Hi, my name is Gary H. and I am a recovering addict/alcoholic, amongst other things ... I have been clean and sober for over 10 years now and watching Bill W. helped me get a better insight of what and how the program was started. I choose and chose to break a certain part of my own anonymity as I am writing this review, so that you may know really of what I thought and how I really feel about this movie.

Bill W., was a very stirring and sensitively portrayed movie as James Woods took on the role of Bill W. His performance was second to none and I don't think anyone else could have portrayed Bill W.'s part any better and James Garner made an excellent Dr. Bob. Many times as I was watching this film I really related to both Bill W and Dr. Bob which shows the level of acting of these two fine performers.

I have the utmost respect and admiration of this movie as it was well performed and having been in a 12 Step Program for over 15 years now. In addition to having the knowledge of Bill W's life and teachings as well as Dr. Bob's story this wonderful Program of AA and the many other fellowships that have sprung up to help the addict/alcoholic who is still suffering. After visually watching this movie I found a greater peace and understanding that I never realized before and that I am not alone.

Thanks to the Grace of God, that Bill W. was there to have such a tremendous story to tell and how he and Dr. Bob help create the fellowship of AA. And thanks to the people who decided to create this project that James Woods and James Garner have immortalized forever. In twenty-five (25 words or less) ... "It's a Classic!"

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This film is available on DVD through Amazon

9/10
Author: sondancer777 from United States
11 August 2009

Prior comment notes that this film is out of print. I found it on sale at amazon.com for $13.99 DVD brand new. Performances are outstanding. Gratitude to the producers and H.P. for getting this film back on the market. I found the film to be an excellent source for my work with persons who have the diseases of alcoholism and addiction. Repeating to get the 10 lines of text. Prior comment notes that this film is out of print. I found it on sale at amazon.com for $13.99 DVD brand new. Performances are outstanding. Gratitude to the producers and H.P. for getting this film back on the market. I found the film to be an excellent source for my work with persons who have the diseases of alcoholism and addiction. 08/12/09

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