American Masters: Season 18, Episode 7

Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues (23 Jun. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | History
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.3/10 from 79 users  
Reviews: 4 user

The authoritative documentary on Country Music's most influential figure.


0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 521 titles
created 11 Jun 2011
a list of 19 titles
created 20 Sep 2011
a list of 254 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 50 titles
created 3 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues (23 Jun 2004)

Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues (23 Jun 2004) on IMDb 5.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Masters.
« Previous Episode | 115 of 189 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode credited cast:
Roy Acuff ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Tommy Bishop ...
Rick Bragg ...
Joe Buck ...
Charles Carr ...
Anita Carter ...
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Little Jimmy Dickens ...
Danny Dill ...
Himself (archive footage)
Colin Escott ...
Lewis Fitzgerald ...
Kira Florita ...
Tillman B. Franks ...


The authoritative documentary on Country Music's most influential figure.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

23 June 2004 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Cold, Cold Heart
1 April 2012 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

In 1950, Hank's wife got pregnant. Unbeknown to him, she had an abortion at home, and ended up in the hospital. As he tried to express his concern and love for her, she scornfully threw him out. In response to his hurt, he proceeded to write a song. That song was "Cold, Cold Heart".

In the film's second half, in B&W archival footage, he sings two full verses. It's the best segment in a fine documentary about the short life of country-western singer-songwriter Hank Williams, a life that had more than its fair share of grief and heartache.

The film starts out with his funeral in 1953, followed by standard bio coverage, including his Southern roots and childhood poverty, his initial success on the Louisiana Hayride radio program, and his stormy relations with The Grand Old Opry in Nashville. Perhaps most fascinating is his even stormier marriage and attendant romantic entanglements. The film contains lots of interviews. And it's clear that his turbulent personal relations exacerbated his heavy, binge drinking that undeniably contributed to his early death. Archival footage shows an adult Hank, only 29 years old, looking more like he's 49.

As I was watching this documentary, it occurred to me that I don't think I have ever seen a picture of Hank Williams without a hat on. In this bio, there is at least one photo of him, hatless. Looks very different. Certainly, with that cowboy hat, and strumming his guitar, this lanky, gawky guy created an identifiable mystique, and proved to be a talent who not only could write heartfelt songs but could sing them too. What a voice!

"Legends don't look like legends when they're being made", comments friend and fellow performer Danny Dill. But in his short life Hank Williams touched an emotional cord during a period in America when common, down-home folks had not yet fully recovered from the Great Depression. His heartfelt songs expressed what they were feeling inwardly.

I could have wished for more uninterrupted Hank Williams stage performances. But nevertheless, this is a fine bio, one that will appeal to viewers, like me, who like country-western music, and to viewers who like learning about the lives of famous people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where can I find this? Hkykix38
None Without Sin jumpinjosh49
A Duke Named Ellington DVD marlisda
Who was the narrator on the Gershwin documentary??? richmond-4
Atlantic Records PACman66
Marilyn Monroe jillgarnett
Discuss Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page