MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 36,318 this week

American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,761 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 19 user | 75 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best.

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

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 23 titles
created 05 Apr 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 06 Mar 2012
 
a list of 27 titles
created 15 Aug 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)

American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009) on IMDb 7.8/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American: The Bill Hicks Story.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bill Hicks: Relentless (Video 1992)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Bill Hicks tells us how he feels about non-smokers, blow-jobs, religion, war and peace, drugs and music.

Director: Chris Bould
Stars: Bill Hicks
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary which examines copyright issues in the information age.

Director: Brett Gaylor
Stars: Cory Doctorow
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen: This classic comedy concert film launched the careers of Tim Allen, Chris Rock and Jackie The Joke Man Martling. It also features the definitive performance of ... See full summary »

Director: Leonard Wong
Stars: Tim Allen, John Fox, Joey Gaynor
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever.

Director: Christian Frei
Stars: James Nachtwey, Christiane Amanpour, Hans-Hermann Klare
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Directors: Jörn Donner, Erkki Seiro, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jörn Donner, Riitta Lindgren, Erkki Seiro
Bill Hicks: Revelations (TV Special 1993)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Director: Chris Bould
Stars: Bill Hicks
Totally Bill Hicks (Video 1994)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A celebration of the comedy of Bill Hicks. The film is structured around the different strains of comedy in the Hicks stand-up, sampling the best of his confrontational performance. ... See full summary »

Director: Rupert Edwards
Stars: Bill Hicks, Richard Belzer, Eric Bogosian
Counts of the Netherworld (TV Movie 1993)
Comedy | Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Kevin Booth
Stars: Bill Hicks, Fallon Woodland
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Stars: Bill Hicks, Richard Belzer, Eric Bogosian
One Man's War (1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Man leaves his factory job and sells everything to buy an earth mover and start his own business, travelling from place to place with his wife and child. There is not enough work and he is ... See full summary »

Director: Risto Jarva
Stars: Eero Rinne, Tuula Nyman, Tauno Hautaniemi
It's Just a Ride (TV Movie 1994)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Rupert Edwards
Stars: Bill Hicks, Jay Leno, David Letterman
Short | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

EXHIBIT A: Leary Vs. Hicks is an experimental documentary meditation on the dangers of artistic theft in the world of stand-up comedy, and an expose on the little-known yet long-standing ... See full summary »

Director: Andy Gately
Stars: Bill Hicks, Denis Leary
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself, friend of Bill Hicks
Mary Hicks ...
Herself, Bill Hicks' mother
Steve Hicks ...
Himself
Lynn Hicks ...
Herself
...
Himself
James Ladmirault ...
Himself
David Johndrow ...
Himself
John Farneti ...
Himself
Andy Huggins ...
Himself
Steve Epstein
Edit

Storyline

Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest comic of his generation. Kicked ass. Took names. Changed the game.


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 April 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American: the Bill Hicks story  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,872 (USA) (8 April 2011)

Gross:

$90,275 (USA) (10 June 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) (2011)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A 2010 poll on British TV station Channel 4 placed Bill Hicks at number four, two places higher than the last time they ran a poll in 2007. See more »

Connections

References Batman (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
How the British have always appreciated true comedy.
15 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Bill Hicks did not live an extraordinary life. Born into a middle-class suburban home with doting parents and overachieving siblings, the teen found his calling in furnishing extraordinary insights into the ordinary life that he, and most other Americans in the 70s and 80s, led. Getting his start as a teen comic in a local Texan comedy club, he was the young upstart coming at issues from a fresh angle, the ease and confidence with which he delivers his jokes distinguishing him as a special talent.

Dropping out of school and chasing the dream in LA, Hicks struggles with failure and fitting in with what the world expects of his humour. Falling into patterns of drug abuse and alcoholism, his comedy mirrored an outlook on life that was not mainstream. He was cynical, he was rash and he was jarring, and for all those reasons, he was an acquired taste. His anti-American routines particularly did not bode well for his career; in an industry where shock is now the norm, Hicks was ahead of his time, but that was to prove little consolation.

Eventually, ousting himself from the cycle of rejection and abuse, Hicks winds up in New York where he gets himself clean and his magical touch returns. Though he never sacrifices his right to say and joke about whatever he wishes (and highlights from various gigs are used as proof of this), in doing so he pushes back against the mainstream tide that flirts with but never embraces him. Diagnosed with cancer in his early 30s, Hicks never receives the true acceptance of the American audience that he perhaps craved, but he died in the knowledge that he stuck to certain values that never let him compromise what he believed in to merely give audiences what they wanted to hear. Many would argue that, in itself, that is a very American value.

Harlock and Thomas' film joins the growing collection of posthumous albums and features that have attempted to reclaim Hicks' image, to wonderful effect. Whether it is guilt for ignoring him whilst alive, America has finally embraced the humour of a man whose only really fame was an ocean away in the United Kingdom. As only a proud American could care enough to write the jokes about the fatherland that Hicks managed, his emotional emigration to the British Isles is as tragic personally as it was a highlight professionally.

If the documentary has a flaw, it is that Hicks wasn't around to truly finish it. This is a half-finished documentary because it was a half-finished life.

Concluding Thought: As a resident of the UK, the portrayal of Hick's success in the British Isles being down to his anti-Americanism is somewhat simplistic. The UK has a wonderful tradition of supporting comedians regardless of background or content, purely because they make them laugh.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
no women? Katgal98
If Bill Hicks were alive today... jramills
Australia TayshaWaffles
No-one here yet? eatupchichi
It's about time!! Goodnight60
It was great seeing this with an audience, mgr2000
Discuss American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page