IMDb > American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)
American: The Bill Hicks Story
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 11 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
American: The Bill Hicks Story -- A captivating animated documentary on the rollercoaster life of legendary comedian Bill Hicks, whose profound & hilarious observations on American life changed the face of modern comedy.
American: The Bill Hicks Story -- A photo-animated documentary on comedian Bill Hicks, narrated by 10 people who knew him best.
American: The Bill Hicks Story -- Clip: Good Buzz
American: The Bill Hicks Story -- Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill Hicks best.


User Rating:
7.8/10   4,118 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for American: The Bill Hicks Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 April 2011 (USA) See more »
The greatest comic of his generation. Kicked ass. Took names. Changed the game.
Photo-animated feature documentary, uniquely narrated by the 10 people who knew Bill best. | Full synopsis »
3 nominations See more »
(76 articles)
User Reviews:
How the British have always appreciated true comedy. See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order)

Bill Hicks ... Himself (archive footage)
Dwight Slade ... Himself, friend of Bill Hicks
Mary Hicks ... Herself, Bill Hicks' mother
Steve Hicks ... Himself
Lynn Hicks ... Herself

Kevin Booth ... Himself
James Ladmirault ... Himself
David Johndrow ... Himself
John Farneti ... Himself
Andy Huggins ... Himself
Steve Epstein

Directed by
Matt Harlock 
Paul Thomas 
Produced by
Rachel Barke .... associate producer: RDF
Suzanne Gilfillan .... commissioning editor: BBC
Matt Harlock .... producer
Mark Lesbirel .... associate producer: RDF
Paul Provenza .... associate producer: USA
Paul Thomas .... producer
Original Music by
Kevin Booth 
Bill Hicks 
Film Editing by
Matt Harlock 
Paul Thomas 
Sound Department
Simon Wright .... dubbing mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Rizzy .... additional camera: Los Angeles
Animation Department
Matt Harlock .... animator
Graham Smith .... animator: Early years animation
Paul Thomas .... animator
Music Department
Mark Daniels .... additional music
Steve Cole .... thanks
Mark Cornwell .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min | Finland:59 min (TV) (2011)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Australia:M | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-12 (2013) (TV rating) | Ireland:15A | UK:15
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Movie Connections:
References Casino Royale (1967)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
How the British have always appreciated true comedy., 15 March 2012
Author: TheDocHierarchy from United Kingdom

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (19 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
If Bill Hicks were alive today... jramills
Track in the end credits demonic141085
Dwight Slade talks about Bills Book on Comedy. eddieduke666
no women? Katgal98
It was great seeing this with an audience, mgr2000
Review: 'American: The Bill Hicks Story' RockviewLTJ
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Exhibit A: Leary Verses Hicks Richard Pryor... Here and Now Tom Toal: On the Scrapheap Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat Demetri Martin. Person.
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.