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

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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.


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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
Other crew
Parag Sankhe .... blue-ray authorizor
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 year before his death, Bill Hicks appeared on the David Letterman show. Letterman judged his segment to be substandard and so cut it from the subsequent show. He did not know that Hicks was dying of pancreatic cancer at the time. 15 years later, in January 2009, Letterman invited Hicks's mother Mary onto the show as a belated form of apology.See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Batman" (1966)See more »


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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.

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