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I Saw the Light (2015)

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The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lillie Williams
Billie Jean Jones
Bobbie Jett
James Dolan
Dore Schary
Wesley Robert Langlois ...
Don Helms - Steel
Sammy Pruett - Guitar
Jerry Rivers - Fiddle
Michael Rinne ...
Lum York - Bass
Jim Denny
Gas Station Attendant (as Steven Todd Barnett)


The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of Hank Williams.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 April 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Hank Williams Project  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$45,471 (USA) (25 March 2016)


$1,646,468 (USA) (3 June 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene of Williams walking out of the hotel and placing his glass on the roof of the car was filmed in Shreveport's The Remington Suites Hotel on Travis Street, just before midnight. It was unseasonably cold that night and many of the antique cars had trouble starting and running. See more »


(At 00:24) As Audrey Williams is approaching the microphone in the radio studio you can clearly hear Hank say "She is slowly approaching the microscope" not "microphone". See more »


Fred Rose: Don't worry, they can kill you but they can't eat you.
Hank Williams: Strangely comforting.
See more »


A Pair of Broken Hearts
Written by Fred Rose
Performed by Spade Cooley
With permission from Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

I've Lost My Heart it Seems
31 March 2016 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Most Hollywood musical biopics follow a similar and predictable structure, which is why Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story was so easily able to parody the genre. Of course, the legendary singer/songwriter Hank Williams deserves more than predictable storytelling … but unfortunately, that's exactly what he gets here.

Tom Hiddleston delivers a spot on physical impersonation of Hank – right down to the slightly hunched over (due to Spina Bifida Occulta) posture and bouncy onstage waggle. Yes, the very British Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in The Avengers and Thor movies, has managed to capture the presence of one of the all-time great Country and Western icons. Mr. Hiddleston worked on the beloved songs with Rodney Crowell and delivers some very nice singing - so nice in fact that the singing is distracting and misleading. Hank Williams sang his songs in angst … a tortured soul seemingly without choice in his need to share his art. No one could be expected to perform with that emotion, and the void is obvious.

As source material, director Marc Abraham (Flash of Genius, 2008) utilizes "Hank Williams: The Biography" co-written by George Merritt, Colin Escott, and William MacEwen. It may be the least creative title possible for a biography, and the movie correlates perfectly. We track Hank's early days as a struggling singer whose dream is to someday perform on the hallowed stage of The Grand Ole Opry, to his gas station marriage to Audrey May (Elizabeth Olsen), through his alcoholism, drug use, womanizing, superstardom, fall from grace, and ultimately tragic death at the age of 29.

Despite the nature of Williams' short life, the film only skims the surface and rarely digs too deeply. The steady stream of women/wives is difficult to track … perhaps that's the point. Audrey is the only one who gets much screen time and Ms. Olsen plays her as an ambitious shrew who comes across as impossible to like and as unwilling to work at the relationship. A staggering number of Hank Williams songs are embedded as merely interludes separating scenes of misery for all involved … especially Hank, who seems to find little joy in life.

We've all seen the destruction that fame often leads to, and when combined with Hank's painful back disorder and relentless alcoholism, it's little wonder his body simply surrendered at such an early age. The movie just seems a bit too high-gloss for such a tortured soul, and despite the best efforts of Tom Hiddleston, the film is not worthy of someone who left the musical legacy of Hank Williams.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Your first Hank song caroleanne
Anyone gonna see this? GhostSniper
I rarely post on imdb, but after seeing this ........ johnalfie-70902
Does anybody know the rating for this movie? vanderelstolivia
Tom Hiddleston is the only light. spheater-alice-96-161784
Younger people dismiss this film because they arent interested in Han.. WhiskeyRiver-AZ
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