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The Last Ride (2012)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 22 June 2012 (USA)
2:32 | Trailer

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At the end of 1952, with the best years of Hank Williams's career behind him, he hires a local kid to drive him through the Appalachian countryside for a pair of New Years shows in West Virginia and Ohio.



(as Howie Klausner),



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Wells
Natalie Canerday ...
Danny Thomason ...
Dr. Stoneacre
Lawrence Hamilton ...
Street Musician
Bill Butler ...
Mark W. Johnson ...
Judge Matheny
Jeff Bailey ...
Dash Goff ...
Store Keeper
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Old Man


At the end of 1952, with the best years of Hank Williams's career behind him, he hires a local kid to drive him through the Appalachian countryside for a pair of New Years shows in West Virginia and Ohio.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story of Hank Williams, music's original bad boy.


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some language, a fight and smoking


Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 June 2012 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Charles Carr, the Auburn freshman who actually was driving when Williams died, himself passed away in July 2013 at the age of 79 in Montgomery, AL. Carr was hired on Dec. 30, 1952, to drive Williams in his 1952 powder blue Cadillac from Montgomery to shows in Charleston, WV, and Canton, OH. There was snow most of the way. On New Year's Eve day in the afternoon, Williams received word that a flight he had planned to take him to the job in Charleston was canceled due to snow. They checked into a Knoxville hotel, where hotel porters later had to carry Williams, under the influence of two shots of morphine, to the backseat of the car when it was decided to drive to Canton. The next morning, in Oak Hill, WV, Carr found Williams dead, lying in the same position where the porters had placed him. Carr remained in Montgomery, working in investment and real estate until he retired. See more »


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User Reviews

Worth a Watch
11 February 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

In a word, I found the movie to be quite entertaining, in part, because it mentions at the beginning that it is based on true events. I don't understand the $9 million dollar budget, as it looks like a movie that would have been shot for TV or straight to video. That aside, "The Last Ride" depicts a heart-warming study into a small piece of life of one of the most beloved and greatest country artists of all time, Hank Williams. As in most of his career, he was "looked after" by those around him, due to his unreliability in part as a result of terrible alcoholism and drug use (morphine to dull the pain of his spina bifada). This movie depicts a situation where everyone around him does their best to care for him, in their own way, to love him, and in the end, understand his poor choices, to a degree. On the downside, I think the movie tries hard to gain the empathy of the watcher, however falls short in endearing Williams character as a tortured soul, looking for acceptance in anyone he would meet. It might have been the acting. It bared a sad existence for the country legend, but it also was a story of an evolution of friendship between two men from different worlds who only knew each other a few days. I am not sure that casting Henry Thomas as Hank Williams was the right one. It seems that the quirky nature of Thomas' depiction of Williams seemed forced, looked unnatural. Jesse James on the other hand, played his young driver well, and believably acted a 19 year old kid who was taking a lesson in life from a master, (Williams) who had virtually seen and done it all, at the young age of 29. I was also mystified by the casting of Kaley Cuolco (Big Bang Theory), in that she didn't possess the "naturalness" of someone who lived in the '50s (I did), lacked the "southernness" for someone who was born and raised in the area, and seemed to be too "old" to be the love interest of Williams young driver. I think there might have been better choices for this role. I was also confused at the seeming lack of recognition that people had for Williams as one of the biggest music stars of the era. Some of the scenes where intelligent characters for example, such as a small town judge, didn't recognize him as a famous figure, once he was standing before him. This seemed very strange throughout the movie. The viewer only got a glimpse of his notoriety and fame when a bar owner at the end of the movie told the young driver, "Tell him my stage is his stage, anytime". Overall, the movie is a good watch. Its entertaining and interesting. I am not sure however, if it really was a top notch representation of the kind of character Hank Willams was, in the end.

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