Your Cheatin' Heart (1964) Poster

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8/10
...this movie shows us the magic of songwriting...
the_great8 January 2006
If you are a songwriter or have ever written a song, you must marvel at the work of Hank Williams, and this movie shows us the magic of songwriting. Where do the greatest songs come from? And if we happen to write one, is it our responsibility to let the world hear it?

Unlike so many other movies based on the lives of legendary musicians, this one is fun to watch (and not just listen). George Hamilton is great as Hank Williams, and it's his performance that saves the biopic from turning to a tiresome melodrama somewhere in the middle. You see, he doesn't seem to be all that serious even when the script calls him to be, and that my friend, however strange it may seem, is the key to success. So many biopics based on the stories of bitter ex wives and rivals suggest that our favorite artists never had a sense of humor.

All the actors do a good job. Beautiful Susan Oliver plays a credible nag, and although the script doesn't put the blame on anyone (which is good), the performance allows us to question her motives from the get go.

All the songs heard in this movie are classics. We hear two different versions of I saw the light, and the later one makes otherwise a sad ending the perfect ending.
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9/10
Very Good
wdbhill10 August 2002
Hank Williams was a very complex individual. Like all of us, he struggled with good and evil.

The movie depicted a very simple man thrust into stardom. The sound track was done by a 14 year old Hank Williams Jr. The movie would have been much better if the songs of Hank Williams were included.

I think the movie could be done better today with better actors. The story line could more true to the actual life of Hank Williams. Back in the 40's and 50's the life of a country singer was rough and rowdy.

When this picture was made, Audrey Williams (Hank's wife) dictated every move. Trying to make Hank a legend. It wasn't necessary, he already was a legend. The movie was also used to launch a young Hank Williams Jr into the national spot light. None of this was necessary. Hank Williams Jr. has become a legend in his own right in spite of his mother trying to make him another Hank Williams.

At any rate, if you are interested in Hank Williams this is a very good movie and deserves your viewing.

I hope to see another movie made about the life of Hank Williams.
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8/10
The Spirit of Hank Williams Is Captured On Film
krorie16 October 2005
This is an exceptional musical biography of one of the greatest singer-songwriters-entertainers of the 20th century. Single handedly this country boy from the backwoods of Alabama changed American country music and in the process crossed over and changed popular music as well. His influence is still felt today from the legacy of Ray Charles to the driving force of Hank Williams Jr. Surprisingly the lead role in the movie is done quite well by George Hamilton, usually seen as just another pretty face in those days. It is amazing that fourteen-year-old Hank Jr. does such a fantastic job dubbing his dad's music for Hamilton. In some ways his rendition of Hank Sr.'s most poetic song, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," is better than the original. He almost captures all the pain and loneliness of his dad's magnificent voice.

Though there are many liberties taken with Hank Sr.'s life story, the film keeps the spirit of the man and the legend alive and burning brightly. One reason for the biographical changes besides poetic license to make the film more dramatic was the forced reliance on the no-talent Miss Audrey, Hank Sr.'s ex, as adviser for the movie and mentor for Hank Jr. who sang for his father. This led to all kinds of omissions and changes such as no mention of Hank Sr.'s new bride to whom he was married just before his untimely passing.

The latest findings on Hank Sr.'s death, that he died from mixing alcohol and pain killers of the early 50's variety, does not conflict all that much with the ending of the movie. He did die in the backseat of his Cadillac while being chauffeured to a New Year's show in Canton, Ohio.

Undoubtedly he died New Year's Eve 1952 but was not pronounced dead until New Year's Day 1953. Hank therefore has the unenviable distinction of having died in two different calendar years. I was nine years old at the time and I remember that my family (poor country folks from the hills of Arkansas) took it as if it were a death in the family. That is how much of an icon he had become during his few short years of stardom.

So even though the facts of Hank's life may be wrong from time to time in the movie, his spirit is captured making this a great tribute to the man and his music.
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5/10
The real Hank Williams Story deserves better.
blizzy635 December 2006
While watching this 1964 biopic, I constantly drew the conclusion that this story needs and deserves to be updated in our contemporary styles a la 'I Walk the Line' and 'Ray'. Each time we hear Hank's songs and recall in our minds the true story of his life and gifted talent, we know that he deserves an honest portrayal on film with higher than average production values. I liked that this film was in B&W. It made the setting of the '40s and early '50s realistic. Unfortunately, the movie sets looked too incredibly stock studio back lot. The half a dozen seedy bars down the back alley beside the Grand Ole Opry was suddenly too stylized a scene (and consequently, less believable). Hank and Audrey's super-stardom mansion looked like they borrowed it from a David Niven melodrama set. George Hamilton was OK as Hank. Sometimes I believed him as Hank, sometimes I just saw George Hamilton. Often, the seams were showing in this film: Hollywood studio, 1964. The story seemed one-sided (the Audrey Williams story)and with too much standard Hollywood melodrama (Red Buttons: Look off into the distance past the camera and make a speech to Hank. Repeat later.). Based on what we know of Hank's real story, much of it seems to be missing in this movie. We saw Hank fall off a horse and hurt his back but where's the pain killers that contributed to his death? (And I won't mention the fact that in the end he was remarried to a second woman.) The music in this movie often bothered me. Hank's song were great but their renditions (apparently by Hank Williams Jr.) sounded too Nashville studios, hi-fi 1964. (I don't remember Hank Sr. being accompanied by back-up singers...oooh, aaah!) This movie almost felt like the altered version of a great and troubled performer's story...safe to tell to the kids and grandma ('Don't mention the pills, just say he died of a broken heart.'). The ending was fitting for the great Hank, though. A filled theater and an empty stage. The show that he was headed to but didn't make. Because I know of the greatness of his talent and contributions to music, I thought that it was right on the mark. It put tears in my eyes. It was the best and truest part of the movie.
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A gritty biopic with excellent acting
Angus T. Cat8 August 2003
This movie was a real surprise to me. I thought at first it would be a typical Hollywood biopic of a singer - boy starts off poor, is troubled when he hits the big time, starts messing up, picture ends tragically but celebrates his legend... much like a Mad magazine pastiche. "Your Cheatin Heart" seems to gloss over some of the events of Hank William's life. I didn't know all that much about him but I had that impression. Even so, this is a gripping picture. I was transfixed and I don't like country music. George Hamilton can act! He strongly expresses Williams' conflicts over his career and marriage. Susan Oliver is a revelation too. Why wasn't she offered more films? (I knew I saw her somewhere before: she was Vina in Star Trek's "The Cage".) The ending is tragic and the viewer can probably see it coming even if he or she doesn't know about Williams' early death. Still, the scene of the empty stage had me in tears. The film shows deep feeling for Williams' music and his fans. By far the best thing about Your Cheatin' Heart is Williams' songs, especially the rendition of "I'm so Lonesome I could Cry", which was what I was doing.
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4/10
Misinformation - but fun
alc0120 November 2005
The movie is not based on fact, but rather a image spin. For example the last concert in the movie is to take place at 8 p.m. but people are arriving at noon -- the truth his Hank missed the 8 p.m. concert and had a 2 p.m. one the next day, which is the one where they announced his death. The movie claims he was "clean" or sober at the time of his death for several months, yet he had been hospitalized just two weeks before his death trying to sober him and kick his drug habit. The movie deals with his drinking problems but never mentions the drug habit, considering he died of a suspected overdose (as many as three shots of morphine just hours before he died) the movie never mentions it. The movie also implies he was still with his first wife at the time of his death, when he had remarried and refused to see his first wife.

If you take it as a work of fiction, it is fun, just no facts about a great singer who hated the stage.
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A very moving story about the late, great Hank Williams
fechanbrae18 August 2002
I saw this movie in Scotland around the time of its original release and for the first time in my life, I witnessed a movie audience stand and applaud a film and ... there wasn't a dry eye in the theatre at the ending. A brilliant portrayal of H.W. by George Hamilton I have been trying to buy a copy of this film for years and at last I can see the movie again, 38 years later. Thank You! Jim Reid.
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8/10
Unworthy and Disrespectful Bio of the Great Hank Williams
vitaleralphlouis3 September 2006
Few today recall or ever knew the MGM biography of Hank Williams was under development --- on hold --- for 10 years while MGM squabbled with Audrey Williams over the script, a script which eventually dishonored country music's greatest-ever star. It's been over 30 years since I saw this picture, but I remember it was (1) the most anticipated movie I ever saw, (2) a great disappointment, and (3) a great pleasure to see a movie about Hank despite the dishonesty and Audrey's self-serving spin job.

In 1982, a man who really understood Hank Williams and his legacy created a stage play in London, England called "Hank Williams, the Show He Never Gave." In 1983, this was made into a movie, and has been out in both VHS and DVD. The 1983 movie, like Hank's music, is emotional enough to tear your heart out.

People who love Hank Williams seldom explain his legacy to others, as it's too personal and heartfelt; something to be tucked carefully inside one's own heart. Our love for him is intense, internal; never fading with time's passage.
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Wonderful biography of Hank Williams Sr.
Randy H. Farb17 September 1999
This movie is a warm and touching portrait of the late great Hank Williams, Sr. George Hamilton really makes you feel the heartbreak behind each performance. Susan Oliver is also fine as his long-suffering wife. I remember seeing this film at least twice during the 1960's. In fact, I was inspired to copy one scene, but for modesty's sake, you'll have to see the film.
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6/10
A very bad film redeemed by the music
William J. Fickling6 December 2006
I have seen examples of egregious miscasting before, but nothing so ludicrous as casting George Hamilton as Hank Williams. What were they thinking? This bronzed playboy from "Where the Boys Are," this at-the-time beau of Lynda Byrd Johnson, as the dirt poor, up from poverty Hank Williams? Supposedly Williams' widow vetoed Elvis Presley, but at least Elvis would have lent some authenticity to the role, and could have sung as well. Hamilton's lip-synching the Williams songs is especially ludicrous. The acting by the other leads--Susan Oliver, Red Buttons, Arthur O'Connell--is passable, but that of some of the actors in smaller parts is wretched beyond belief. This film must have seemed old fashioned even in 1964. It is more reminiscent of some of the B studio biopics of the 40s and 50s.

This having been said, the film does remind us that Williams was a great songwriter. We get to hear nearly all of his great songs in this film, and, according to the film's credits, they were sung by Hank Williams Jr., who would have been 15 at the time! Hank Jr. does a good job of imitating his father's style, and at times sounds just like him. There is no hint that he would later develop a style of his own, quite different from his father's.

The songs are the only reason to watch this film. But, that is a pretty good reason.
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On 1964 film Your Cheatin Heart
noraandkids1 April 2012
I first saw this film at the old Fox Theater in Rawlins, WY. I was so impressed that I began collecting Hank's albums,remastered and released on 33 1/3 records. The more I got, the more I wanted. Recently, I discovered the movie was out on DVD and I bought it. I have watched it many times. I believe George Hammilton made an honest effort to get into Hank's mind and did a credible job. I love the movie and use it to introduce my kids and grandkids to this amazing man.

I also bought Hank Williams, The Show He Never Gave and love it as a way to come a little closer to knowing Hank. I can't say I like one movie over the other. They are both VERY good.

I agree with those who would like to see the movie made today along the line of Walk The Line and Ray. Hank was too important to not keep new generations up to date with his massive contribution to Country Music.
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insult to the memory of a great artist
mikko-1121 September 2003
this is hollywood at its worst - the lead characters are cheeseball icons - george hamilton, susan oliver and (believe it or not) red buttons as a travelling musician - mugging their way thru a candy-coated script full of stereotypes, contrived moments and lies to fabricate a character for an artist who already had a compelling story - the best moments are listening to hank williams junior singing in the style of his father giving us a whiff of his dad's passion - the opening montage is insulting, the love story hard to believe, the events suspect, the plot trite - if only the writers and producers simply listened to a hank williams song they would not have sent lesser folks to fill shoes of a greater one -- thank the goddess of arts that other, better hank williams movies have been made
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5/10
Rather mundane rendering of a country music legend's life story...
moonspinner553 June 2005
Biography of country singer Hank Williams begins very promisingly, with vivid black-and-white cinematography and a surprisingly strong performance by George Hamilton in the lead. So what went wrong? The picture slowly dissipates, sinking into that all-too-familiar vat of clichés once Williams attains stardom and all of life's woes fall upon his shoulders. Yes, it might have actually happened this way--but if so, it is all the more sorrowful for Williams, his legacy and his followers. An eventually dispiriting--and unmemorable--enterprise. Hank Williams, Jr. supplied the vocals for Hamilton when the original recordings might have just sufficed. ** from ****
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10/10
Why isn't this B&W classic available on VHS!!!
stebmarc2 October 2001
It has been probably 30 years since I've seen this movie, but some scenes are still vivid in my memory and imagination. It is a beautifully photographed and understated movie; the acting is subtle and quiet and the story poignantly but economically told. It is the kind of small movie about the pleasures and sorrows of real people that should be remembered, honored and enjoyed, the caliber of "Last Picture Show" that so beautifully invoked it.
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6/10
Surprisingly Good
The sequence before the credits is beautifully acted and filmed. It's extremely rare that a child playing the younger version of a character is more impressive than the lead. But the boy playing little Hank Williams gives a more nuanced performance than George Hamilton.

George Hamilton. He sure does seem like odd casting in this movie. The archetypal suave playboy playing a country and western singer. Hmm. And Susan Oliver as his wife. She's good, and Hamilton is not bad. But again: It seems like casting against type.

Red Buttons and Arthur O'Connell, in the other hand, fit snugly into their supporting roles.

Hamilton lip-syncs the brilliant Williams songs. He is kind of deadpan but maybe that's what the guy was like. I don't pretend to know.

A couple decades later, Jessica Lange did something similar in "Sweet Dreams." She surely wouldn't sound like the great Patsy Cline when she sings but oh! Now there is a movie! This one lacks its warmth and humor. But it's filmed in a noble manner. It strays occasionally, when a Williams song is orchestrated with syrupy strings as background.

All in all, though, it's definitely worth watching, if only to hear the fantastic songs.
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Good movie, bad life story
jasonhank195315 February 2001
While the movie itself has a good story and the performances are great; to me, George Hamilton really captured the essence of Hank Williams. The actual story of how Hank Williams became one of the greatest Country and Western stars of his day is decidedly lacking. I have read the book by Chet Fillipo that inspired this movie and it too seems to be as a gross misrepresentation of Hank Williams as this movie was. Though I admit that Hank had many problems in his life and his true story is a tragic one, this movie does not depict the actual Hank Williams. In fact, the only thing this movie really has in common with his life is that he wrote songs, he was from Alabama, he married a woman named Audry, and he died at a tragically young age. In truth Hank Williams didn't like hard liqour, he drank beer and the movie fails to show all the time that he actually spent on the wagon. It also portrays his relationship with his wife as one more like cat and mouse than hushband and wife. Interviews with those closest to them, including Audry's dauther Lucrecia, say that they rarely argued as horrificly as they did in the movie. The movie also glosses over the fact that Hank was on painkillers and that he and Audry divorced in 1952 and Hank married later that year to Billie Jean Eshellman. In my opinion, this movie bears all the markings of a movie that Joeseph Goebbels would have made about the life of Adolf Hitler, it shows all the good things in marked glorification and then chooses to omit all but the best known of the bad things. In other words, this movie was made by Miss Audry and she didn't want anyone to think bad of her Hank. But, then that too is a testament to the love they held for each other, to the ends of thier lives. And that is the only truth I saw in the movie, Hank and Audry's undying love for each other, just below the surface.
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eminently forgettable
bob wisener5 September 2004
Anyone who believes this movie is a true depiction of Hank Williams' life must know nothing about the man's life or walked into the wrong movie. At age 10, after seeing this movie twice at my small town's theater, I almost had a fight with my best friend and next-door neighbor about the account of Williams' death, which anyone who knows the true story will find ludicrous. Meaning no disrespect to the actress or the person on this board who considers her a great actress, but Susan Oliver's on-screen appeal escapes detection. And asking George Hamilton to portray one of the most charismatic performers of the 20th Century is simply laughable. Red Buttons gives it the old college try and Arthur O'Connell is OK as Fred Rose. In the right hands, a film version of Hank Williams' life story might be compelling entertainment. This isn't it.
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6/10
"What do they think I am -- a walking shrine?"
evening14 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie begins with one of the most joyous scenes I can remember in a film.

Hank Williams had a golden voice but "the poor country boy" seems never to have recovered from missing out on childhood, growing up an orphan earning his bread by singing on the street.

His wife Audrey, played convincingly by Susan Oliver, was always more a manager than a love partner. In a powerful performance by George Hamilton, Hank grows to hate her as his yearnings to be left alone and just veg -- i.e., drink -- take over. Scenes far from the concert hall, where Hank kicks back and sings for the common folk, reveal rare moments of contentment for him.

The music in this movie is wonderful, each song seemingly better than the last, and concluding with the beautiful "I'm so Lonesome I Could Die."

I never knew a thing about this tragic musician, whose heart gave out at only 29, so I'm very glad I saw this.
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6/10
George Hamilton does fine job as Hank Williams...
Neil Doyle21 September 2010
There's no doubt that GEORGE HAMILTON does one of the best acting jobs of his career as Hank Williams, lip-syncing the country music star's lyrics with a voice supplied by Hank Williams, Jr. SUSAN OLIVER is fine as the woman he marries, the woman who finds it a struggle to manage his career when he adopts a drinking pattern to forestall going on stage at concerts.

The screenplay has taken liberties to stray somewhat from all of the actual events surrounding Williams' life and his early demise. In doing so, they haven't avoided the usual clichés about celebrity and fame and fortune destroying the soul of the artist. Williams obviously had deep-seated fears in connection with performing and was never able to fully resolve them.

The musical selections include most of his most famous songs and credit must be given to Hank Williams, Jr. for effectively singing them. One has to wonder why the filmmakers couldn't have used the actual Hank Williams voice from his own recordings, unless there were legal issues to overcome.

Summing up: Decent biography of the country singer is given a lift by his great songs.
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Williams
Michael_Elliott27 February 2008
Your Cheatin' Heart (1964)

*** (out of 4)

George Hamilton gets the role of a lifetime playing country music legend Hank Williams. This bio pic follows Williams as a poor boy all the way to his death at the age of 29. I was a tad bit nervous going into this picture but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise with Hamilton giving a terrific performance as Williams. Perhaps the tan ruined Hamilton's reputation but he perfectly captures the spirit of Williams and really sinks his teeth into the role. Susan Oliver is equally impressive as Williams' wife and Red Buttons is on hand playing Williams' best friend. The biggest problem in the film is the dubbed singing by Hank Williams, Jr.. It's obvious all of the music is dubbed and it's dubbed quite poorly. I noticed Sam Katzman produced this and he was also doing Elvis movies around the same time so I was curious if Elvis had been thought about for the role here and I went on to read that he was considered from the role by Williams' wife, the technical adviser for the film, said no.
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6/10
My favorite scene is a hoax?
amygoodman-5871917 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched this movie again the other day, after not having seen it since it came out in 1964. But I'm not sure if one of my favorite scenes in this movie ever happened! When Hank and Audrey go to meet Fred Rose in his Nashville office in 1946, he asks Hank to write a song about seeing an old love, and then takes Audrey out to coffee meanwhile. They return later, and Hank has come up with a few verses of "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)" right to Rose's specification. I thought this was a great event, but according to some biographers from his band, Hank wrote that famous tune in the back of the touring car. He didn't record it until 1951, so I doubt he wrote it in 1946. In one online article about Rose and Williams, this event is said to be factual; but I suspect the author got it from this movie. - Am I wrong on this? -

Of course, his last wife is absent from the film. His morphine addiction is missing. That, with his alcohol abuse, maybe was due to pain from a congenital missing disc in his back. And he died lying in the back seat of his car with a bottle of booze, having had a few morphine shots earlier, during a long drive. I don't imagine he did any singing in a roadside bar during that car trip. However, the beautiful scene at the end, with the audience singing to mourn him, did happen, I am happy to find out.

So, as many reviewers here say, this film is apparently not accurate, but it is still a fun movie. Apparently, Hank's first wife, Audrey, wrangled with MGM for 10 years over the plot, delaying the movie.

But I am looking forward to the Tom Hiddleston portrayal of Hank in "I Saw the Light", coming out in November 2015. I hope they get all the details of his all too short, gritty life right this time ! There's a clip on the web now.

Like Janis Joplin, only the cool die young.
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7/10
"Brace yourselves. Here comes the entertainment."
classicsoncall12 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
As is so often the case with these biopics, I usually learn more about the subject of the movie by reading other comments on this site than from the actual film itself. I didn't know anything about the life of Hank Williams, so if you're inclined, I'd suggest reading some of the other reviews here as a starting point if you'd like to learn more.

One thing I appreciate in pictures like this is the occasional reference to time and place so one can gain some perspective on what else was happening during the same era. The only time you got that here was when Hank Williams (George Hamilton) called his wife Audrey (Susan Oliver) 'Miss Biggity of 1952' in their mansion following the broken back episode. And the New Years Day Concert scheduled for 1953 of course, but by then Williams' life and career were coming to a close.

But it was instructive to learn at least a little bit of Hank Williams' back story, depending on how much stock you can put in the telling. Peddling Gold Bottle Tonic for twenty bucks a week was certainly a step up from eighty five cents a day shining shoes, and with the way things are today, one can come away with an appreciation for how far we've advanced over the decades.

Still, the story has it's somber side, one in which a simple country boy rises to the top of the musical world, only to lose himself to fame, fortune and the extravagant life style that out-paces one's ability to come to terms with it.

As others here have mentioned, I too would like to see a modern day and certainly more accurate representation of the life of Hank Williams on film. There was 2012's "The Last Ride" with Henry Thomas in the lead role, but as I wrote in my review of that one - "If you don't know a whole lot about Hank Williams' career, this film isn't going to help". It has no back story on Williams' life to speak of and turns into a real downer of a picture by the time it's over. All of which means is, I guess we'll just have to wait.
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7/10
The Light He Saw Still Shines
LeonLouisRicci23 March 2014
Ultimately Unsatisfying and Tepid Biography of Hank Williams Sr. It Suffers from a Low-Budget Look but Remains Interesting and inspirational Mainly because of the Mythological Implications and the Genius of the Singer/Songwriters Legacy.

Justifiably Considered one of the Best and Influential Recording Artists of the Twentieth Century Williams Combined Blues and Hillbilly into a Template of Rustic Simplification of White Poor Folks Woes that was to Become the Nucleus of Country Music as it is Known Today.

The Movie without Doubt leaves a lot to be Desired. George Hamilton gives it a Yeoman's Effort to bring a Pop Cultural God down to Earth but the Task was Beyond His Abilities. But it is not Awful and while Pedestrian is Substantial Enough to just be Passable.

Historians are Quick to Point Out that the Film is Whitewashed and Almost Insignificant. Most Blame is put on Hank's First Wife Audrey who took Control of the Film's Production much like She did with Williams's Career. The Result, they Maintain, was almost Blasphemous in its Manipulation and Myth Making.

In the End it is not a Worthless Movie. it can Inspire, mostly due to the Great Songs, to Invite the Uninitiated to the Man's Music and Talent. A Teen-Aged Hank Williams Jr. Provides the Vocals with Renditions of His Father's Most Famous Songs and Jr does a Fine and Heartfelt Labor of Love.

Worth a Watch because of the Songwriting Creativity of the Artist and because there is Scant Little Else to Represent the Storytellers Life on Screen. That Needs to be Corrected ASAP.
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4/10
The Audrey Williams Story featuring George Hamilton
justincward24 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The approximate story of country music and songwriting legend Hank Williams, filtered through his first-wife's narrow viewpoint (Hank actually had a bossy mother and second wife but you wouldn't know it from this), 1960's Hollywood's fear of authenticity, and the whole thing put together by a sort of Elvis Presley movie second unit. It's not a great movie, and it's an excessively loose telling of Hank's life, but George Hamilton's performance makes it work as a dated fantasy biopic, like one of those Jimmy Cagney or Victor Mature musicals from the 40's or 50's. Incidental ragtime music during a fight sequence, anyone? It's the South, Jim, but not as we know it.

There's a lot wrong with the story, the casting and the production values but it's all forgivable EXCEPT the addition of a backing vocals quartet and cocktail-lounge piano to the arrangements of Hank Williams' great songs. That stinks. And no fiddle? No pedal steel guitar? No FIDDLE? Everything that people who don't know country music would identify with its schmaltziest aspects, but amazingly the songs stand up to the abuse.

You will learn nothing about Hank Williams from this apart from the odd catchphrase, and you will get a lot of wrong information. But it's all there is, apart from 'The Show He Never Gave' and 'Lost Highway'. As others have said here, a 'Walk The Line' or 'Ray' type biopic of the man who paved the way for Elvis, wrote many more great songs than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones put together, and died before his 30th birthday is long overdue. Just needs somebody tall and skinny who can lip-sync.
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5/10
The rise and fall of country singer Hank Williams
johnshinnick20 July 2006
For its time, this movie was pretty good and somewhat gritty. It's black and white in an era when color was being used, so there was a sort of deliberately artsy quality about the effort. A lot of the movie, however, is plagued by melodrama, which cursed many of the films of the Sixties, Fifties and Forties. Today, the result doesn't wash. George Hamilton over- acts, but I suspect it's not entirely his fault. I blame the direction, the camera work (mostly the product of cumbersome technology at use in its day) and the editing. It was a good attempt, though, and a better than average effort for George Hamilton and for the film industry of its day. The music is good but the selections included in the film are too clipped, you hear a few bars of this and a few bars of that, but not the entire songs. This story needs to be retold with the quality of music as in the Johnny Cash story and the Ray Charles story, two fine biopics of recent vintage. If you are interested in Hank Williams and his prolific musical output, a better movie is "Hank Williams, The Concert He Never Gave." Now that's gritty, the acting, editing and storytelling are better, the music is superb.
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