American Masters (1985– )
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Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues 

The authoritative documentary on Country Music's most influential figure.

Director:

Morgan Neville
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Roy Acuff ... Himself (archive footage)
Tony Bennett ... Himself (archive footage)
Tommy Bishop Tommy Bishop ... Himself
Rick Bragg Rick Bragg ... Himself
Joe Buck Joe Buck ... Himself
Charles Carr Charles Carr ... Himself
Anita Carter Anita Carter ... Herself (archive footage)
Ray Charles ... Himself (archive footage)
Little Jimmy Dickens Little Jimmy Dickens ... Himself
Danny Dill Danny Dill ... Himself
Bob Dylan ... Himself (archive footage)
Colin Escott Colin Escott ... Himself
Lewis Fitzgerald Lewis Fitzgerald ... Himself
Kira Florita Kira Florita ... Herself
Tillman B. Franks Tillman B. Franks ... Himself
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The authoritative documentary on Country Music's most influential figure.

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 2004 (USA) See more »

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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

Standard documentary fare concerning extraordinary singer
22 October 2004 | by jebrookeSee all my reviews

The positives about this piece are that the film makers have produced a document of interviews with surviving relatives and band members of an important artist, dead now for over 50 years.

For anyone with an interest in Hank Williams there are plenty of interesting insights and a picture of a complex and unknowable figure emerges.

On the downside much of the contemporary footage is sufficiently low resolution, certainly on the projection at the London Film Festival, that it doesn't stand up to the blow up from TV to cinema and looks blocky and blurred.

The film makers struggle manfully with a difficult subject with only partial success. The director indicated at the screening that the subject had perhaps not already been tackled due to the dearth of footage of Williams and this is possibly the greatest problem.

The film is structured around William's career through tracing his movements around a map and this serves to accentuate the impression of the movie as charting the steps towards his eventual demise, age 29, in the back of a car on his way to a concert.

In conclusion the film is strangely sterile - the lasting impression is of a vital and fascinating figure lost to us, remembered only in shreds of memory and scraps of film and paper. These bits and pieces do not remain in sufficient quantity for an engaging piece of film to be woven from them in the manner that this documentary attempts.

This noted the film is competently made and for anyone interested in Williams it is worth a look.


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