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Agile, Mobile, Hostile: A Year with Andre Williams (2008)

TV-PG | | Documentary | March 2008 (USA)
A look at the year in the life of R&B musician Andre Williams.


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Credited cast:
Johnny Bassett Johnny Bassett ... Himself
Margaret Doll Rod Margaret Doll Rod ... Herself
John Sinclair John Sinclair ... Himself
Jon Spencer Jon Spencer ... Himself
Don Waller Don Waller ... Himself
Andre Williams ... Himself


Andre Williams (1936-2019) has written and recorded a number of landmark hit songs and has worked with legends of the industry: Berry Gordy, Ike Turner and Stevie Wonder to name just a few. Andre has also struggled throughout his life with addiction, poverty, homelessness and the legal system. Andre says, "I'm going to show you the right way, because I've gone so many wrong ways". With this statement the man known as "Mr. Rhythm" takes us along a fascinating, funny and distressing journey. Andre doesn't always go "the right way" and this leads to tenuous relationships with friends, family and business partners, time in jail, eviction from his "old folks home" and subsequent struggle to pay for his room at the "Hotel 6" where he lives between tours. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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March 2008 (USA) See more »

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from hero to zero - but still a hero
24 October 2008 | by Survive_KinoSee all my reviews

This tragic but often hilarious documentary shows the 72 year old music legend, Andre Williams, as a struggling drug addicted alcoholic, forced to stay in cheap motels and old people's homes, as he has very little money, and his health is deteriorating. The film starts as a biography, explaining his history and achievements with the aid of interviews and archive footage, but ends up focusing more heavily on how Andre finds it difficult to tour and perform in his old age, and is a difficult man for his band mates to get along with. There is a depressing contrast between the success of his early musical career with songs like 'shake a tail feather' and 'bacon fat' being legendary and his being brought out like an old bear at the circus in his twilight years, to perform, perhaps against his will, as a result of his poverty caused by the cruelty of the music industry and his own lack of foresight. The overwhelming message to be taken from the film is Andre's relentless optimism, passion for life, for women, for sex, for fun and high spirits, despite having so little to show for his remarkable career, he rarely lets his bitterness show, and despite the depressing reality, Andre's magnetic character and determined sense of hope make the film ultimately very uplifting.

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