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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.

Director:

Marc Abraham

Writers:

Marc Abraham, Colin Escott (book) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hiddleston ... Hank Williams
Elizabeth Olsen ... Audrey Williams
Bradley Whitford ... Fred Rose
Cherry Jones ... Lillie Williams
Maddie Hasson ... Billie Jean Jones
Wrenn Schmidt ... Bobbie Jett
David Krumholtz ... James Dolan
Josh Pais ... Dore Schary
Wesley Robert Langlois Wesley Robert Langlois ... Don Helms - Steel
Joshua Brady ... Sammy Pruett - Guitar
Casey Bond ... Jerry Rivers - Fiddle
Michael Rinne Michael Rinne ... Lum York - Bass
Will Beinbrink ... Jim Denny
Todd Barnett ... Gas Station Attendant (as Steven Todd Barnett)
Richard Jackson ... Boyette
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The story of Hank Williams.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Hank Williams Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Shreveport, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,471, 27 March 2016

Gross USA:

$1,646,788

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,767,963
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Andalusia, Alabama, where Hank Williams marries Audrey at the beginning of the film, is 35 miles south of Georgiana, Alabama, Williams' boyhood hometown. See more »

Goofs

The Lovesick Blues/Grand Ole Opry scene is set in 1949 when he made his debut. At the 1:00 mark in the video on Youtube of this scene, the guitar player, I believe,is supposed to be Billy Byrd. However,the guitar he is playing wasn't built until 1951 by Garland Bigsby. See more »

Quotes

Fred Rose: Pride is one of the most destructive lies on earth
See more »


Soundtracks

Tennessee Waltz
Written by Pee Wee King
Performed by Jo Stafford
With permission from Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Courtesy of Corinthian/Hanover West Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I've Lost My Heart it Seems
31 March 2016 | by ferguson-6See 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.


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