Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Hank Williams movie’

I was hopeful that attorney Keith Adkinson, the husband of Jett Williams, might be able to untangle some of  mysteries surrounding the untimely death of Hank Williams on his final journey to a show in the last days of 1952. Adkinson and Williams had vowed in a Newsletter last year to tackle and solve the 60 year old mystery once and for all.

Sadly the untimely death of Adkinson, who successfully proved Jett Williams was the legitimate daughter of Hank Williams and co heir to his estate, will  now be cut short.

I have received thousands of visitors to a blog posting I did on this issue. HERE. Make sure you read the comments section which has articles from people claiming special knowledge of the death of Hank Williams.

A lot of the interest in the death of hank Williams has been stirred up by the recent film ‘The Last Ride’ which has just come out on DVD, Blu Ray and download.

Here’s a list of all the Blog Posts I’ve done on the film. There sure are a lot!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A short review in the Seattle Times doesn’t have much positive to say about the Hank Williams based movie ‘The Last Ride’.

A key paragraph goes like this:

But, alas, “The Last Ride” doesn’t deliver much insight into Williams or the lifestyle that killed him. And while there are some sweet moments, it’s riddled with clichés about the South, masculinity and coming of age. No doubt because of licensing expenses, not one Hank Williams performance appears on the soundtrack.

Of course the failure to present any authentic Hank Williams music has been a major criticism of this movie.
The reviewer ,Paul de Barros, also thinks the driver played by Jesse James becomes the center of attention in the movie instead of Hank played by Henry Thomas.
To be fair a lot of reviewers have praised Thomas’ performance.

Read Full Post »

The Hank Williams bio pic covering the last 3 days of his life has earned a positive review by Kerry Lengel in the Arizona Republic Newspaper.

Lengel sees right away that this not really a Hank Williams biography and has little to do with his music, but, as others have said as well, is more of a “gloomy buddy road trip flick”.

But Lengel sees a lot more positives than many other critics I have talked about on this blog.

He calls the movie starring Henry Thomas as Hank “a subtlety affecting character study”. He says, “Hank longs for a simple human connection”.

I liked this comment about Thomas who he says does not attempt to imitate Hank Williams physically, but does,  “immerse himself in the character he’s been given: old before his time, with a mean streak to match his ego and alienated from all humanity, including himself.”  Not everyone would agree with this gloomy depressing insight into Hank’s character and the pain of his short life here on earth, but there is an element of truth in it.

A final quote from the review continues this theme: ” ‘The Last Ride’ measures the distance between the myth and the man. And if that doesn’t make for the cheeriest of viewing experiences, it does offer an alternative to the easy sentimentality that powers the biopic formula.”

As far as we know the movie will open in a more general release, and is not yet available in DVD.

Here’s a link to the review.

And here’s a list of all my posts on this movie over the past several years!!

Read Full Post »

With ‘The Last Ride’ now having opened in some major centers including New York, reviews seem largely negative but there is one  genuine rave from a respected film critic which I have saved to the end..

Writers are quite dismissive of the script which many think, in the words of Andrew Lapin at National Public Radio is “short on actual information about Hank Williams”, and makes “Hank Williams takes a back seat” in the film. Pretty tough from an organization that is usually a Hank booster.

In a magazine called ‘Film Journal’ Daniel Egan says the “film doesn’t have much of interest about the singer”. And ‘Village Voices’ Mark Holcombe says the movie has “taken liberties with the facts”.

These writers are all concerned, along with I suppose many true Hank Williams’ fans, that the main story is really fictionalized. For example, the character who is the young teenage driver on the fatal trip  doesn’t know who Hank Williams is. There is a way too much attention on that character, played by Jesse James, according to a lot of critics. ‘The New York Times’ Jeannette Catsoulis goes so far as to call it a “low budget road movie”.

Another strong criticism and  all and  writers just hate this,it that no actual Hank Williams’ recordings are used anywhere in the movie. You never hear his voice. The soundtrack, they say, is mediocre and therefore the movie fails to explain who Hank Williams is, and how an important figure in American musical history he has become.

On the positive side, most of the reviewers I have read so far have very positive things to say about Henry Thomas’ portrayal of Hank Williams which clearly rises far above the rest of the movie and makes the best of the  weak script.

But there is one movie critic and a pretty important one who must have made the producers overjoyed. Rex Reed a famous film reviewer writing in ‘The New York Observer’ calls Thomas’ performance  “a star performance and a poignant experience”. He calls it a “fascinating film, satisfying and sincere”. But he also says the producers should have used original Hank Williams recordings.

Here are a couple of longer quotes to give you the tone of Reed’s rave review.

The Last Ride, carefully directed by Harry Thomason and skillfully written with chords and spaces for humming and breathing by Howie Klausner and Dub Cornett, hauntingly and sensitively negotiates the final three days in the life and death of a legendary character of mythic proportions, warts and all.

 The review ends with this paragraph:
Still, it’s a fascinating film that I enjoyed thoroughly. The Last Ride doesn’t come with a break-the-bank budget and full-page marketing displays, but it is well worth looking for if you’re in the mood for a movie that is captivating, an evocation of a time when the South and its music were on the cusp of change, and just a little bit different. It’s satisfying and sincere in ways most of the big-budget junk currently taking up space on summer marquees never dreamed of.

I should say that Reed accepts more of the script as being factual than some of the other critics. But beyond any doubt this is the best written review I have seen so far. The use of a quote from ‘I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry’ in the ‘New York Observer’ headline is heartbreaking.

Here is his full review. 

Here’s a direct quote from the movie that a lot of true Hank Williams’s fans will understand and appreciate. About his career and fame, the script writers have Hank say: “Not a damn bit of it matters for nothin.”

Here’s the movie website.

And finally here is a complete list of the many, many, many, posts about ‘The Last Ride’ on this humble little blog.

Read Full Post »

Hank Williams’ daughter Jett Williams, the film’s director Harry Thomason and the producer Benjy Gaither will attend a free first showing of ‘The Last Ride’ in New York City on June 20th. Seating is first come first served.

The three will participate in a panel discussion following the showing at The New School at 66 West 12th Street New York NY at 6pm.

The title of the panel discussion seems very appropriate:  I Saw the Light: Hank Williams’ Sixty Years of Influence on American music.

As listed in the previous post, the film will open for one week at Cinema Village at 22 East 12th Street on June 22.

Here is a link to the press release from the school.

Read Full Post »

The Last Ride which has been covered extensively on this blog will open at a number of historic theaters and a more general release this month (June 2012). Here is the historic theatre line-up taken from the website:

June 1-3 Strand Theatre 38 W. Franklin Street, Shelbyville, IN 46176 317.421.2787
June 1-3 Corning Opera House 710 Davis Ave, Corning, IA 50841 641.418.8037
June 1-7 ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks Campus 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015 610.297.7100
June 2 The Ellen Theatre 17 West Main Street, Bozeman, MT 59715 406.585.5885
June 2-3 7th Street Theatre 313 7th Street, Hoquiam, WA 98550 360.537.7400
June 7 McPherson Opera House 219 South Main Street, McPherson, KS 67460 620.241.1952
June 9 Sheridan Opera House 110 North Oak, Telluride, CO 81435 970.728.6363
June  15-18 Lincoln Theatre Foundation 313 W. Kincaid Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98273 360.336.8955
June 29 The Sherman Theater 524 Main Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360 570.420.2808
July 19-20 Carolina Civic Center Historical Theater 315 North Chestnut Street, Lumberton, NC 28358 910.738.4339

Here are some regular theatres:

6/22/2012 New York Cinema Village  ONE WEEK ONLY 22 East 12th St., New York, NY 10003
6/29/2012 Los Angeles Laemmle NoHo 7 5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
7/27/2012 Phoenix Harkins Shea 14 7354 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260
8/10/2012 Atlanta Lefont Sandy Springs 8 5920 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30328
8/10/2012 Austin Regal Arbor 8 @Great Hills 9828 Great Hills Trail, Suite 800, Austin, TX 78759

‘The Last Ride’ website with a newly designed logo can be found here.

Read Full Post »

This is the best news concerning Hank Williams’ biography and his  mysterious death I have  heard in a long time. Now we should start to get some answers you can trust. Keith Adkinson, Jett Williams’ husband, from what I can determine, is a tenacious very competent attorney who has already scored two huge victories on Hank Williams’ issues in the courts.

Remember Keith won Jett a share of the Hank Williams estate and then won full ownership of the Mother’s Best recordings for Jett Williams and Hank Williams Jr. To win these battles “The Duo” as they call themselves tackled and beat very powerful wealthy and entrenched interests aligned to protect the Hank Williams estate and the ownership of a very valuable property. The famous Mother’s Best acetates had been thrown in the trash by WSM before being rescued and preserved by an employee. In the end I think ownership was claimed by just about everybody involved, the rescuer, the radio station, recording company, publisher and of course Jett and Hank Jr. Adkinson beat them all.

Kieth Adkinson is a shrewd sharp Washington lawyer who from what I understand never gives up and is dogged and determined in pursuing any cause he decides to take on. Before undertaking the Jett Williams’ case in 1982 he had worked on a variety of legal issues,and become a prominent Washing attorney including work for Congressional Committee and the  Reagan campaign. He married Jett Williams in 1986, and now practices law in Nashville.

In the latest issue of the Jett Williams’ newsletter to fans it’s clear that Keith and Jett are really getting serious about the mysteries surrounding the death of Hank Williams on an ill conceived dangerous trip from Montgomery to Canton Ohio on the New Years’ Eve Weekend in 1952-53. According to the article Jett is using her Sirious/XM radio show to report on their findings.

Here’s the link to the newsletter   UPDATE: This link no longer works..HWJ which has a 4 page article called “Was Hank Williams’ Death a Homicide?” Pretty explosive stuff. 

Interestingly, I have received a few comments on this blog concerning this issue, one of which comes from the son of a prominent figure mentioned in the Jett Williams’ report, as well as some from Hank Williams’ newsletter author Beecher O’Quinn.

For some reason 29 comments mostly about the death of Hank Williams including the one from Howard Surface came on this rather obscure blog post among the many I have written on the movie ‘The Last Ride’.

I am more interested in Hank Williams’ works, reputation, legacy, and his survival into future generations than details of his biography and death, about which I admit I am not well-informed.

But when this movie news started coming out I did make some comments on Hank’s last days which come about half way down this blog posting. 

Not many people have made the observations I did on that post. My feelings are based on intuition not research I guess, but I am very happy to see Keith Adkinson on this  baffling story of Hank’s tragic, sad last days on earth.

I know one thing for sure, if Keith and Jett spend the time and resources on this as they appear to be doing, I think their integrity would be enough for me to accept their conclusions, whatever they are,  and put the issue to rest, finally.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »