Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave (1980) Sneezy Waters, Dixie Seatle, Sean McCann, Sean Hewitt, Jackie Washington, Denise Fergusson, Philip Craig, Kay Hawtrey Movie Review

Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave (1980)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Sneezy Waters in Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave (1980)

He Saw the Light

On what would be the final night of his life, December 31st, 1952, country music legend Hank Williams imagines himself giving a New Year's Eve performance in a small bar, with his comments to the audience reflecting upon his life, his battles with drink, his loneliness and his love of gospel music.

There are some biopics which work for the masses; they tell a person's life in a visual manner, leading the audience from the early days to where ever that person's life story takes them. "Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave" is not one of those biopics and as someone who would never class themselves as an aficionado on the life and career of the country star I have to say it left me in the dark. In fact at times it left me bemused because of the creative way it delivers the story; on one hand we have Hank in the back of the car being driven to somewhere and on the other we have him performing this imaginary gig in a bar.

Now it is very much the gig which is the focus of "Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave" as for those in the know will not only appreciate the numerous songs but also recognize the references to various aspects of Hank's life. As such we get to see his loneliness; we also see his battle with alcohol yet also his faith and love of gospel music. I simply can't speak with authority because I do not know the ins and outs of Williams' life to tell you how well it mentions other parts. But it is simply because you have to be in the know to fully appreciate the movie beyond the music that this ends up having some problems.

What this all boils down to is that on one hand "Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave" is a wonderful homage which will work well for those who are fans and in the know when it comes to his life. But on the other hand as a biopic "Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave" leaves those not in the know a little in the dark due to its creative way of telling the story of Hank Williams.