Skip to main content

Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues

USA, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Backbeat: Music on Film)

Director: Morgan Neville

As country music's first superstar, and perhaps its most influential artist, there's much to celebrate in the legend of Hank Williams. But his life was also tremendously tragic, with the trials and heartaches that resounded through his life and music only ending with his premature death, aged 29. Living through turbulent personal and family problems, physical pain and substance abuse, Hank Williams' timeless appeal lay in his knack for drawing on his own experiences to make music that was artful, literate and down-to-earth all at once. [Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues] features rare performance footage and interviews with Williams' friends, family members and band mates, painting a vivid portrait of this singular artist. Depicting a sexy, cocksure artist who was also an anguished loner, a bar-room brawler and binge drinker who loved his family but couldn't live with them, this film demonstrates why Hank Sr is now seen as the archetypal country singer against which all others are still inevitably measured.
D Morgan Neville P/S Morgan Neville, Colin Escott WS 3DD TD video/ col/2004/81mins Morgan Neville was born in Los Angeles, USA, in 1967. His films include [The Songmakers Collection: The Hits] (2001), [Muddy Waters Can't Be Satisfied] (2003), [Shakespeare was a Big George Jones Fan: 'Cowboy' Jack Clement's Home Movies] (2005).

See also...


"You may not know their names, but the performances of these instantly recognizable backups singers are unforgettable." - Hollywood Reporter ... The back-up singers who made great songs greater and ... More »


A documentary love letter to the LA singer-songwriter scene of the early 70s that took the world by storm. ... As the heady days of 60s political folk started to decline, LA found itself home to the ... More »

kill your idols

This is a vivid and complex history of New York's art-punk and No Wave scene of the late 70s and early 80s. It also seeks that creative legacy in the current crop of Big Apple brats. Members of DNA ... More »


One weekend in November 1971, blues freak Link Wyler and his buddies from the Gunsmoke television crew gave in to temptation... They bolted to Hollywood during a production hiatus to film blues ... More »


To satisfy his curiosity, a teenaged Townes Van Zandt leaned back over a balcony, falling four floors to the ground below. This is the man who was declared a songwriting genius by the likes of Steve ... More »

Last of the First, The

[The Last of the First] is the story of some of the last living jazz pioneers from the 1920s and 30s, a unique group of musicians who still perform as the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band. ... This filmic ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director