Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave (1981)

Genres - Theater, Music  |   Sub-Genres - Vocal Music, Concerts, Biography, Instrumental Music  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - Canada  |  
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This 1981 performance film embodies an act of speculative imagination: What thoughts ran through the mind of legendary country and western singer Hank Williams, Sr. (1923-53), as he lay dying in the backseat of his Cadillac, en route to a concert in Ohio, on December 31, 1952? Playwright Maynard Collins imagined that he fantasized about playing one last gig as an awareness of his impending death sunk in, and that concert - the one that never happened - gets a full visualization in this film of the popular Canadian cabaret show. Using the ride in the Cadillac as a narrative framing device, director David Acomba places his emphasis squarely on the stage fantasy, where Williams - here played by country singer "Sneezy" Waters - delivers a succession of the crooner's best known and loved songs, including "Kaw-Liga," "Lovesick Blues" and "Your Cheatin' Heart". Waters projects Williams's down-home charm, both backstage and in his interaction with the audience, and enables the audience to see directly into the soul of this self-destructive and emotionally beleaguered young man.

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impersonation, tribute, bar [pub], country-music, dream, racism, alcoholism