American: The Bill Hicks Story 2011 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(37) IMDb 7.9/10
Available in HD

A captivating animated documentary on the rollercoaster life of legendary comedian Bill Hicks, whose profound & hilarious observations on American life changed the face of modern comedy.

Starring:
Bill Hicks, Mary Hicks
Runtime:
1 hour 46 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

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American: The Bill Hicks Story

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American: The Bill Hicks Story [Blu-ray]

Price: $19.96

Includes the Amazon Instant Video 24 hour rental as a gift with purchase. Available to US Customers Only. See Details

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Product Details

Genres Documentary, Comedy
Director Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas
Starring Bill Hicks, Mary Hicks
Supporting actors Bill Hicks, Lynn Hicks, Mary Hicks, Steve Hicks, Andy Huggins, David Johndrow, James Ladmirault, Dwight Slade
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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The behind then scenes interviews are great!
Soulman1211
He was always extremely explicit about his experiences, and this biopic tends to take more of a socio-political view of his material.
Alexander D. Gilblom
Please don't listen to any of the idiots that trash talk this great documentary in any way.
Roland Hill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 82 people found the following review helpful By M. Fulkerson VINE VOICE on June 16, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
In the booklet included with the new Blu-ray "American: The Bill Hicks Story", Mary Hicks, Bill Hicks' mother, is quoted as saying "When he got sick, Bill wanted me to help him file all of his photographs, and he showed me Hendrix and Dylan documentaries. I said, 'Bill, why are you showing me all of this?' and he said 'In case someone comes mom, and they want to make one about me.'" After watching this documentary on the late and brilliant comedian one has to wonder if the film makers would have been better off consulting Mrs. Hicks on the basics of telling compelling stories. As fascinating a subject as Hicks unquestionably is, this documentary proves to be an extremely disappointing dusting over of Hicks' career combined with an irritating level of gloss and flashy editing techniques which show a lack of respect for the subject in favor of displaying art school editing prowess.

The problem in reviewing a documentary such as "American" is many fans of Bill Hicks already know the back story of his life and career. There have been very good documentaries and books focused on this subject that do a fine job of divulging personal stories and anecdotes, and there are many bootleg videos and even commercially available dvd's that show Hicks in action on stage. "American" chooses to pick from these readily available sources to show the viewer the kind of comedian and voice he was. There are a few more rare performances shown, and those clips are definitely the highlight in this film, but for the most part one can't help but feel that old news is being rehashed constantly.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SJ on April 10, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
If you consider yourself a fan of the late Bill Hicks then this is a must see documentary. Very well put together as you get a chronological order of the events that took place on his rise to stardom. Included some early life and behind the scene details of Hicks' trials and tribulations. I thought the beginning of the film was a little slow but things quickly picked up as Hick's career started to bloom. Production did a good job including many of Bill's early and late footage of his shows. Fan or not, I think no one will be disappointed watching this film. Its unfortunate that we do not have enough people like Bill Hicks to invoke thought as well as put a comical light on issues that may normally bring about negative feelings. R.I.P.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Gary Foessett on December 3, 2010
Format: DVD
Writing from Austin, Texas (Bill Hick's home base), I must say I am saddened and outraged that this release has not been made available here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is no surprise that this is a UK import - they appreciated him more over there then they ever did here. Jolly good! I doubt this will ever get a stateside NTSC release. If you have a way to play PAL DVDs, then this is manna from heaven for any Bill Hicks fan. Kudos to the film makers for this awesome tribute to Mr. William Melvin Hicks! The graphics are unique and the film is a true testament to the impact Bill Hicks has had and continues to have as his words ring truer everyday.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. D Prall on April 13, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I saw it tonight on its second US release after NYC and before LA, in a small bar in Denton, Texas, surrounded by about 50 Bill Hicks fans, and if you get a chance to see it like that, do so. Next best, invite a few fans over to watch it, and rent it as Video on Demand.

It is an outstanding documentary, and it deserves to win all sorts of awards. And for true fans who think they have all the CDs and videos, you'll find enough new material to satisfy you as well.

Where are you now, Bill, when we need you so much? You're in this movie, and maybe you can still inspire people to stand up and be counted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. on August 12, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I enjoyed this and have been wanting to watch for a while.

Hicks is one of those comedians that is a true mirror to our ridiculousness. He is someone that doses out tough love that we all need to hear and absorb. Plan on watching again.

And go buy his albums.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RubberZ VINE VOICE on October 14, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I am a very big fan of Bill Hicks, and I think that the man was a visionary years ahead of his time. This documentary however seemed to shed less insight into his past than it did give the opinions of his friends. I know that having read the book, seen the Sane Man and other Bill Hicks DVD and that there probably isn't a heck of a lot more to learn so my expectations may have been too high. I'd say that this is worth renting but I'd stray awy from purchasing it unless you are a mega-fan buying it to fulfill a completionist urge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By iix on June 28, 2011
Format: DVD
Fantastic documentary. I was much too young to enjoy Bill when he was here. Thankfully... my older brother introduced me to Bill, not literally, when I was a teenager. It was interesting to see his roots, who his friends were, what he did, and what happened in the end. I loved the style as it is a beautiful film visually. Very insightful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Magic Lemur on June 25, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I approached this film half expecting a cash-in, as Bill Hicks' legacy seems to have become a lucrative commodity for some (e.g. 2003's Shock & Awe).

Happily, this is not the case & the film seems to be both a genuine and sincere homage to the man himself, but also a real attempt to bring something fresh & unseen to fan-boys (such as myself).

The plot is fairly simple - it starts off with his early years and ends with his death from cancer. In the process, they place each of the DVD's and CD's in context & show lots of interview clips of fellow comedians, friends & family.

So far, so predictable.

The great thing about this film though is that they have included many, many pieces of unseen footage & have strived to put him in the context of fellow comedians (all of whom are excellent - e.g. Jimmy Pineapple (esp the 'I am 'it'' routine))

The most original contribution that the film maker's have made is to take all the 100's of photos of Bill & turned them into action-stills. A lot of the material by the man is the same, but he always had a gift of being photogenic and hence this factor symbolises the director's efforts to bring something new to the table.

By no means is this film perfect & I have heard some people say 'It's not that good', but not from anyone who's actually seen it.
One thing I can pick out is that there is nothing about his relationships or Girlfriends that were so formative to much of his comedy (e.g. his Fiance Colleen McGarr).
There is also the fact that the film ends with the 'It's Just a Ride' scene, which is fast becoming cliche (e.g.
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