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My Name Is Bill W


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My Name Is Bill W + When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story + When a Man Loves a Woman
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Woods, Jobeth Williams, James Garner, Gary Sinise
  • Directors: Daniel Petrie
  • Writers: William G. Borchert
  • Producers: James Garner, Daniel Petrie Sr., Peter K. Duchow
  • Format: Full Screen, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ERVK4Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Name Is Bill W" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "The Making of My Name is Bill W." featurette  with cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage

Editorial Reviews

Based on the true story of Bill W., James Woods - in an Emmy? award-winning performance - plays the successful stock broker whose life falls apart after the stock crash of the 1920's. As a result Bill W. and his loving wife Lois (Jo Beth Williams) must come to grips with his depression and downward spiraling alcoholism. In Bill's quest for recovery, he forms a support group with fellow alcoholic, Dr. Bob (James Garner), which eventually leads to the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. In this inspiring portrayal, My Name is Bill W. movingly depicts the trials, trauma and triumph of people and loved ones coping and recovering from substance abuse. Director: Daniel Petrie. Starring: James Woods, Jo Beth Williams, James Garner and Gary Sinise.

DVD Features:
Interviews
TV Special:A powerful, autobiographical story of an extraordinary friendship that developed into the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Customer Reviews

He is a friend of Bill and this movie can help anyone become one too.
Lois
As a recovering alcoholic myself, I find this movie an accurate and moving portrayal on the life of Bill Wilson and the early history of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Kelly P.
This is a wonderful movie on many levels: good story, award-winning acting, great message.
EJS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

241 of 247 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I loved all of this movie; however, I particularly like the part where Bill W and his wife are attending a group where Bill is not known and everyone is quoting him. You see the look in his eyes, the desire to say I'm the Bill W you all are talking about, he looks at his wife she gives him a knowing look and he turns away from the people talking about how great he is to work one on one with new man. This is indeed what the program is about. I would also recommend the book an Encounter With A Prophet to see what all of the God stuff is about.
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160 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on March 1, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Are you an alocoholic? Is someone you love an alcoholic?
It really doesn't matter. This movie, regrettably is available only on VHS, will give you insight, understanding, and hope. Hope, that most fragile of words, is the basis of this incredible made-for-TV motion picture.
Bill Wilson comes home from World War I a hero. He then conquers Wall Street. He marries the love of his life, Lois. He then discovers both a new god, a new lover, a new idol; the bottle. This unflinching film looks at the descent of of alcoholic into hell, and his journey back, guided, not by the spirit of Virgil, but by another alcoholic, Doctor Bob. Together, they find a "cure" for an "incurable" disease. The disease of alcoholism.
Neither could cure themselves, but together, they could find the way out of hell into if not paradise, at least life; life on life's terms.
This film has been called the AA "Roots." I won't take up that guantlet. This film stands alone. The performances by James Woods, JoBeth Williams and James Garner stand on their own merits. It tells the story of one man's descent into the hell of addiction < and YES, alcoholism is an addiction >, and his return to the land of the living.
Woods plays Bill W. with remarkable restraint, not denigrating into the hystrionics of Jack Lemmon in "The Lost Weekend"; as brilliant and well-meaning as that film is. Nor does this movie fall into high camp, as did "Reefer Madness" in the late Thirties.
Instead, in "My Name Is Bill W.", we see a man driven to the depths of despair. A man beaten is beaten into the dust. To quote Cecil B. DeMille, "the dust from which prophets and holy men are formed. . ."
Yet, this film is not preachy. It tells a story.
Read more ›
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Kelly P. on September 29, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
As a recovering alcoholic myself, I find this movie an accurate and moving portrayal on the life of Bill Wilson and the early history of Alcoholics Anonymous. James Woods is always a marvelous actor, but here he delivers a tour de force performance as Bill Wilson. Also in the cast is the ever-delightful JoBeth Williams of Big Chill fame. James Garner plays Dr. Bob Smith, who, along with Bill, founded A. A. in 1935. Garner also co-produced the project. This was originally aired on television as a Hallmark Hall Of Fame movie in 1989. Very inspiring!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
If you are recovering from any type of substance abuse and want to know the history of how Alcoholics Anonymous was founded, you MUST see this video. It tells the story of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith and their fight in overcoming their life threatening illness of alcoholism. This is the story on how AA got started and if you participate in AA you will gain a new perspective on how hopelessness can turn into peace and serenity in this incredible fellowship. If you've read Bill's Story in the Big Book, you will be amazed at how well this film was done!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By ckjk68@frontiernet.net on April 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is about the history of Bill Wilson, co-founder of A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous). It is a wonderful story of how Bill and Dr. Robert Smith (Dr. Bob) met and started the fellowship that has kept millions of people sober around the world. The story also gives as a look at Bills experience, strength, and hope. This story will diclose in a general way, what he used to be like, what happened, and what he is like now. His wife Lois is also featured in this movie. My Name is Bill W. is a film that you will be sure to remember for the rest of your life!!!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I saw an interview with James Woods, where he stated that the directors wanted to cut out the seen where Bill is standing by the window explaining to Lois how cunning, baffling and self-destructive his disease is, but inspite of all that what he really wants most right now is another drink. James Woods told them that if they cut it out, he would not accept the role because it is what every alcoholic needs to hear and identify with. I highly respect him for that and would like to say THANKS!!! The scene at the end were Bill is 12-stepping a newcomer is priceless. The seen where he's in the motel trying to get in touch with Dr Bob, will make any recovering alcoholic grateful that we don't have to go to the same lengths as he did to share their experience, strength and hope with another alcoholic to stay sober one more day. Great performances by all!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Wheelen2003 on October 22, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I have seen this move twice, and can identify with Bill coming in drunk after swearing off the sauce many times. The scene where he gets money from Lois to buy more boose comes vividly to mind, and always reminds me of the line in Alcholics Anonymous where he talks of stealing from his wifes slender purse. Today I feel that you can take the alcohol out of my life to clear my mind and body of the substance, but we need recovery,unity and service to find a Higher Power to help clear my mind of wrong thinking. My actions are changed to a better lifestyle as a result of the God given program, which the co-founders recieved and carried out. I'm so glad they had the foresight to create The Alcoholic Foundation so this gift could keep saving lives.
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