A feature film named “The Last Ride” about the final days of Hank Williams has been completed and should be released later this year. The movie stars Henry Thomas, the main kid from ET that’s yells “Penis Breath!’ and was shot mostly in Benton, Arkansas with other parts shot at a gas station in Sherwood, AR. It is directed by Harry Thomason, an Arkansas native. In February, 2010, downtown Benton was transformed into a scene from 1952, with vintage car owners donating their rides and the marquee for Benton’s Royal Theatre displaying the feature as “Monkey Business” starring Cary Grant & Ginger Rogers.
On January 1st 1953, Williams was scheduled to perform in Canton, OH. Because of bad weather, he couldn’t fly as planned, and hired a college student Charles Carr to drive him. Hank suffered from chronic back problems, and had injected himself with morphine during the trip from Knoxville, TN and also was drinking alcohol. Hank Williams died of heart failure sometime that night with varying accounts of exactly where and when, though a gas station in Oak Hill, WV is given credit as Hank’s final destination. Hank was 29.
In an interview with Vintage Vinyl News, Hank’s daughter Jett, who along with Hank Jr. had approval over the movie, let out some pretty in-dept details of what people can expect from “The Last Ride.”
I’ve been given a preview of it, my husband and I. In the movie, they never mention the name Hank Williams, he never sings and he never strums the guitar. That sounds just as strange as it can be but, what it is, the guy who is playing my Dad is traveling under an assumed name and so you know who it is. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in I can’t remember when.
The young man who plays my Dad is Henry Thomas, the guy who played in E.T. If you go look at him, he sort of looks like my Dad. I think it will catch on.
For example, they’re doing this one scene…they’re in the Cadillac, trying to get to the shows and they’re trying to move everything along. They end up getting behind a truck of pigs on a back road. So, here’s the Cadillac and you’re looking at the rear end of the pigs. They’re honking and the guy playing my Dad’s having a fit and the driver’s trying to get around them and they’re playing On the Sunny Side of Life. Just cracks me up. It’s all these little double entendres that are working through the movie that are just so clever. You see a real personal side of my Dad.
A few pictures from the film can be seen here.
No release date just yet for this film, but they have released a quick clip from the movie: