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The Last Ride, a movie depicting the last days of Hank Williams as he rode in the back of his powder blue Cadillac, has finally been released to the public. On Friday (10-21-11), it debuted in 7 cities in the South, including 4 in Arkansas, where the majority of the film was shot, and where both director Harry Thomason and star Harry Thomas (Elliot from ET), who plays Hank Williams, are from. It will see a wide release in January of 2012.
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 freshman college student 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.
The Last Ride is centered around Hank Williams, but the main focus is the interaction between Williams and his young driver, played by Jesse James. Hank is not called by his real name in the movie, instead traveling under the alias “Mr. Wells”, an alias Hank used often. As reviewer Philip Martin for Arkansas Online says in his review:
It’s “about” the final days of Hank Williams, but it neither slavishly follows the known “facts” nor indulges the more sensational rumors (such as the shadowy doctor allegedly traveling with Williams) that have gathered about the case . . . The Last Ride is less a fable about an icon than a sort of love story about two damaged young men who are thrown together, squabble and in the end manage to matter to each other.
Find the current cities playing The Last Ride and the latest trailer below. More cities will be added later (check the schedule).
AL Montgomery, Rave Festival Plaza 16, 7925 Vaughn Road
AR Fayetteville, Razorback 16 3956 North Steele Blvd.
AR Ft. Smith, Fort Smith Cinema 16 1200 Waldron Road Suite 140
AR Little Rock, Rave Colonel Glenn, 18 Colonel Glenn Plaza
AR Rogers, Pinnacle Hills 12 2200 Bellview
LA West Monroe, Cinemark Tinseltown 17220 Blanchard
LA Shreveport, Cinemark Tinseltown 8400 Millicent Way