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American - The Bill Hicks Story [DVD]

Price: £9.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

American - The Bill Hicks Story [DVD] + Bill Hicks: Totally Bill Hicks - It's Just A Ride/Revelations [DVD] + Sane Man [DVD] [2006]
Price For All Three: £26.92

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Product details

  • Directors: Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sept. 2010
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003A4GBJ2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,575 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Growing up in Texas, Bill Hicks first started performing comedy at the age of 15. He soon became a regular in Houston’s comedy circuit, before moving to LA and embarking on a touring schedule, playing up to 300 shows a yea, all in a country where he was largely unknown.

In 1990, Hicks performed in the United Kingdom for the first time, and became an instant star, finding fame and notoriety which had escaped him in the US and it was just as Hicks seemed on the verge of a commercial breakthrough in America, that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died on February 24, 1994 at just 32.

Using never-before-seen animation techniques we hear Bill’s story, for the first time, through the people who knew him best, his family and friends, showing a timeless legacy left that’s as fresh and relevant today as it was when he wrote it.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By N. Cannon on 18 Mar. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It really is ironic, that in this day and age, when any vapid cretin can fill the airwaves with nothing in pin sharp HD clarity, we are left scrabbling around for grainy footage of Bill Hicks! I think he would appreciate the irony! For the lucky Brits (like myself) who embraced Bill from the off, there's not really any new ground covered, I've absorbed DVD's CD's and Books whenever and wherever possible, but that's not to say I don't wan to sit and watch "American" it's very well made, lovingly so, it's the extra's that will do it for me, and just knowing that, finally, the world is catching up.
I was lucky enough to see Bill on a UK tour in the early 90's, coming on stage to 'Enter Sandman" by Metallica, then proceeding to excite, thrill, and scare us in equal measure! he was nothing less than mesmerizing, and I've championed him ever since, to anyone and everyone, and it gladdens my heart to see that he's getting some recognition, finally in the mainstream.
If Bill were alive today, he'd have a field day with the state of the world.... I mean, 2 George Bush's...!!!!
The Legend lives on! Bill Hicks, gone but never forgotten.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Magic Lemur VINE VOICE on 19 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Riley on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
An absolutely great documentary looking back at the life of the Late Great William Melvin "Bill" Hicks. Explaining how and why he got into comedy, the evolution of his act and the influences of his friends, locations and experiences.

The image quality of the new material is excellent - and where the source was good enough the archive footage has scrubbed up well.

On the extras disc there is a little flaw - you want to watch all the rare footage - and there's no "Play all" feature - and annoyingly - after each one the menu system resets back to the root - and you have to navigate back to each one...

But aparat from that - a worthy addition to any Hicks fan's collection.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By G. Bassett on 22 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD
This is a review of the cinema-release version of the film, which I saw with a Directors' Q&A afterward.

The film was clearly a massive labour-of-love for the directors. Unlike some of the other documentaries about him, it focuses on the recollections of those who knew Bill best, and not on high-profile celebrity opinions, and is all the better for it, I think. As I understand it, it is the first film about Bill to have the full blessing and cooperation of his family.

The animation is funny without intruding at all, linking the action and illustrating points well. Yes, the film includes the possibly clichéd "It's Just A Ride" bit, but in this excellent re-telling of it's context, (his knowledge of his impending death) that part of his routine is, for me, renewed and very moving.

The lack of detail about Bill's relationships with women was explained by the Directors: his ex partners had either died or were unwilling to take part in the film. This is a shame, but there is so much material to whittle down to an hour and a half, that it was inevitable some good stuff would have to be left out. And it would have been a shame not to do that part of his life full justice.

Apparently there will be loads of extras on the DVD, and if the excellent rare footage in the film itself is anything to go by, that alone will make it a must for Hicks fans (even those of us who know the routines backwards, and were lucky enough to see him perform live).

I don't really see how this film could have been done better than it was. Deserves a wide audience.
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