I Saw the Light (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

I Saw the Light (2016)



Critic Consensus: I Saw the Light boasts a terrifically talented cast, but their performances aren't enough to enliven an unfocused biopic that never comes close to capturing its subject's timeless appeal.

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I SAW THE LIGHT, the story of the legendary country western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his meteoric rise to fame and its ultimately tragic effect on his health and personal life. Written and directed by Marc Abraham, I SAW THE LIGHT is based on Colin Escott's award-winning biography and stars Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, David Krumholtz and Cherry Jones. RatPac Entertainment's Brett Ratner and Bron Studios' Aaron L. Gilbert produced the film, with G. Marq Roswell and Abraham. James Packer of RatPac Entertainment and Jason Cloth of Creative Wealth Media Finance executive produced. Notable director of photography Dante Spinotti was the cinematographer for the film.

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Tom Hiddleston
as Hank Williams
Elizabeth Olsen
as Audrey Mae Williams
Cherry Jones
as Lillie Williams
David Krumholtz
as James Dolan
Maddie Hasson
as Billie Jean
Wrenn Schmidt
as Bobbie Jett
Josh Pais
as Dore Schary
James DuMont
as WB Nowlin
Charlie Talbert
as Cliff Rogers
Diane Mozzone
as Solemn Singer
David Maldonado
as Hank's Lawyer
Cory Hart
as Back Pain Doctor
Rebecca Chulew
as Performer/Hotel Bar Patron
Joe Chrest
as Oscar Davis
Justin Lebrun
as Concert Attendant
Wayne Pére
as Toby Marshall
Candice Harrison
as Roadhouse Patron
Deborah Alcorn
as Concert Attendee
Jeff Caperton
as Campbell
Casey Bond
as Jerry Rivers
Gary Teague
as Pedestrian
Christopher Heskey
as StageHand Supervisor
Mattie Liptak
as Charles Carr
Rob Boltin
as Frank Walker
Allison Claye
as Concert Goer
Will Beinbrink
as Jim Denny
Donna Chamness
as Cow Coliseum Fresh Face
Douglas M. Griffin
as Howard Pill
Gretchen Koerner
as Bar Waitress
NM Garcia
as Ryman Auditorium/Cow Coliseum Gal
Jeff Pope
as Red Foley
Denise Gossett
as Mrs. Jones
Joshua Brady
as Sammy Pruett
Garrett Kruithof
as Sebie Smith
Christopher Gulas
as Concert Goer
John Neisler
as Mr. Jones
Candiss Nicole Gandy
as Rays Party Guest/Concert Attendee
Geraldine Singer
as Dore Schary's Secretary
Lindsey McCollough
as Concert Goer
Carter Burch
as Harold (Audio Guy)
Fred Parker Jr.
as Faron Young
Artie Mozzone
as Hank Williams Song Singer
Lisa Ann Smith
as Performer
Stan Taylor
as Concert Goer
Michael Haskins
as Jud Collins
Jaclyn Bethany
as Ryman Performer
Rodney Crowell
as Elonzo Huble 'Lon' Williams
Devan Gerlach
as MGM Pedestrian
Michael P Gardner
as Police Officer
Ransom Ashley
as Press Photographer
Casey Groves
as Promoter Lebeau
Kelvin Payton
as CBS Doorman
Skyler Davenport
as Hospital Nurse/MGM Pedestrian
Vincent Stalba
as Sonny Jones
Paulina Manseau
as MGM Employee
Forest Pruett
as Cow Coliseum Promoter
Ellie Foco
as Lycrecia, Age 9
Bethany Blakey
as Female Passerby
Elise Fyke
as Miss Warwick
Rick Vyper
as Dr. Clayton ER Doctor
Fred Parker Jr.
as Faron Young
Candice Richardson
as Opry Attendee
Rebecca Gamble
as Concert Attendee
Troy Compas
as Concert Attendee
Jennifer DeLatte
as Front Row Concert Girl
Todd Barnett
as Gas Station Attendant
Rod Hermansen
as Roy Acuff
Von Lewis
as Ray Price (as Von Cleve Lewis)
Crystal Cook
as Kitty Wells
Cade Weeks
as Hank Williams Jr.
Lauren Helling
as Pensacola Woman
Ashley Gilbert
as Ray's Party Goer
Sarah Eilts
as Ray Price's Wife
Emily Lyman
as Shreveport Nurse
Ellen Crouch
as Drifting Cowboys Family
Meredith Brumwell
as Audrey's Friend (as Meredith Charron)
Jan Duncan Weir
as Ryman Auditorium Concert Attendee
Deadra Moore
as Mrs. Ragland
John R. Bennett, II
as Doctor/House Call
Jason Palombo
as Roadhouse/Festival Patron
Nathan Tremaine
as Band Member
Floyd Knight
as Sickly Patient/Hanks Roommate
Mallorie Lindsey
as Woman with Audrey
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News & Interviews for I Saw the Light

Critic Reviews for I Saw the Light

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (40)

I Saw the Light doesn't just fail to illuminate Williams' complicated life and his prodigious talent; it can't even capture the dark corners of a man with more than enough to peer into.

January 2, 2017 | Rating: D | Full Review…

Bleak biopics don't have to be grim (think of Raging Bull). But this one is neither illuminating nor able to make the most of the dark.

May 8, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

I Saw The Light gives us an exceptional central performance -- but one that is entombed in a very dull and listless film.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

An interestingly acted curiosity.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The genre's most egregious clichés aren't just put to work, but paraded around like prize sheep.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

One of the better music biopics.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for I Saw the Light


Hank Williams doesn't seem to have been that great of a guy. He became addicted to the drink, morphine and other painkillers as well as fathering several children, only one of which he ever married their mother and this all before his untimely death at the age of twenty-nine. While Williams may not have necessarily been the best guy (and possibly one of the worst parents) it is usually these types of people that stand to create the most interesting stories and in Williams case, write the most interesting ones as well. Before becoming popular as a singer Williams was primarily known for being one of Country and Westerns top songwriters. Williams penned and performed countless tunes for a radio show in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama before securing a deal with the music publishing firm Acuff-Rose as a professional songwriter. All of that taken into consideration, you wouldn't really come to learn much of it from the Marc Abraham (Flash of Genius) biopic concerning Williams as it tends to only patch together a few story points in the singers life rather than dig in and find out what really made him tick. It's admirable that Abraham doesn't take the easy route of opening his film backstage before one of Williams last shows and using it as a framing device for a period of reflection in which the movie's told, but he also doesn't come up with an alternative way to tell us anything insightful about the man and a movie needs to offer more than a Wikipedia page does. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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