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Paul Williams Still Alive

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

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Plot Summary

If you were around in the 1970s, and even if you weren't, you probably know Paul Williams. He wrote classic songs like "We’ve Only Just Begun"; "Evergreen" and "Rainbow Connection." He starred in Smokey and The Bandit and on Johnny Carson’s couch. And then, he disappeared. Quite by accident, lifelong fan and director Stephen Kessler learned that Paul Williams was still with us. But when Kessler sets out to make a documentary, Williams isn't interested at all. With Kessler never giving up and Williams always trying to get away from the camera, the results are a documentary that is more like a buddy comedy than a "whatever happened to"- both funny and moving. Paul Williams Still Alive is both a rollicking pop-culture flashback filled with great television and performance clips, and the humorous journey of an awkward documentarian and his reluctant subject. Yet it ultimately evolves into the touching tale of a man who has made peace with the beast that fame and celebrity awoke.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

97%
  • Reviews Counted: 30
  • Fresh: 29
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Mr. Williams's quiet integrity trumps Mr. Kessler at every turn. – Andy Webster, New York Times, Jun 7, 2012

Fresh: The movie is fascinating, though it smacks its own lips a bit too much at the tackiness of freak '70s stardom. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, Jun 20, 2012

Fresh: An engrossing and satisfying pic, one that can be enjoyed even by people who have never before heard of its subject. – Joe Leydon, Variety, May 23, 2012

Fresh: Filmmaker Stephen Kessler's sheer delight in following around his boyhood idol, whose music framed much of the '70s when Kessler was a lad in Queens, is thoroughly infectious. – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Jun 29, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A great movie about an American Icon

Great documentary about a American Icon. Every bright spot and every blemish is exposed! Even some classic footage from TV appearances in the 70s. Being a fan of over 30 years it was nice seeing a full retrospect (done with care) on Paul Williams. The director was very polite at the screening I went to, He and Paul stayed around till everyone had a chance to get an autograph and picture.. It was interesting to see how many foreign fans still love to come out and see Paul. If he were to tour I would be first in line for tickets.. My Mother being a big fan in the 60s-70s turned me on to Paul's music along with the Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, Three Dog Night and Elvis… Paul had a talent with the words.. He was the king of the (as he puts it) Co-dependent tunes.. You and me agains the world, Evergreen, Just an Old fashion love song, Family of Man, Driftwood, Nilsson sings Newman, We've only just begun, Where do we from here, and Rainy Days and Mondays always let me down… Paul and Roger Nichols wrote some of he best American music we have..

Best so Far

This is the best documentary I have seen in a long time.
I forgot how many classic songs Mr. Williams had written.
It is good to see he has the peace and contentment he deserves.
I can't say enough good things about this film.

Paul Williams: Still Alive

Wonderful documentary about the talented singer, composer and actor Paul Williams. Great archival footage of Williams' performances from many years back (gotta see him as a boy rocket scientist in "The Loved One") along with a fascinating look at what he's doing today. Filmmaker and big Wililams fan, Stephen Kessler, became part of the story. Loved it!

Paul Williams Still Alive
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  • $7.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings