Bill W. (film)

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Bill W.
Bill W. theatrical poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Dan Carracino
Kevin Hanlon
Produced by Dan Carracino
Written by Dan Carracino
Patrick Gambuti Jr.
Kevin Hanlon
Starring Bill Wilson (voice)
Blake J. Evans
Music by Gil Talmi (Performed by Yo-Yo Ma[1])
Cinematography Ryo Murakami
Edited by Patrick Gambuti Jr.
Distributed by Page 124 Productions
Release date
  • May 18, 2012 (2012-05-18)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Bill W. is an 2012 American biographical film directed by Dan Carracino and Kevin Hanlon, about William Griffith Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the first feature length documentary on Wilson.


The film includes interviews with several recovering alcoholics who are photographed in dark shadows to obscure their identity, and also makes use of dramatic reenactments to visualize key events in Wilson's life. Blake J. Evans portrays Wilson in the film.[2][3]

Partial cast[edit]

  • Bill Wilson as Himself (voice
  • Dr. Bob as Himself (voice)
  • Blake J. Evans as Bill Wilson
  • Chris Gates as Dr. Bob
  • Leila J. Babson as Anne Smith
  • Kathleen Emmans as Nell Wing
  • Julia Schell as Lois Wilson
  • Laura Kauffmann as Martha Deane
  • Tim Intravia as Ebby T.
  • Rachel Lynn Jackson as Ruth Hock
  • Dennis Lowell as Hank Parkhurst
  • Ron Nagle as Bill's Grandfather
  • Max Owens as Young Bill Wilson
  • Lenore Pershing as Henrietta Seiberling
  • Norman Shultz as Father Ed Dowling
  • Francis Stallings as Kathleen Parkhurst
  • Catherine Hogan as Waitress
  • Stephen A. Schwartz as Kevin Swift


Making a film about the founder of an anonymous society presented the filmmakers with challenges. For example, by the time production began, there were few people still alive that knew Wilson, and it first appeared that there was very little visual material available on Wilson. The filmmakers were able to unearth little-seen archival footage and previously unpublished photographs of Wilson and the people in his life.[4]


The film opened on limited release in New York City and Los Angeles on Friday, May 18, 2012.[5]

Prior to its theatrical release, Bill W. screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival.[2]


Critical response[edit]

Upon its release, the reviews of the film have been favorable. As of May 22, 2012, the film received a 100% positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website[6] and a 78 Metascore (with all favorable reviews) on Metacritic.[7] Ernest Hardy in his Village Voice review described the film as "a loving, exhaustive, warts-and-all look at the man who spent years battling his own alcoholism before a spiritual experience in the hospital set him on the course to help others."[8]

Sheri Linden's review in the Los Angeles Times described Bill W. as "a thoroughly engrossing portrait of Wilson, his times and the visionary fellowship that is his legacy."[3]

Roger Ebert gave Bill W. three stars out of four, calling it "an assembly of styles. It incorporates such film footage of Bill as is available, and then uses actors to re-enact chapters in his story."


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Urycki, Mark (27 March 2012). "Bill W. documentary at CIFF". Kent, Ohio: WKSU. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Linden, Sheri (18 May 2012). "'Bill W.' cuts through the anonymity". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 May 2012. Laudatory but never simplistic, "Bill W." is a thoroughly engrossing portrait of Wilson, his times and the visionary fellowship that is his legacy. 
  4. ^ "About". Page 124 Productions. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "In Theaters Now". Page 124 Productions. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bill W. (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Bill W. (2012)". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Hardy, Ernest. "Bill W". Village Voice. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 

External links[edit]