DVD Release: Paul Williams: Still Alive

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Price: DVD $19.99
Studio: Virgil Films

Paul Williams: Still Alive movie scene

Paul Williams and Barbra Streisand pose with their "Evergreen" Academy Award in a clip from Paul Williams: Still Alive.

The 2011 documentary film Paul Williams: Still Alive takes a look at the one-time superstar popular songwriter and show biz presence who’s been missing in action for the past two decades—but who is, as the film’s title puts is, still alive!

Williams seems to be everywhere in the 1970s: On records, the radio, TV and movies – but he suddenly walked away from it all, and a new generation of pop music lovers has no idea who he is. As a songwriter, Williams penned a slew of now-classic songs, including The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays,” Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen,” Three Dog Night’s “Just an Old Fashioned Love Song” and the Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection.” Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and David Bowie, among other giants, have recorded Williams’ songs, which have won him Grammy Awards, Golden Globes and an Oscar. Williams also a had a busy acting career, which found him starring in Smokey and the Bandit, Brian DePalma’s The Phantom of the Paradise, and a classic episode of TV’s The Odd Couple, not to mention 50 appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.

But where has he been for the last 20 years? Filmmaker Stephen Kessler sets out to find and the result is Paul Williams: Still Alive, wherein Kessler meets his hero and gets him to open up about his career and why he seemed to simply give it all up. And, yes, there are plenty of revelations, particularly when Williams opens up about his personal struggles and his triumphant return to the music industry as the president of ASCAP.

The PG-13-rated Paul Williams: Still Alive opened in limited release to U.S. theaters in June, 2012 and received generally favorable notices, garnering a 7.7/10 rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 published reviews.

No bonus features have been announced for the DVD.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.