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The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.



(story), (book) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Jordan ...
Amy Johnston ...
Sol Gittler (as Dick O'Neil)
Neva Patterson ...
John F. Goff ...
T.J. (as John Goff)
Jody Berry ...
Richard Kennedy ...


The musical career of rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly is chronicled, from the days when "Peggy Sue" was "Cindy Lou", a song about his first girlfriend, to the meteoric run of "That'll Be the Day" up the charts, to his marriage, breakup with the Crickets, reunion with the Crickets, and untimely death. Written by Jason A. Cormier <wildrose@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


His story will have you singing, laughing, crying, cheering and stomping your feet. See more »


Biography | Drama | Music


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 November 1978 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

A História de Buddy Holly  »

Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Actor Don Stroud was felt to be too old to play one of The Crickets. See more »


Although the film correctly notes that the song "Peggy Sue" was originally called "Cindy Lou," Holly actually used the name of his niece, not his girlfriend. The song was later renamed after Jerry Allison's girlfriend. Peggy Sue Garron. See more »


[first lines]
Buddy Holly: Hey, Riley, we're all plugged in and checked up... yeah, we're ready.
Buddy Holly: [to Ray Bob] Riley wants to hear you at the mike - that's the one right there; say somethin' into that mike.
Ray Bob Simmons: One, two, three, testing... one...
Buddy Holly: [to Riley] How's that sound?
Riley Randolph: All right, that's a good level, Buddy, hold it right there... Yeah, you better get ready, it's about thirty seconds till eight.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Caption shown after the end credits are over: "This film is dedicated to those who loved him first - Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Holley, Maria Elena Holly" See more »


Featured in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »


Peggy Sue
Written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison and Norman Petty
Performed by Gary Busey
See more »

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User Reviews

3 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gary Busey's best performance in a nicely-flowing biography. Since had a musical background, he was able to do his own songs and it really works. It's always good to see that fine actor, Don Stroud (one of the crickets) and Charlie Martin Smith as well.

An 8 out of 10. Best performance = Gary Busey. Thankfully, Mr. Busey was Oscar-nominated for this, losing to Jon Voight in COMING HOME. A fairly low-budget flick that doesn't disappoint, with GREAT SONGS by Mr. Holly. I hope this made plenty of dough. Busey was never this popular again for varying reasons, but thankfully he has this one great one on his resume.

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