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Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  7 March 1980 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 11,838 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 33 critic

Biography of Loretta Lynn, a country and western singer that came from poverty to fame.

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(screenplay) (as Tom Rickman) , (autobiography), 1 more credit »
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Title: Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Doolittle Lynn
...
Ted Webb
Phyllis Boyens ...
'Clary' Webb
Bill Anderson Jr. ...
Webb Child
Foister Dickerson ...
Webb Child
Malla McCown ...
Webb Child
Pamela McCown ...
Webb Child
Kevin Salvilla ...
Webb Child
...
Lee Dollarhide
Sissy Lucas ...
Betty Sue Lynn
Pat Patterson ...
Jack Benny Lynn
Brian Warf ...
Ernest Ray Lynn
Elizabeth Watson ...
Cissy Lynn
...
Edit

Storyline

At only thirteen years of age, Loretta Webb marries Doolittle Lynn and is soon responsible for a sizeable family. Loretta appears destined to a life of homemaking, but Doolittle recognises his wife's musical talent, and buys her a guitar as an anniversary present one year. This gift sets Loretta Lynn on the gruelling, tumultuous path to country music greatness. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She was married at 13. She had four kids by the time she was 20. She's been hungry and poor. She's been loved and cheated on. She became a singer because it was the only thing she could do. She became a star because it was the only way she could do it.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La hija del minero  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$79,900,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sissy Spacek's Best Actress Oscar win for playing singer Loretta Lynn created a rarity in the Academy's history in that the real-life Loretta Lynn was in the audience witnessing the victory. That same evening (March 31, 1981) boxer Jake LaMotta was in the pavilion audience when Robert De Niro won the Best Actor statuette for his portrayal of LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980), making the event even more rare. See more »

Goofs

Loretta's father is shown in an open casket at his funeral. If we look closely he can be seen breathing. See more »

Quotes

Loretta Lynn: [Doolittle buys Loretta a guitar] Doolittle, I can't play that thing!
Doolittle: Well, most people can't till they learn how, dammit!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cannonball Fever (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Crazy
Written by Willie Nelson
Performed by Beverly D'Angelo
See more »

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User Reviews

Character Development
27 October 2002 | by (wichita, ks) – See all my reviews

The reason this film works (arguably the greatest bio-pic ever produced) is that it is ABOUT Loretta Lynn's life, not about country music. From the opening shots of a young Loretta riding a mule to the mines with her brother, you know this will be a film about extraordinary characters. It is over an hour before we hear one song from Loretta Lynn; director Michael Apted and writer Thom Rickman spend time to develop Loretta, Doolittle and her family. When her father dies, the audience cries with Loretta because we know her family, her father, we understand where this girl came from and why it is such a unique transition from backwoods girl to international star.

It's been said that Ms. Lynn was named after movie star Loretta Young. When approached by executives to make a movie about her life (based on her best-selling autobiography), she was savvy enough to realize that a film would end up on television anyway, and opted to have film made. I can imagine (most likely to the chagrin of studio execs) that Apted fought to develop a script that showcased the characters over the music. The result is a film that EVERYONE enjoys. When the film was released in 1980, I remember people going who were definitely not country music fans, and I remember their raves after the movie.

America is about the Horatio Alger storyline: everyone can achieve greatness. This film highlights that dream. While it does fall into some cliche trappings once Loretta Lynn is a huge success (the on-the-road montage, the drugs, the nervous breakdown), there are such cliches because the pressure performers feel is one in the same. Overall, it ages beautifully because it captures a time when the American hills spawned such unique talent (Lynn's contemporaries are either showcased or mentioned to great effect).

Of special note: If Oscars could be given for past work, Beverly D'Angelo should be voted the "Best Supporting Actress" of 1980 for this film. Unfortunately, she was not even nominated. You will be hard-pressed to find such a complete performance in film. Similar in screen time and impact as Dame Judi Dench's performance in "Shakespeare In Love", D'Angelo gives a Master Class in screen acting for her portrayal of the late Patsy Cline. Most likely, this flash of brilliance is what inspired the film "Sweet Dreams", the bio-pic of Cline, a film that pales in comparison to "Coal Miner's Daughter."

This is Spacek's only Oscar win thus far out of six nominations. She's a national treasure and this performance is outstanding. However, you should see this film for all its elements, working to create an outstanding picture. Highly recommended.


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