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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.

Director:

Steve Rash

Writers:

Alan Swyer (story), John Goldrosen (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,016 ( 1,519)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Busey ... Charles Hardin 'Buddy' Holly
Don Stroud ... Jesse
Charles Martin Smith ... Ray Bob
Conrad Janis ... Ross Turner
William Jordan William Jordan ... Riley
Maria Richwine Maria Richwine ... Maria Elena Santiago
Amy Johnston ... Cindy Lou
Dick O'Neill ... Sol Gittler (as Dick O'Neil)
Fred Travalena ... Madman Mancuso
Neva Patterson ... Mrs. Ella Holly
Arch Johnson ... Mr. Lawrence Holly
John F. Goff John F. Goff ... T.J. (as John Goff)
Gloria Irizarry ... Mrs. Santiago
Jody Berry Jody Berry ... Engineer Sam
Richard Kennedy ... Preacher
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

He changed the sound of music with "Peggy Sue", "Oh Boy", "It's So Easy", "That'll Be The Day", "Rave On", "Maybe Baby" and many, many more... See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Buddy Holly Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,363,400
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Innovisions, ECA See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Since widow Maria Elena Holly was in control of Buddy Holly's estate as executor and administrator, it was she with whom producer Fred Bauer, director Steve Rash, and executive producer Ed Cohen (Edward H. Cohen) made a film agreement. Once the details were settled, the crucial area of casting was approached. It was agreed upon by all that no big-name star could fit the bill because emphasis would be shifted away from Buddy Holly and toward the particular celebrity playing the part. Further, whoever played the role had to be able to perform professionally in the numerous music sequences depicting highlights in Buddy Holly's career. With this in mind, it was decided that unlike most previous music-oriented films, no pre-recorded and lip-synched techniques would be employed. All the music would be staged, performed, and recorded on the film's soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

There are no mountains in Lubbock, Texas. See more »

Quotes

[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 »


Soundtracks

Corrine, Corrina
Written by J. Mayo Williams (uncredited), Mitchell Parish (uncredited) and Bo Carter (uncredited)
Performed by Big Joe Turner
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Busey Delivers Big Time
26 November 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

I always liked listening to Buddy Holly and felt a real loss when he was killed at a young age in an airplane crash. He wasn't in the old rock 'n roll class of , let's say, Chuck Berry or Jerry Lee Lewis, but he wasn't far behind. Who knows how big his legacy would have been had he sang for decades. Almost every single he put out was a hit.

So, I was very pleasantly surprised how good a job Gary Busey did at playing him and at imitating his singing voice. He did Buddy proud, as were the actors (Don Stroud and Charles Martin Smith) who played Holly's backup group, "The Crickets."

Music-wise, there are some of Holly's better-known songs in the beginning of the film and its really good with a strong finish at the end as Holly and the boys are shown in Iowa in their last concert ever. Busey not only sings like Holly, he's a dead ringer for him in the looks department. Some thing was the actor''s best performance ever, and you get no argument from me.

I'm also glad they ended the film on an upbeat note with that Iowa concert, instead of dwelling on his tragic accident. The ending could have been a real downer, but they didn't let it be.


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