7.5/10
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Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

Biographical story of the legendary country singer's rise from humble, poverty-stricken beginnings in Kentucky to worldwide superstardom and how she changed the sound and style of country music forever.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writers:

Thomas Rickman (screenplay) (as Tom Rickman), Loretta Lynn (autobiography) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sissy Spacek ... Loretta Lynn
Tommy Lee Jones ... Doolittle Lynn
Levon Helm ... Ted Webb
Phyllis Boyens-Liptak Phyllis Boyens-Liptak ... 'Clary' Webb (as Phyllis Boyens)
Bill Anderson Jr. Bill Anderson Jr. ... Webb Child
Foister Dickerson Foister Dickerson ... Webb Child
Malla McCown Malla McCown ... Webb Child
Pamela McCown Pamela McCown ... Webb Child
Kevin Salvilla Kevin Salvilla ... Webb Child
William Sanderson ... Lee Dollarhide
Sissy Lucas Sissy Lucas ... Betty Sue Lynn
Pat Patterson Pat Patterson ... Jack Benny Lynn
Brian Warf Brian Warf ... Ernest Ray Lynn
Elizabeth Watson Elizabeth Watson ... Cissy Lynn
Beverly D'Angelo ... Patsy Cline
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Photos

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Storyline

At only 13, Loretta Webb marries Doolittle Lynn and is soon responsible for a large family. She appears destined to a life of homemaking, but Doolittle recognizes his wife's musical talent, and buys her a guitar as an anniversary present one year. At 18, the busy mother of four children still finds time to write and sing songs at small fairs and local honky-tonks. This gift sets Loretta Lynn on the grueling, tumultuous path to superstardom and 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. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sissy Spacek praised Michael Apted and his design team for the high degree of authenticity they lent to the story without falling into the cliché of portraying "hillbillies" living in squalor. "The costumes were perfect, and the sets were exquisitely accurate, from the corn cribs in the back of Loretta's home to the newspapers used for wallpaper inside the cabin to keep out the drafts," she later wrote. See more »

Goofs

Lee Dollarhide (William Sanderson) has a modern late 70's hairstyle that men in West Virginia didn't wear at the time as miners wore shorter hair which was appropriate for the time. See more »

Quotes

Radio station manager: [to Loretta] You're number fourteen, nationwide!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
(uncredited)
Written by John Newton
[Sung at Ted Webb's funeral]
See more »

User Reviews

 
Entertaining And Factual
16 May 2008 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

As one of the better cinematic bios, "Coal Miner's Daughter" deserves praise because it is such a topnotch production. Sissy Spacek gives a terrific performance in the rags-to-riches, true-life story of country music legend Loretta Lynn. Spacek does her own singing in the movie, as does Beverly D'Angelo in the role of Patsy Cline.

But this lavish, big budget film has more to offer than the great performances of these two actresses. Attention to detail in production design, costumes, and makeup, plus topnotch editing combine to rev up the film's technical quality. And I loved that soundtrack with all those great country/western songs, including especially "Honky Tonk Angels" by the wonderful Kitty Wells. All of these cinematic elements render a film that is as entertaining as it is factual.

Loretta Lynn's story originates in the South; it's a story rich in emotion and appreciation of simple home values like love, family, and perseverance. Local non-actors are brought into the film in bit parts, and that amplifies the authenticity of her surroundings, especially her Southern roots.

My only problem with this film is the plot structure. The first fifty minutes could have been condensed. In particular, that part of the film that deals with Loretta's love affair with Mooney (Tommy Lee Jones), his red jeep, and Loretta's dad was too long and drawn out.

But overall, "Coal Miner's Daughter" is amazing because it presents a true-life success story that was by no means inevitable. All kinds of things could have intervened along the way to stop Loretta's rise to the top. Her husband was a big help, but she also had talent, and she got some breaks at crucial times. Her journey from rural Kentucky poverty to Nashville mansion thus makes for a gripping story helped along by the nearly perfect performance of Sissy Spacek.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coal Miner's Daughter See more »

Filming Locations:

Norton, Virginia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,366,443, 9 March 1980

Gross USA:

$67,182,787

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$67,182,787
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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