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Sweet Dreams (1985)

The story of Patsy Cline, the velvet-voiced country music singer who died in a tragic plane crash at the height of her fame.


Karel Reisz


Robert Getchell

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Lange ... Patsy Cline
Ed Harris ... Charlie Dick
Ann Wedgeworth ... Hilda Hensley
David Clennon ... Randy Hughes
James Staley ... Gerald Cline
Gary Basaraba ... Woodhouse
John Goodman ... Otis
P.J. Soles ... Wanda
Terri Gardner Terri Gardner ... Old Singer
Caitlin Kelch Caitlin Kelch ... Sylvia
Robert L. Dasch Robert L. Dasch ... John
Courtney Parker Courtney Parker ... Older Julie
Coulton Edwards Coulton Edwards ... Baby Randy
Holly Filler Holly Filler ... Madrine
Bruce Kirby ... Arthur Godfrey


Patsy Cline was the first female solo artist to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Thirty-two years after her untimely death in a plane crash in Tennessee, her "Greatest Hits" album sold over six million copies. Loved by her fans today as much - if not more - than she was at the height of her fame, the life, the loves and most of all the voice of Patsy Cline is legendary. This film tells the story of the passionate, fun-loving, soft-spoken, loud-living life of one of country music's - and one of popular music's - greatest singing stars. This film covers the years 1956 through 1963, from her rise to fame and the top of the charts through TB talent shows and country bars - through her turbulent marriage to Charlie Dick and the demands of touring which would lead to the fatal plane crash. Written by HBO Home Video

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dulces sueños See more »

Filming Locations:

Hagerstown, Maryland, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$80,418, 6 October 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References to Patsy Cline's friendship with Loretta Lynn were left out of Sweet Dreams (1985), as producers felt their relationship was already covered in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), where Patsy is played by Beverly D'Angelo. Both films were produced by Bernard Schwartz. See more »


The guitar that the singer/MC is using on the "Opry" stage is a Fender acoustic, not available until at least 1966. See more »


Patsy Cline: [ironing and listening to the radio] Lord, bitch. You don't sing. You whine. You whine.
See more »


Edited into Josie and the Pussycats (2001) See more »


Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Written by Lester Flatt
Published by Peer International Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

Sweet Dreams, sweet acting
13 July 2006 | by peters159-1See all my reviews

I just watching Sweet Dreams again and am still happy to see good acting. God knows that in today's market good acting - in the caliber of Jessica Lange - and good scripts and high production values are sorely missing so it's always a treat when all one has to do is pull out the DVD, sit back, and enjoy. I've read other posts about this film and can only say that the producer's approach to the singer was what the picture needed. Perhaps Miss Clines early singing and rise in country music was just too mundane or had been done too much before to make this story work. I liked his approach which dealt only with her close relationship with her husband, Charlie Dick. Needless to say but both Jessica Lange and the always dependable Ed Harris did an excellent job with their roles and we got carried away with their love affair. Sure, he was an abusive husband and probably a woman chaser but then Patsy Cline was no saint herself and as she pointed out in the film she and Charlie deserved each other. She thought they made an excellent pair. Naturally Hollywood glamorized their relationship as this was a romantic film. Some posters have pointed out that they found fault with Miss Lange having to lip-sync Patsy Clines original recordings but I found that refreshing as, after all, the story was about Patsy Cline and not about some talented amateur actress. And as for lip-sync, one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the 40's did just that. Rita Hayworth's actual voice was never used in her musicals, and she and her studio built her reputation on musicals, but she pulled in huge audiences who loved to look at this glamorous woman (not)singing in Tonight and Every Night, Down to Earth and the 20th Century Fox musical My Gal Sal. No one cared that she didn't sing. Ann Blyth who was an excellent soprano was engaged by MGM for their version of The Helen Morgan Story but used Gogi Grant's voice, why? because at that moment in time Miss Grant was a popular recording artist. What made that experiment misfire was that Helen Morgan was closer to Ann Blyth's voice. Ava Gardner made quite a few musicals where her voice was dubbed, she didn't like the process and refused to do anymore musicals where she couldn't use her own voice; she refused The Helen Morgan Story. It's nice that some screen actresses think that their voices are professional enough to get by in films but after looking at these films one has to concede that a true professional voice was the way to go. an good example of this is I'll Cry Tomorrow starring Susan Hayward, Miss Hayward insisted on using her own voice in the MGM film and although her acting was top notch, which was expected, she still sounded like the amateur she was. That film could have used a good professional voice. Anyway, I thought that Jessica Lange did an outstanding job as an actress in Sweet Dreams but was glad to hear Patsy Cline's voice. This technique was used to advantage in Piaf: The Early Years, you got to see a good story with a good actress but you also got to hear the glorious singing from the world renowned singer. It's like getting two for one. Sweet Dreams deserved more than it got by reviewers and audiences. A film that did exactly what it set out to do. Worth watching again, and again.

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