Sweet Dreams (1985) Poster

(1985)

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7/10
Memorable Performances Off-Set A Soaper Script
gftbiloxi8 April 2005
Reality is generally more complicated than any motion picture can possibly convey--and such is the case with SWEET DREAMS, the 1985 bio-pic of singer Patsy Cline, which ran into a firestorm of criticism at the time of its release. For Patsy Cline was not a figure from the remote past. She and her life were extremely well recalled by family, friends, and co-workers, and one and all attacked the film as an extremely inaccurate portrait of her, her husband Charlie, and her life and career.

To a certain extent, the validity of these complaints about the film are a matter of opinion. But it does seem likely that the script softened Cline's harder edges and over-emphasized the stormy nature of her marriage in order to cast her in the role of victim. What isn't opinion is the way the film treats her career: it didn't happen like that, and while the film presents her as a great star at the time of her death in truth she had released only a handful of widely distributed records by 1963--and while some of them were big hits, they weren't quite as big as you might think. Even the celebrated "Sweet Dreams" never made it to the top spot on any music chart, and it was not until well after her death that she received full recognition for her remarkable work.

So instead of truth, or even a good approximation of it, SWEET DREAMS gives us the legend, the folk tale of the rough-and-tumble girl with the big, emotional voice who came from no where, married an abusive husband, and leaped into stardom that was cut short by an untimely death. And as legend, the film works very well.

The weak point of the film is the script, which plays largely to a "domestic drama" aspect and tends to smooth out the characters in a "santized for your protection" sort of way. The direction and cinematography are no great shakes either, and ultimately SWEET DREAMS looks very much like a made-for-television movie. But the cast carries it off in fine style. Jessica Lang looks no more like Patsy Cline than I do, and her lip-scynchs to Cline's work is rather hit-and-miss, but she gives a truly memorable performance; Ed Harris equals her in the role of husband Charlie, and together they create a synergy that has tremendous power. The supporting cast is also quite good, with Ann Wedgeworth a standout in the role of Cline's mother Hilda.

And then there is that soundtrack. Even if you've heard all these songs a thousand times, they're still worth hearing again. Patsy Cline was truly an amazing artist. But the film does something odd with them: the bulk of the story is set during the 1950s, but there is not a 1950s-era Cline vocal to be heard in the entire film, everything is taken from her glory years at MCA between 1960 and 1963. And very often it seemed to me that the original scoring of Cline's songs had been replaced with new arrangements.

And that, ultimately, is rather typical of the film as a whole. Just a little change here, just a little inaccuracy there, and while they all seem slight individually, they add up to a fairly significant distortion collectively. The performances make it worth watching, and they bring it in at a solid four stars. But if you're expecting anything more than the glossy legend of Patsy Cline, you won't find it here.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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7/10
Standard retelling of country/pop legend Patsy Cline, uplifted by wondrous Jessica Lange.
gbrumburgh10 May 2001
Biopics are always a difficult nut to crack. It's never easy to condense the bigger-than-life story of a legendary celebrity into a two-hour movie and still provide the viewer a complete feeling of satisfaction. What it needs to do is not only highlight the well-known peaks and valleys of their career and personal life, but then, and most importantly, write choice, definitive scenes that will flesh out and humanize the character.

Chronicling the life of a famous country singer is especially tricky. So many things can go wrong. Severe miscasting, a hokey, superficial story line, an overly glossy, sanitary, and/or inaccurate treatment of the source. Many of these gals have had their hard-knock life stories laid out. Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Dottie West, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell. The best of the film pickings is assuredly 1980's "Coal Miner's Daughter," Loretta Lynn's backwoods tale. And, fair or not, everything similarly produced since has been up for comparison. Thus, "Sweet Dreams," the retelling of country and pop superstar Patsy Cline (1932-1963), had a lot going against it by the time of its release, which was only five years after "Coal Miner's Daughter." Not only identical in heartache and rags-to-riches narrative, Patsy and Loretta Lynn were actually sisters at heart. They KNEW each other. And so, well, I'm surprised this biography came off as well as it did.

"Sweet Dreams" would be relatively fine on its own but it suffers in comparison to you-know-what. Shorter in scope, detail and focus, it is the star performances that rise above the conventional material here and earns what respect it gets. Patsy the Star is short-shrifted here, electing to concentrate more on Patsy the Woman and her stormy off-stage love life. Not necessarily a wrong decision, it's just that the execution lacks that creative spark. Despite the use of Cline's original soundtrack (superbly lip-synched here by Lange) to a number of her greatest hits ("Crazy," "Walkin' After Midnight" and the title tune), the movie rests on the fact that you already KNOW Patsy Cline became a BIG, BIG star. It doesn't capture the magic and electricity of Patsy that made her the star she was.

Jessica Lange is absolutely luminous as Patsy. She does her proud. Neglecting Kline's entire childhood, the film begins with her in the mid-50s, weighed down by a stalled career and a benign, boring husband. Lange captures the essence and spirit of the feisty, indomitable Cline. Like a restless stallion, she breaks free and shakes up her life, tangling with a reckless, kick-ass cowboy who she hopes will put the twang back in her life. With Charlie Dick (played with macho flair by Ed Harris), Patsy gets much more than she bargained for. With a last name like "Dick," you know this is going to be a fightin' man with a short-trigger. The virile, blue-eyed Harris is the perfect tough-and-tumble co-star. He's so damn good when he's bad, and sexy to boot. He does more than justice to the real Charlie, who had little of Harris' charisma. The two stars show real chemistry here and it ends up being the film's strongest suit.

In support, Ann Wedgeworth as Patsy's careworn mom (remember her from "Three's Company?") finally drops the tawdry, superficial "Mrs. Robinson" stereotype she's done way too much of, and offers us a deeply-felt portrayal of a quiet, strongly spiritual down-home woman who stands behind her girl through thick or thin. Basically a stage actress, this is Wedgeworth's finest film role to date. Meanwhile, John Goodman gives us another broad, healthy dose of comedy relief as Harris' brawling bar buddy, while P.J. Soles offers her cushiony 'other slutty girlfriend' routine.

But, alas, "Sweet Dreams" has been done before...and better Potential female country singing star marries lusty, hard-drinking ne'er-do-well. The wife becomes a big success. The dirty dog slides into his lyin', cheatin' ways. They fight. They make up. And over again. It offers no new or unique approach to the standard female slogan, "Can't live with him, can't live without him."
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Ode to a Country Music Diva!
MickeyTo6 February 2000
If Loretta Lynn could have a movie made about her life story, and if Kenny Rogers could make several TV movies out of one cheesy album, then it only makes sense that a film about the life and times of country great Patsy Cline should be up there as well. Sweet Dreams is a fitting tribute to this timeless star.

Jessica Lange plays the sharp tongued crooner, in a bio pic that takes us from her upcoming days as a bored housewife, to one of Nashville's biggest sensations. As the film opens Patsy is bored and ready to leave a failed marriage. She meets up with lady-killer Charlie Dick (played by Ed Harris) and their torrid romance begins.

As their love affair takes off, so does Patsy's career. She is a hit on a national talent show, which gives her to platform from which to launch her music career. From there she stops everything to have children and take on life as an army wife.

Still unsatisfied, Patsy goes back to making music and meets up with a producer who feels her true talent lies in making ballads. They hook up and the rest is history.

Sweet Dreams is a slow-moving, but well made little film. Lange carries the story, sinking her acting chops into a loud, showy role, quite different from most of her other work. Ed Harris plays well too as the womanizing husband, jealous of his wife's success.

The film covers all of Patsy's highlights from 1956 right through to the devastating plane crash that took her life in 1962. One disappointment was the fact that the film put Patsy's career in the shadows, referring to it only between commentary about her romance with Charlie Dick. The film rarely takes the opportunity to explore the phenomenon that Patsy Cline became in such a short time.

Fans of Cline might be disappointed with Sweet Dreams, but Lange fans can be rest assured that this is one of her best performances. Brassy, bold and sexy, she is the one to watch!
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One of the best movie biographies made.
prmal22 February 2004
I have watched this movie at least 30 times. Patsy Cline is one of my absolute favorite country singers, as I grew up in the 50's and she was both a pop and country chart topper. I also grew up in northern Minnesota, so when a fellow Minnesotan played the role of Patsy, I had to see this movie. Jessica Lange was dynamic in portraying Patsy as someone who "just wanted to make things right". The other actors in the movie also deserved oscar nominations along with Jessica, as they completed this story. This movie is being shown a lot lately on HBO, TNT, CMT, and AMC. I highly recommend it.
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three great performances make a fine film
Joseph Harder8 May 2001
I will say at the onset that I thought Beverly D"Angelo was a slightly better Patsy Cline ..at least, she looked more like Patsy, who was fairly Rubenesque in real life. Still, Jessica Lange captures the sassy, spunky, bawdy spirit of the great Cline. Ed Harris ( always superb) is wonderful, capturing Charlie Dicks tender side, as well as the time when he acted like, like , well, a dick.Anne Wedgeworth, a fine under-used actress was good as Patsy's mother. In short, one of the few good "Country" movies ever made.
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Love Not Faded For Miss Patsy Cline
Lechuguilla20 May 2007
As a cinematic biography of country/western singer Patsy Cline, "Sweet Dreams" is fairly good. The story takes place mostly in the 50s and 60s during which time she had already begun singing in local honky-tonks. The film's plot is straightforward and easy to follow. Production design is excellent. Overall acting quality is credible, with good performances from Jessica Lange as Patsy Cline; reliable Ed Harris as Patsy's redneck husband, Charlie Dick; and wonderful Ann Wedgeworth as Patsy's mother. Profuse country/western music helps make the film even more enjoyable, though I wish they could have found a spot in the film for "Faded Love", one of Cline's most popular songs.

Patsy was talented, ambitious, frustrated, determined, and outgoing. Charlie Dick comes across in the film as a jerk. And my main complaint about this film is that too much time is spent on him, rather than on Patsy and her career. The film's climax is not entirely consistent with known facts; but it is very dramatic.

"Sweet Dreams" will appeal to older viewers, as well as to those who like country/western music. And, of course, being a biography, the film will appeal to viewers who like real life stories.
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8/10
sweet and not sour
Lee Eisenberg20 April 2006
In one of filmdom's many biopics, Jessica Lange sinks her teeth into the role of country singer Patsy Cline. We see her go from a bored housewife to a national phenomenon over the period of a few short years before tragically getting killed in a plane crash in 1963 (although the movie focuses more on her personal life than on her career). Not surprisingly, Lange plays the role perfectly. Equally good is Ed Harris as Cline's philandering husband Charlie Dick. "Sweet Dreams" is a movie that has something for everyone. Maybe we wonder how many biopics there can be, but that would miss the point. The point is to understand these people's personal struggles and all. And this movie does a very good job showing that. I wonder whether country music biopics will see a resurgence, now that "Walk the Line" has made a splash.
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finally a film that displays the tragic life of Patsy Cline
princess82012 September 2001
I thought this movie was great. I caught it on TNT and fell in love with the characters. Jessica Lange and Ed Harris portray Patsy and Charlie so well you feel like you are a part of her success and tragic death. It rivals "Coal Miners Daughter" in the telling of country greats. I recommend this for anyone who would like to see Jessica Lange at her best.
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"The Best One Yet"
bpatters16 December 2001
For those of you that thought "Sweet Dreams" was a stupid movie, well that's fine, but not in my opinion. "Sweet Dreams" tells a story, one of the greatest stories imaginable, I mean yeah it's not no fairy tale, but the life of The Legendary Patsy Cline is a very warm-hearted story to tell. I just saw the movie on VH1 about 3 months ago, I was messing with some things around the house and could not watch a lot of it. But, then about a mounth later it came on CMT and I finally watch it in it's entirity. I loved it so much I ordered it on DVD. It's just very neat how are these stars like Roy Rogers, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbra Mandrell, and Patsy Cline can pave the way to stardom easy for new country stars like Martina Mcbride, Jo Dee Messina, and Kenny Chesney, and to make a movie like "Sweet Dreams" that tells a story about one of these people is very Sweet and I give an applause to Hollywood for making it. I also give "Sweet Dreams" two thumbs up, I mean I'm not no Roger Ebert, but, I know a good movie when I see one, and this one is to good not to miss. Jessica Lange gives a awesome performance of Patsy Cline, not to mention Ed Harris as her dim-witted husband Charlie Dick. With all the crap that Patsy has to put up with, like her car crash, or that she's pregnant, she stll makes it to stardom with her hit song "Crazy". Also, speaking of songs Jessica Lange did an awesome jod of lip-syncing them. Out of "Great Balls of Fire", "La Bamba", and, "Coal Miner's Daughter", "Sweet Dreams"- (Jessica Lange & Ed Harris)The Legendary Story OF Patsy Cline is, The Best one Yet.
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10/10
Sweet Dreams, sweet acting
peters159-113 July 2006
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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8/10
Sweet Dreams
jeffsbat1 December 2016
I won't go into great detail but have to say I was personally involved with this movie as I had a small part in it and while it's not a "home run" hit it was a pleasure working with Jessica Lange, Ed Harris, and John Goodman, as well as Anne Wedgeworth. Everyone was kind and approachable and very professional. I was allowed to attend the private premiere in Nashville Tn where it opened to many stars and family members who were in attendance. Personally, I'd rate the film a 7 out of 10 stars. The music was great and the story although did not cover all aspects of Patsy Cline's life, as an abbreviated version it told a beautiful but troubled account of her life. The love portrayed between Pasty and Charlie along with heart tugging music at times was touching and what sells the movie I think.
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9/10
Patsy Cline 1932-1963
bkoganbing21 January 2014
The only other case of actor and singer becoming as one to deliver a performance like Jessica Lange does in Sweet Dream are The Jolson Story and Jolson Sings Again. It's good to note that Larry Parks also got an Oscar nomination for The Jolson Story in the Best Actor category.

With a treasure trove of records to use some of Patsy Cline's best tracks are lipsynched by Jessica Lange as the story of the country girl from Virginia who rose to the very top of the country music world and stays forever there. Lange does a fabulous job in stepping into the character of Patsy Cline. You really do think that voice is coming out of her.

Sadly not recognized in the Oscar sweepstakes is Ed Harris who plays her second husband. The first is barely given a mention and the only thing he left to Virginia Patterson Henley is the name of Cline. Ed who recognizes that his name of Charlie Dick is good for a few laughs is your average blue collar working stiff from the red states. No better or no worse than many of the folks who hang out in the country bars that he does. Harris never loses his blue collar roots, yet it bothers him that the duds he wears and the cars he drives are because of his wife's money. He's an alpha male through and through and while Lange is singing at a state fair, Harris is busy entered in a demolition derby at the same fair. He's not a simple redneck by any means though and no matter how he transgresses, Lange forgives him.

Other portrayals of note are that of David Clemons as her manager Randy Harris and Ann Wedgworth as Lange's mother. Lange got the only Oscar recognition that Sweet Dreams received. She lost to Geraldine Page for The Trip To Bountiful. Perhaps without Page in the running Jessica Lange might have won that year.

I'm sure Patsy was grateful to Jessica Lange for putting her career and life on permanent record. Charlie Dick who was still alive said he was misrepresented, but I have my doubts. Wherever Patsy Cline is now. For us on earth Patsy Cline left a wonderful legacy of music and song that will be appreciated for centuries.

As will Sweet Dreams.
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8/10
A Compelling Biopic on one of our great Country Divas
Isaac58556 December 2005
SWEET DREAMS was the 1985 film biography of country and western singing legend Patsy Cline, magnificently portrayed by Jessica Lange, who delivers one of her most charismatic performances as the singing legend who rose from humble beginnings to become a country and western legend. Lange imbues a fire and spirit into Cline that is quite endearing and allows us a perhaps partly speculative look at the fire that drove Patsy to become what she did. There is a great moment when Patsy is meeting with a record producer and she is describing the kind of career she wants and he says, "Oh you want to be Kitty Wells?" and Patsy replies, "Hell no, I wanna be Hank Williams!" According to this film, Patsy didn't want to be a country singer, she wanted to BE country music. I also love the scene where Patsy is introduced to the song "Crazy" and says she can't sing this man's song and the producer explains, "Sing it the way you always do, Patsy...your way...let the words tell the story." Patsy slows the tempo, does it her way, and it became her signature song. Lange not only delivers a wonderful performance in this film, but she does one of the best jobs I have ever seen on screen of an actor lip-synching to another voice. Her lip-synching to Cline's voice is practically flawless. Lange also gets solid support from Ed Harris as Patsy husband, Charlie Dick and from Ann Wedgeworth as Patsy's mom. I don't know why this has always bothered me but I noticed that in COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER, Patsy seemed to be a major character in Loretta Lynn's story but Loretta is not even mentioned in this film. Nevertheless, this is a warm and entertaining film, definitely a notch above the average film biography, thanks mostly to an extraordinary performance by Jessica Lange.
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10/10
Good film, could've been a bit better though...
Drewboy-215 May 2000
I agree with the last comment placed here, that Beverly D'Angelo would have been a more convincing Patsy Cline, but not to say that Jessica Lange didn't do a good job. Personally, I think the D'Angelo versions of Patsy's songs sounded equally as good as the originals. While COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER was released in 1980, SWEET DREAMS did not appear till 1985. Perhaps if the time gap had been shorter, Beverly D'Angelo may have had a better chance.

The film did excellence portraying not only Patsy's relationship with Charlie Dick, but also with her own mother, Hilda Hensley, who was only 16 years old when she gave birth to Patsy. Ann Wedgeworth did a wonderful job!

Sadly, a vintage 1957 Chevy sedan had to be destroyed to portray an auto accident that nearly claimed Patsy's life. While there are still a lot of these cars around, I wondered why they could not have used a less collectible car such as a Rambler or VW from the era?

All in all, a good film that could have been great if Ms. D'Angelo had starred, and if some mention was made of Loretta Lynn. Rent this film and COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER some evening for a double feature of great music and drama!
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10/10
I loved this movie
Cruzingodmother20 June 2005
This movie was great. Iam a big Patsy Cline fan. She was wonderful. Even though she died 12 years before I was born, shes still the best singer I ever heard. & my all time favorite country singer. At the end where they showed the plane crash. I thought that was to sad. & maybe they should have left that part out, but I guess they had to show it, so they can show us what happened to Patsy. I have this movie on DVD. I've always been a patsy Cline fan. & always will be. Its one of my favorite movies. I always wonder what Charlie & there 2 children are doing now. & if Charlie really did hit her like it shows in the movie. Someday I want to go to winchester Va, See her hometown & see where shes buried, & also to the country music hall of fame in Nashville & see her things that are there. Thats my dream.
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9/10
A Wonderful Movie
lottatitles21 December 2002
The reviewers wanted something else in the movie. They didn't get it so they trashed it. This movie is about Patsy Cline and her early beginnings and marriage to Charlie Dick. Yes, I love Beverly D'Angelo as Patsy Cline in Coal Miner's Daughter. But Jessica Lange is everybit as good and Ed Harris, one of the most underrated actors for years, is superb as Charlie. Their scene in a parking lot at night is almost worth the price of the whole movie. Don't watch this movie looking for what YOU want. Watch it to see what the screenwriter, director and cast are going to show you
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What a wonderfully touching movie!
KELLY A.20 October 1999
I highly suggest this movie, even if you are not a Patsy Cline fan. It is the touching story of Patsy's life, how she rose to success, and the struggles she encountered along the way.

Her story and songs are sure to touch anyone's heart because there is such feeling behind them. Jessica Lange and Ed Harris do a remarkable job portraying Patsy and her husband, Charlie. The on-screen magic makes you believe you are in the late 50's/early 60's watching the couple for yourself.

Run to the video store and check out this one tonight! You won't regret it.
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6/10
This is a great movie.
Polo3 February 1999
As a big fan of both Patsy Cline and Jessica Lange. I have seen this movie about twenty times. I think you have to be really a fan of Patsy Cline to really understand this movie. Jessica Lange got an Oscar nomination for this film and deservingly so. Ed Harris and Ann Wedgeworth should have too.

I give this movie: 4 stars.
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10/10
Some inaccuracies noted...
Drewboy-220 May 2003
Patsy Cline never had an affair with her manager, Randy Hughes, as this movie implies. Nor was she separated from her husband, Charlie Dick, at the time of her death. I am somewhat surprised that these allegations were made in this film. Also, no mention of her friendship with Loretta Lynn at all.

A good film overall, but could've been more detailed and more truthful. Jessica Lange OK, but I would have cast Beverly D'Angelo again (who played Patsy in Coal Miner's Daughter) with Ed Harris.
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9/10
One of the greatest movies ever!
kwa106321 July 1999
My best friend and I are writing this and this is our FAVORITE movie! We cannot picture Patsy Cline without thinking of Jessica Lange. Her Oscar nomination was very well-deserved. Ed Harris and Ann Wedgeworth should've been recognized too. We could never tire of watching this excellent movie.
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10/10
fantastic film
BrendaMclarty19 May 2006
I loved this film pasty cline and charlie dick where a wonderful couple such fantastic charisma they were truly unique she was cut to short her life ended by a tragic accident i would love to have lived in her time to no the great woman that she was and still no her as a great all time terrific singer i wish i could have met her so sad her time on earth was a little in comparison to others but it meant so much. we loved you pasty (virginia dick you were the greatest what else can I say so good so short ans so wonderful she was we can all learn something from her live life and enjoy cause life is way to short she died so tragically and she had so much to offer she feels like she was my best friend i love her so much but I wish i had met charlie because for me he was the hero he was so nice and sexy tell him to phone me sometime
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Good biopic.
Blueghost2 November 2017
I saw this on HBO and thought it was pretty decent, if somewhat brief. It was one of many biopics to hit the theatres in the 80s, and this one wasn't that well known. However, it saw a revival when it hit HBO.

I can't remember too much of it other than I wasn't sure that Jessica Lange was the right actress for the role. Even so the film is kind of endearing. How much if fact and how much is fiction I don't really know, and is probably a job for an actual documentary on the singer's life.

Pretty good production values, well shot. If you're a Patsy Cline fan then give this a shot.

Enjoy.
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7/10
Does Patsy Proud
kz917-122 May 2017
Fantastic! Jessica Lange and Ed Harris tell the tale of Patsy Cline's tragedies and triumphs. Bonus surprise seeing John Goodman in a few of the scenes. I was spurred on to see the film after viewing a documentary of Patsy Cline's life and wow-wee I knew what was coming and it was still shocking in many of the film's moments. Sadness.
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7/10
Good Patsy Cline Fest....But not all factual
NutzieFagin11 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film in the 80's when I was a young girl, and it literally opened my eyes to the music of Patsy Cline. What a voice! I heard of her but never heard her music before because it was considered old and outdated but Brother! you don't know what you're missing! I currently live in Maryland, not far from Winchester VA, Patsy Cline's hometown. Here is what I heard about Patsy's life. Patsy was born Virginia Patterson Hensley. Her mother, Hilda Hensley was a expert seamstress who married a man years her senior. The marriage was not a success because husband and father abandoned Hilda and her children. Being the oldest child, Patsy decided to become head of the family and dropped out of high school to get a job in order to support her mother and siblings. Since Hilda had Patsy at the tender age of sixteen, mother and daughter had a fierce bond until Patsy's death.

Hilda and Patsy belonged to a church choir which probably lead to her love of music. Patsy was said to have perfect pitch with her voice. Eventually Patsy got involved in as a singer in bands and performed a couple gigs around town. She did marry an older man, Gerald Cline but the marriage was unsuccessful because Gerald wanted her to settle down as a normal housewife. Patsy was not a shy wallflower, but a determined woman who went after a goal when she saw it. She knew during this time that she wanted to become a singer and she knew she wanted to marry a man she recently met, Charlie Dick. After playing with such bands and appearances like Jimmy Dean and winning a talent show on Arthur Godfrey, her career took off. Her name was changed from "Ginny" to Patsy after a friend called her "Patsy" from her middle name "Patterson" Jessica Lange does a very impressive performance as Patsy Cline although the lip sync hing is a little tight. But she captures the forceful spirit Of Cline. Ed Harris, who plays Charlie Dick is good. He gives Charlie a somewhat crude character and seems somewhat obsessed with his wife while fighting some inner demons like alcohol and jealousy. But the is a love story here--both characters drawing strengths and weaknesses from one another.

The film does portray Patsy as a somewhat battered wife---somewhat hard to believe because Patsy was not a person to take abuse from most people. She had a reputation for getting things cut and dry off the table with absolutely no nonsense. Some bands who performed at venues and got paid after the event would risk getting stiffed from unscrupulous mangers. But Patsy would demand money from up front before performing--"No Dough, No Show" was her motto. There is also one scene where Patsy hints that she might have been molested by her father--but there is no evidence about this. There was some protest from family members and Charlie Dick about this portrayal but they just seemed to shrug it off and not make further waves---I guess they just thought it was just better to leave it as it is.

There is also mis information about the car accident that Patsy suffered as well as the fateful plane crash. Also, her marriage to Charlie Dick had its problems like most marriages---but was it abusive? All in all, despite the facts possibly bended to make the story more interesting, it is the music that is the real star of the show. It is introduction to whet your appetite and seek out further recordings. Had Patsy Cline survived today, I think she would have been greater than her legend. She was one of the first Country music performers to cross over into the pop charts.

So despite the mis information to give the film more sensationalism, see the film and enjoy the music! I highly recommend getting the soundtrack too.
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"I should hate you the whole night through..."
treeline116 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"...instead of having sweet dreams about you." Jessica Lange stars as the unforgettable Patsy Cline in this very entertaining, rags-to-riches bio pic. The story opens in the fifties, and Patsy is singing in small-time honky tonks in Virginia. There, she meets charming Charlie Dick (Ed Harris) who woos her and they soon marry. The marriage is rocky and intense, Patsy's career takes off, and her songs go national.

Patsy's original recordings are heard throughout the movie and, if you're a fan, you'll absolutely love hearing them again. Lange gives a very good performance as the spirited Patsy and was nominated for Best Actress, but for me, Ed Harris steals the show. He plays Charlie as a rough and rowdy, uncouth but lovable man and is totally charismatic. Look closely and spot a thin John Goodman in a small part.

Though the story is equal parts fact and fiction, it is very enjoyable with a fast-paced script and, most of all, Patsy's memorable songs. Highly recommended.
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