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The Buddy Holly Story

Where to Watch The Buddy Holly Story

PG
1978

The Buddy Holly Story is a 1978 biographical film that chronicles the life and career of Buddy Holly, an influential rock musician who tragically died in an air crash at the tender age of 22. Directed by Steve Rash, the film stars Gary Busey in the title role, Don Stroud as Jesse Charles (a fictionalized depiction of Crickets drummer Jerry Allison), and Charles Martin Smith as Ray Bob Simmons (an amalgam of Crickets bassist Joe B. Mauldin and guitarist Niki Sullivan).

The movie begins in the small town of Lubbock in Texas where Holly, Charles, and Simmons are wrestling with the conservative attitudes of the time that deem rock 'n' roll as an immoral and disruptive genre of music. The biopic follows Holly from he and his friends’ initial struggles in conveying their passion for rock music to their sudden catapult into stardom after being discovered by a talent scout in Nashville.

Gary Busey gives a stirring performance as Buddy Holly, brilliantly capturing the energy, enthusiasm, and free spirit of what has come to be known as the "rock 'n roll dream." Busey’s intricate mimicking of Holly's unique vocal style and his intense dedication to the role (including gaining the ability to play the guitar left-handed, just like Holly) earned him an Oscar nomination for his performance.

The narrative unfolds through a sequence of events that take you from Holly's budding start and the formation of his band, The Crickets, to his rocketing success, and his encounter with Maria Elena Santiago (played by Maria Richwine), whom he marries after a short courtship. The story tries to stick as much as possible to the real-life timeline of Buddy Holly, with a few fictional elements added in for dramatic effect.

One of the notable aspects of The Buddy Holly Story is its depiction of the music scenes of the 1950s which include performances at roller rinks and the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. The film does a commendable job showcasing the impact Holly's music had across racial lines during a very segregated period of American history.

The movie also provides glimpses of Holly's creative process and how some of his famous songs came to fruition, such as incidents in Holly’s life that inspired “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue.” Viewers will appreciate the lengths the filmmakers went to make these moments authentic. Notably, they featured actual recordings from Gary Busey and the band rather than using pre-recorded tracks, and the live performances give the film a heightened sense of realism and energy.

Overall, The Buddy Holly Story portrays the unforgettable tale of a trailblazing musician, his rapid ascend to worldwide stardom and his enduring influence on Rock 'n Roll. The film masterfully encapsulates Holly's too-short career, giving audiences a chance to relish the foot-tapping music and delve into the life of the iconic musician.

Each performance and on-screen portrayal was well-acclaimed and contributed to the film’s popularity and its status as a classic music-based biopic. Garnering critical acclaim, the film not only got Busey nominated for an Academy Award but also won the Oscar for Best Adaptation Score. Despite the somber tragedy that frames the narrative, the movie is a celebration of Buddy Holly's life and his enduring impact, detailing his career while still avoiding overly sensationalized drama.

The Buddy Holly Story captures the cultural zeitgeist of the 1950s and portrays a legend who, despite facing many odds against them, revolutionized the music scenario with their talent and left a lasting legacy in a tragically short lifespan. The film takes us on an incredible journey, making the audience appreciate Holly's talent, his music, and his enduring contribution to rock 'n' roll in a passionate and well-acted biopic.

The Buddy Holly Story is a Drama, Music movie released in 1978. It has a runtime of 113 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 78.

How to Watch The Buddy Holly Story

Where can I stream The Buddy Holly Story movie online? The Buddy Holly Story is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Buddy Holly Story for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.2/10
78/100
Director
Steve Rash
Stars
Gary Busey, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith, Conrad Janis
Genres
Also starring Don Stroud
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