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Hillbilly: The Real Story (The History Channel)

4.3 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Join host Billy Ray Cyrus on a journey into the hollers and runs of Appalachia to discover the proud legacy of the region's mountain folk. Learn how hillbillies, long misunderstood and maligned as isolated and backward, actually have a 300-year history of achievement and success that has contributed significantly to our national identity. In this two-hour special you'll meet outcast immigrants, war heroes, isolated backwoodsmen, hard working miners, fast moving moon shiners, religious warriors, musicians and statesmen. You'll learn of their contributions, which include establishing the first labor unions, battling the British, and spawning some of the most popular aspects of American culture today, like NASCAR and country music. And you'll see them in a whole new light.

Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Format: NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012Y10HK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,102 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As a person from Eastern Kentucky, I found this recent History Channel docummentary quite interesting. First of all, I should point out that much of its material is some of the more sensational aspects of Appalachia. Moonshining (with its connection to NASCAR), marijuna, and feuds get some time. Much of the section on religion is devoted to explaining snake handeling churches, which as the documentary notes are a small minority in the region.

That said, I must say that the documentary is informative and interesting. The reenactments are generally well executed. Scotch Irish settler history, the Battle of King Mountain in the Revolution, the building of the Clinchfield Railroad, and the TVA are all discussed. The time devoted to the coal conflicts in 1920s West Virginia was especially interesting. Even the senstaional material was informative and entertaining. Overall, Billy Ray Cyrus did a decent job as a host as well. Despite a heavy focus on sensationalism, the documentary was surprisingly sympathetic towards Appalachian people. Even the existence of snake churches is viewed more in the light of religious tolerance in West Virginia than how it could have been portrayed.

On the whole, I recommend the documentary for anyone wanting a brief overview of Appalachia. Just be aware that some of the sensational aspects are perhaps overplayed (though moonshining was in fact very common years ago).
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I've lived among the mountain folk of East Tennessee for almost ten years, and while here I've read many histories and watched films and documentaries made on the area. The one I recommend most is The History Channel's Hillbilly: The Real Story, produced by Moore Huntley Productions and hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus. It gives a complete picture of mountain people, where they came from, how their culture developed, why they believe and live as they do and who they have become over the centuries.

Billy Ray journeys into the hollers and runs of Appalachia to discover the proud legacy of the region's mountain folk. Watch it and you will learn how hillbillies, long misunderstood as isolated and backward, actually have a 300-year history of achievement that has contributed significantly to our national identity.
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I bought this on a whim. i remembered seeing part of this documentary on the History Channel a few years ago and thought it might be worth watching again. Honestly, I'm glad I did. It was very entertaining and had a lot of information that isn't typically addressed in history classes or other documentaries. Billy Ray Cyrus made for an interesting choice for the film. some people have criticized it but they must not have watched this documentary. I thought he did a great job.
If you're looking for another re-hash of the Civil War, this is not for you. It has nothing to do with it. Honestly, I was a little glad the producers skipped that. The Civil War has been covered in a lot of other documentaries and this was not the venue for it.
I'd love to see a sequel. I'm sure there are more stories out there that they couldn't fit in. Any history fan or people with an interest in or ties to Appalachia will probably find this to be quite entertaining.
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Interesting documentary on Appalachia, though it irks me that BRC would choose to appear as he did, with greasy lank hair...gives you the feeling he did it deliberately. Whatever. He's an actor, after all. Aside from that, documentary is good. DVD arrived in perfect condition, too.
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I saw this on TV and fell in love with Appalachian history. I moved to NC enrolled in app studies at Appalachian State University and I fall more and more in love with the topic matter with each passing day. This movie is a MUST for history buffs. It has broad range and is entertaining while delivering mounds of information. It is so interesting I am always sad to see it end... I wish they would expand and make a part 2.
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By MikeyMick on December 30, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When Billy Ray does anything that does not involve his progressive ex-wife and garbage daughter, it is great. Hillbilly is no exception. Great history lesson for $10 or less, buy it because history involving white Anglo Saxon people is being taken out of our liberal classrooms so where else are you going to learn these things?
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I enjoyed the content completely; however, after several attempts I had to watch it on my computer as the CD would not play through my CD/DVD player connected to my large screen TV. After a thorough cleaning, the same problems resulted; no sound or anything through most of the segments. We found out it was not the player, as we viewed 2 nights of other CD/TV series after this attempt to view Hillbilly-The Real Story. The quality of the CD also made it difficult to remove from the case; very lightweight and flexible. I was concerned I would break the CD.
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This entry from "The History Channel" was an eye opener. It allowed me to view my own background, as well as the other people I grew up with in the South, with newfound admiration.
Yes, this DVD does destroy the misconceptions that so many of us who now live up North, are forced to live with.
You're never too old to discover your own history!
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