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Hillbilly: The Real Story (The History Channel)

Billy Ray Cyrus  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)


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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012Y10HK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,748 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exploitative but still fun and informative April 25, 2010
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Look at the Real People July 29, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff! February 7, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars educational and entertaining! GREAT documentary March 1, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent history of mountain people! June 10, 2008
By E. Dodd
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hillbilly: The Real Story (The History Channel)

I bought it because I wish to understand how my family got from Northumberland in England to the United States and the history since that time of the Applachian people. I know2 a lot more now having watched the DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appalachian History March 29, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was a little lear4y of this DVD since it starred Billy Ray Cyrus, but I have to hand it to him as he did an outstanding job. This is the history of the folks living in the Appalachian area, from the first settlers on forward. It was an entertaining way to pickup on some of the cultural history of this land that retried to. Definitely worth the money.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dispelling myths October 27, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This video relates the history of those living in Appalachia. And explanations are made as to how certain myths came about and were believed. The people telling the stories were likable, smart and hardy. I would recommend this movie to all who wish to know about the mountain people.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Respectful Look at Some Undiscovered Americana September 1, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The description in my onscreen program guide said, "A look at 200 years of mythic hillbillies". That's a pretty bold pronouncement, but this documentary delivers. While I was born in West Virginia (and have a huge section of family that still lives there and always will), I never really lived there. HILLBILLY really makes me wish I'd paid more attention during all of those childhood visits: moonshining folk heroes who survive a dozen gunshot wounds and then get pardoned by the President. The dreadful cost of building real roads and railroads where they didn't exist before. Big corporations hiring a private army complete with airplanes to try and bust budding unions, and more.

Watch this and find a new level of respect for mountaineers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Only ordered it cause of Billy Ray Cyrus!!
Am a HUGE fan of Billy Ray Cyrus...got the dvd but haven't had time to view it. Sure I will
Published 7 months ago by Alice Sharon Stripe
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
When Billy Ray does anything that does not involve his progressive ex-wife and garbage daughter, it is great. Hillbilly is no exception. Read more
Published 8 months ago by MutantMike
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!
I enjoyed the DVD. While I didn't do the research to find out how true some of the information is in the DVD; it did give me new avenues to explore in my quest to track down our... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Wordstock
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching
Very informative and entertaining DVD. Not one of those 30 minute rip-offs! The only slightly annoying part--Billy Ray Cyrus. Absolutely non-essential. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Wender
2.0 out of 5 stars The marijuanna section was offensive and not an accurate picture of...
I already wrote a review with the same opionion of above and you deleted it as ...not related to the product. I think my opinion was related to the text of the product. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Shelley L Borkoski
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and entertaining.
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. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jack Cochran
4.0 out of 5 stars Viewing Hillbilly CD from my computer broke my "hillbilly" heart.
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... Read more
Published 14 months ago by BABA
5.0 out of 5 stars keeping the history alive
Very interesting documentary on southern Appalachian lifeways. Not a BR Cyrus fan but he did an awesome job in narrating it.
Published 14 months ago by Baodicea
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Of the life and times of a moonshiner, I enjoyed traving to the area and finding out how they lived.
Published 15 months ago by RANDALL CISLER
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
This dvd was an awesome collection to my already too big dvd collection, It was a interesting historical story! Wonderful
Published 15 months ago by Lou
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