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Hillbilly: The Real Story (The History Channel)


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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012Y10HK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,605 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

Great host, as well as a very entertaining video.
ms_va_lady
I had no idea that Jewish people and Irish people and others had settled right up there where I lived in those Appalachians.
V. A. Peek
Honestly, I was a little glad the producers skipped that.
Jack Cochran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ky. Col. on 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 By Doug Bittinger on 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 By Richard H. Gobeille on 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 By Danielle R on 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 By E. Dodd on June 10, 2008
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 By Lee S. Mairs VINE VOICE on 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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Format: DVD
I found this movie to be quite accurate about the South that I live in...Northeastern Tennessee. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning about our beautiful part of the country. I would like to see more about the people of this area....as they are not all like the hillbillies that you see portrayed in movies ect. They are polite and kind people that do a lot of volunteer work. I moved to this area in 2000 from California. Every person that I spoke to that has moved here from another state is glad they did. Peggy
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eva J. Philipps on 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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