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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exploitative but still fun and informative
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...
Published on April 25, 2010 by Ky. Col.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Re: Hillbilly - Real Story
Not exactly what I expected. I had forgotten this was a tv show of a while ago and was unable to get it back then
Published 17 months ago by Jan Wyllie


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exploitative but still fun and informative, April 25, 2010
This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (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
By 
Doug Bittinger (East Tennessee, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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
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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
By 
Lee S. Mairs (Romney, WV United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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
By 
T. Bishop (Pensacola, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, December 30, 2013
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!, October 30, 2013
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This review is from: History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story (DVD)
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 family history. My family is from Appalachia and my understanding of the area and the culture is minimal. We were not raised with our Tennessee family so trying to track our roots and culture is difficult. The DVD provided some real insight into what a "Hillbilly" really is and I am not going to give away the meaning of "Red Neck". You'll just have to see for yourself. Billy Ray Cyrus did a good job as the commentator.
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History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story
History Channel: Hillbilly - The Real Story by Hillbilly-Real Story (DVD - 2008)
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