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The Buddy Holly Story

4.3 out of 5 stars 256 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Gary Busey gives an electrifying, Oscar(r) nominated performance (Best Actor-1978) as Buddy Holly, the musical genius from Lubbock, Texas, who changed the tune of rock n' roll history. With a groundbreaking combination of country music and rhythm & blues, Buddy Holly and the Crickets (Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith) catapulted to national stardom in just three short years with such hits as "That'll Be the Day," "It's So Easy," and "Peggy Sue." By the age of 22, Holly had it all: chart-topping singles, a beautiful wife, and international acclaim until tragedy ended a brilliant career but not his music. In an Academy Award(r) - winning score adaptation, Busey sings Holly's greatest hits in thisdynamic tribute to one of the most influential rock n' rollers of all time and the legacy he left behind.

Special Features

  • Bonus Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Don Stroud, Gary Busey, Charles Martin Smith
  • Directors: Steve Rash
  • Producers: Fred Bauer, Freddy Bauer
  • Format: Full Screen, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 4.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 1999
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K3TX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,104 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Buddy Holly Story" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm a huge fan of Gary Busey, who may not be a "star" but is nevertheless a great actor. This is by far his best performance, & I feel he deserved the best actor oscar more than Jon Voight (who won for Coming Home). Few people know that Busey was a musician before he was an actor, so in this awesome musical biography of Buddy Holly we get to see just how talented he is. The film is mostly factual, although some screen characters are actually composites of two or more people. The energy in Busey's performance is what makes this a winner. Not only did he sing, he did it while being filmed live! That's what gives this such a realistic look to it & it's why this stands out among the other musical biographies as one of the best. There was also a lot of unscripted dialogue that makes this even more entertaining. The best thing about the dvd is the hilarious & very informative commentary from the director Steve Rash & Gary Busey, which is almost as good as the film itself! This is an excellent tribute to a lengendary rock & roll icon & it won an oscar for best score adaptation. Do yourself a favor, add this great film to your collection!
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Format: DVD
This is not a huge hollywood production with slick lighting and camera work but rather a small production that almost has the feel of a cross between a home movie and a TV movie (in a good way). What this movie does so well is celebrate life, and simply follows a character with passion and drive. It's inspiring to see someone follow their dreams relentlessly and that is what the filmmakers have tapped into here. We all know how Buddy Holly's life ends (so if you don't know don't read on), but the movie never even shows a shot of the plane because that is not what it's about. Top this movie off with Gary Busy's performance which is even more impressive when one learns he did all the singing in this film live (he did not lip sync any of it!).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think the most important thing about "The Buddy Holly Story" is it captures the essence of it's subject, the time it is depicting, and the burgeoning rock'n'roll movement. The most glaring innacuracy is the names of the other Crickets, Jerry Allison and Joe Mauldin, being changed. That quibble aside, this film is simultaneously important, yet thrilling, because it celebrates the artistry of rock's premiere pioneer(sorry, Elvis). Gary Busey doesn't merely portray Buddy Holly, he is possessed by the spirit of the man. Though he doesn't necessarily duplicate the vocals of Holly, he has the essence of them down pat. Credit too has to go to Don Stroud and Charles Martin Smith as the other Crickets. This trio actually feels like a working band. I read some of the other reviews that take issue with the film for it's inaccuracies. The truth of the matter is alot of the fabrications in the film were the result of legal wrangling and not a deliberate attempt to falsify the facts. The most important thing here is the film celebrates the man, his creative processes, and the music. If this film moves the uninitiated they can seek out the true story. In conclusion,"Hail! Hail! Rock'n'Roll!"(Oh, that's Chuck Berry.)
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Format: VHS Tape
The Buddy Holly Story starring Gary Busey should not be taken as a historical document. Nor do I believe it ever set out to be. What has been created is a film which gives the feel and atmosphere of Buddy Holly, his music and the USA of the day. To have been completely factual would have most probably killed the film with legal challenges and suppression. The Crickets leaving Buddy to side with Norman Petty in the split leading to the final tour and the bitter disappointment this must have caused Buddy, the actual split itself with Petty and the resultant financial complications, these happenings are really not the sort of thing to air in a movie to celebrate the life and music of one of the founders of Rock.
Instead Gary Busey has strapped on a Fender and in effect becomes Buddy Holly. The rhythm and beat, the frantic excitement, the sheer enjoyment of the music, it is all there. We actually get to experience a timeslice of a period some of us recall fondly and others would like to share. A wonderful reminder of good music for us oldies or a enjoyable introduction to a legend for others, a Rock'n'Roll legend quoted by The Beatles and a number of other major musical identities as a major influence in their music.
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Format: VHS Tape
I think this is a fantastic movie. Gary Busey did an excellent job portraying Buddy Holly. Though I am aware that not every detail of this movie is 100% factual, it still makes the audience love and care about Buddy and his music. This movie is truly a must for any music fan.
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Format: DVD
One of my fondest childhood memories is of watching The Buddy Holly Story with my parents. It's one of the first movies I can remember that we taped when my mom bought our first VCR in the mid 80's. The quality of the recording wasn't great, but at least it was always there to enjoy over and over again. The core story was intriguing to me, even at such an early age, and I absolutely was in love with Buddy's music (as well as a little number by Sam Cooke called "You Send Me"!). I knew who Elvis was, and appreciated and liked him very much (still do!), but to me Buddy will always be the true King Of Rock N' Roll. It's all due to the glorious portrayal of Buddy by Gary Busey, the loose but genius direction of Steve Rash, and the raw energetic musical performances by Busey, Don Stroud, and Charles Martin Smith (keep strafing those trains, Ray Bob!). I recently bought The Buddy Holly Story on DVD, and my appreciation of all these same nuances of the film hold true even now. I particularly enjoyed the feature length commentary by Busey and Rash. It helped answer a lot of questions I had about the changes from real life to fiction (for example, the Crickets' real names were signed over to another studio, and that's why they were changed to Jesse and Ray Bob), and it was very touching to hear them discuss their own love for Buddy and how they made this movie to honor him and restore him to the public conscious. I cannot recommend the DVD enough, and of course the film itself. If you've never seen The Buddy Holly Story and are an adult, you'll be too late to have the same experience I had, but I don't doubt for a second that you'll fall for the movie as hard as I did no matter what your age is! :)
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