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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Buddy Holly Story [1978] [DVD]
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I shall start off by saying, I agree with everything the previous reviewer has said. To add to/expand on this, it was well acted and very convincing; if you didn't know the soundtrack is not Buddy Holly's original, you wouldn't easily guess.

You can really feel the whole era of the 50s in this film, and it's fascinating of course to think of the historical context, eg a white man breaking through in a black man's musical world.

Buddy Holly changed the face of rock n roll, and of music per se, in such a short time; we can only imagine what wonders were left to unfold had he not been so tragically and suddenly curtailed.

A must for fans of the 50s, rock n roll and of Buddy Holly.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2005
I first saw this film when I was little and was very touched by it, so it seemed obvious to buy it when it came out on DVD. After having studied the life of Buddy Holly I found this film to be very true to life.
Gary Busey made an excellent Buddy Holly and is very talented with regards to music as well as acting since none of the origional scores were used in the film and Busey performed each one of Holly's songs. A friend of mine remarked that if you heard Busey singing and were not aware that it was him you would swear it were Buddy Holly.
I found the special features of this DVD very good. I enjoy listening to the auido commentary with the film's director (Steve Rash) and Gary Busey, it is interesting to be shown the human errors and mistakes which makes the film so realistic and believable.
I would highly recomend this DVD to any fans of Rock 'n' Roll and of course, the man himself, Buddy Holly. It will be a film that I will continue to watch for the rest of my life.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2006
Genuine, warm-hearted account of the Great One's life. Gary Busey is brilliant (and one doesn't often say that about him) - bear in mind he did ALL his own playing and singing. The final concert section is as live and very evocative of the excitement Buddy's music generated. A great sense of the time created by attention to details, and the "story" driven on by sharp dialogue and a beautiful handling of Holly's all-too-short romance and marriage.Recommended without hesitation.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2011
did I write 'poor quality'in the title? There's no blu ray image quality at all...

It's the worst transfer to blu ray I had to witness until now. Secondly, the sound is mediocre and thirdly there are no subtitles (and of course no extras...).

This disk is for sure the result of the path of the least effort taken by its producers.

Actually, it should be forbidden that results like this have the BD quality label.

Lucky for me the movie and surely the performance of Gary Busey are allright, that's the reason for the generous 2 stars...

Y.D.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2009
Buddy Holly is a young Texan rock `n' roll singer with bad eyesight and teeth like the grill of a crashed Buick who finds himself at odds with virtually everyone he comes across in his quest for a new sound. His church publicly denounce him, his parents dismiss his music as `kids' stuff, his first recording session becomes a punch up, his fiancé thinks his music is just a hobby and his band the Crickets are just a couple of `good `ol boys' just out for a good time.
In the midst of all this `encouragement' his boss at the local radio station threatens to fire him - but not before sending a recording to some `hut shut pre-dooser up theyer in Noo Yawk'. Within seconds Holly is catapulted to fame, fortune, marriage and death at twenty two - but not before he starts the ball rolling for the civil rights movement, changes the face of popular music and buys a Cadillac.

On the face of it Steve Rash's 1978 biopic seems to have gone out of its way to be inaccurate. It manages to render events that kinda/sorta happened into almost total fiction. The insult to Eddie Cochran warrants a governmental inquiry, the concept of a live version of That'll be The Day being his first hit single is wishful thinking in the extreme and don't get me started on the omissions! No mention of the 1958 British tour - an event seismic in its impact on pop music forever afterwards - and no mention of his manger and producer Norman Petty - without whom the world may never have heard of Buddy Holly. They don't even get his guitar right - a Telecaster? A Bronco?! Even in the final scene where he does finally yield a Stratocaster - an instrument integral to the Holly legend - it's a rosewood neck job with a large 70's head and with the tremolo arm left on.

For the average viewer this means nothing, but to rock `n' roll aficionados this is the cinematic equivalent of Da Vinci's `The Last Supper' depicted with a family bucket of KFC on the table.
Certainly Holly did change the face of popular music and he did buy a Cadillac (or two) but the racial divide smashing is based on his marriage to the Hispanic Maria Elena Santigo and a highly fictionalised account of his appearances at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem where he wins over an initially hostile and exclusively black audience. Here (and in subsequent stage productions) he is booked on the basis that, due to his sound, they thought he was black - then he `blows Negro minds' with his unique blend of rolling drums and jangly guitar after being warned that he would, at best, be killed by an outraged mob who had never witnessed a red neck `hot footing' their hallowed bandstand.
The reality is that The Crickets were booked - not because they sounded black - but because there was a Negro vocal group also called the Crickets creating said confusion. They did eventually win over a begrudging audience but it took a week long residency and some Bo Diddley numbers to do it.

Some kudos is due as the music is - unlike most musicals - played live and by the actors themselves (with a sneaky second guitar being played off screen - hence cut-aways and long shots during solos). Charles Martin-Smith (Bass) and Don Stroud (Drums) are adequate but everything rests on Gary Busey's singing and guitar playing which, frankly, belongs at chucking out time of a Thai karaoke night. The big final concert at the Clear Lake Auditorium with Coasters saxophonist King Curtis and a full orchestra virtually never happened. The actual show, which was at The Surf Ballroom, was apparently a shoddy affair with standard rock backing (albeit with the brilliant Tommy Allsup on lead guitar and country superstar in the making Waylon Jennings on bass). The stars on that final show ended up having to play drums for each other on account of the hired drummer recovering in hospital from frostbite due to the horrendous travelling conditions.

In all fairness many of the inaccuracies were due to litigation considerations as virtually everyone connected to the subject refused to allow themselves to be portrayed or even have their names used - so it's something of a stroke of genius that The Buddy Holly Story takes those limitations and turns them into something of a virtue - resulting in an enjoyable film which is more of an affectionate tribute to notoriously fanciful 50's `candy coloured' biopics such as the Glenn Miller Story than a faithful rendering of the tragically short life a remarkable pioneer.
The Buddy Holly Story? No. A Buddy Holly Story? Pretty much.

Adrian Stranik
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The film follows the early beginnings of 'Buddy Holly's (Gary Busey) rise from a small Texas town 'Lubbock' where he and
friends 'Jesse' ('Don Stroud) and 'Ray Bob' (Charles Martin Smith) played in front of a small group of locals live on the
small 'Radio Station'
'Buddy' and his friends were eager to introduce the material that 'Buddy' had written, the small town wasn't ready for the
groups brand of music, though eagerly accepted by the youth, the new sound was condemned by their elders who
threatened the small radio station that sponsorship would be withdrawn if they continued to broadcast the music.
'Coral-Records' in Tennessee had latched on to the music they'd heard but wanted to change the style beyond that which
'Buddy' could accept.
However, the 'Lubbock' radio station host had recorded 'That'll Be The Day' and sent the Demo to 'Coral' in New York, the
song without consultation with 'Buddy and The Crickets' charged up the U.S Charts, the three were on their way.
At the recording studio 'Buddy' insists recording his songs, his way, after a hitch or two 'The Crickets' are signed-up.
The group have agreed to perform their songs at New York's Apollo Theatre, the manager however had not realized that the
songs he'd heard the group sing were being performed by 'White' artists, up until this point only 'Black' artists performed at
the Theatre, however, though initially reluctant he needn't have worried, their music was enjoyed instantly by the all-Black
audience.
In a short space of time they go from strength to strength quickly achieving much in terms of Chart success (of course this was
in fact, both sides of the 'Atlantic'
As 'Buddy's' status grows unrest drifts into the relationship he has with 'Jesse' and 'Ray Bob' both of which wanted to ease up
and spend some time back in their home town of 'Lubbock' parting of the ways became inevitable.
Now married to 'Marie'(Marie Richwine) former secretary to Record Producer 'Ross Turner' (Conrad Janis) 'Buddy' enjoys
writing and producing his music close by his marital home, he loves spending time with his now young and pregnant wife
(Marie' had a miscarriage shortly after 'Buddy's death)
Agent and Record Producer 'Ross' wants 'Buddy' to do a five week winter tour to promote his records and boost sales,
'Buddy' is initially reluctant to commit to the tour, after all he'd never before done so without his friends.
The tour goes ahead along with fellow artists 'The Big Bopper' 'Dion and The Belmonts' and 'Richie Valens'
'Buddy's' pals 'Jesse' and 'Ray Bob' ask 'Marie' how 'Buddy' would feel if they joined their pal on the tour, she said 'Buddy'
would love that.
'Buddy's' last show was in 'Iowa' his pals yet to join him.............
Because in the dead of Winter the problems the tour's coach had with it's heating system, 'Buddy' decided to hire a plane to
take himself and 'The Big Bopper' along with 'Richie Valens' to take them ahead to the next venue, a flight that was destined to
last but a short time, in a driving snowstorm, moments into the flight, the plane came down 'Clear Lake' 'Iowa' - February 3rd ..
1959.....'Buddy' was just 22 'The Big Bopper 28 and 'Richie Valens' only 17........
'Buddy' was a great innovator of the new-age of 'Rock'n'Roll' ...he was now gone.........The Day The Music Died'
The 1978 Movie transfers pretty well to the Blu-ray format......sound quality is also very good,,,,,,,,the film a tribute to the life
and music of 'Buddy Holly'
Special Features -
* Digitally remastered audio and anamorphic video.
* Scene Sellection
* Languages - English 2-ch Stereo, English 4-ch Stereo
* Audio Commentary by Gary Busey and Director Steve Rash
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2011
Admirers of this superior biopic should not waste their money on this abysmal Blu ray transfer.
The print is dirty, chapters are badly planned, and worst of all, the image is fuzzy and with bleached-out colour.
I'm viewing via an HD projector on a 120-inch screen, so any faults are magnified. On my system, my old Region 1 DVD looks way better -- colours have more realistic hues and the image is sharper.
Yes, Blu rays are supposed to give us a far better viewing experience than standard DVDs. This is sadly not true in this case. Save your pounds or dollars and hope that a properly transferred Region A Blu ray may one day appear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2013
Great film,great acting,and brilliant music of course. Despite the puritans moaning,of course anyone playing the part of a famous singer,be it Buddy Holly or anyone else,isn't going to sound exactly identical,people know that,so considering Mr Busey is an actor first, he does an excellent job emulating the great man. Who else could have done it as well? He gets the look and the performance on to the screen and as soon as the rock'n'roll starts at the ice rink you are hooked. We lost Buddy at far too young an age so great to have a biopic to go with other documentaries. See also Kurt Russell as Elvis. A biopic isn't a documentary,its not meant to be. It celebrates as well as informs. Enjoy. We miss you Buddy and we salute you Mr.Busey. Great job!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
For all Buddy Holly fans, especially those who know the background to the Buddy Holly story, this film is pretty good. Gary Busey's acting is A-star - he portrays a good Buddy Holly; his performance of Buddy's songs is quite something. But you have to buy it to see it for yourself!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2009
Although this is a good biopic, and the soundtrack is great, the actual picture is very disappointing
The picture, apart from being video, judders every few seconds, as though a few frames are missing all through the film, very off putting. Surely a decent version print and master must be available, or is this film in the Public Domain. Other releases of The Buddy Holly Story are no better! Beware.The Buddy Holly Story [1978] [DVD]The Buddy Holly Story - 50th Anniversary Release [DVD] [1978]
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