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The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.

Director:

Steve Rash

Writers:

Alan Swyer (story), John Goldrosen (book) | 1 more credit »
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From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Busey ... Charles Hardin 'Buddy' Holly
Don Stroud ... Jesse
Charles Martin Smith ... Ray Bob
Conrad Janis ... Ross Turner
William Jordan William Jordan ... Riley
Maria Richwine Maria Richwine ... Maria Elena Santiago
Amy Johnston ... Cindy Lou
Dick O'Neill ... Sol Gittler (as Dick O'Neil)
Fred Travalena ... Madman Mancuso
Neva Patterson ... Mrs. Ella Holly
Arch Johnson ... Mr. Lawrence Holly
John F. Goff John F. Goff ... T.J. (as John Goff)
Gloria Irizarry ... Mrs. Santiago
Jody Berry Jody Berry ... Engineer Sam
Richard Kennedy ... Preacher
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Storyline

The musical career of rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly is chronicled, from the days when "Peggy Sue" was "Cindy Lou", a song about his first girlfriend, to the meteoric run of "That'll Be the Day" up the charts, to his marriage, breakup with the Crickets, reunion with the Crickets, and untimely death. Written by Jason A. Cormier <wildrose@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The music you'll love forever. The man you'll never forget. The movie you must not miss. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Buddy Holly Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,363,400
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Innovisions, ECA See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While teaching the two little boys to play guitar, Buddy Holly (Gary Busey) sings, "...we're gonna love Teddy Jack with all our might". Busey was a drummer with the stage name of "Teddy Jack Eddy". See more »

Goofs

When Buddy is attempting to compose in his apartment, and when the neighbor boys come over to ask him to 'fix' their guitar, he is playing a Gibson acoustic guitar (either a LG-3 or most likely a B-25). The guitar in the movie has an adjustable bridge (called the 'Tone Killer'), which was not introduced on the LG-3 until 1961, and the B-25 until 1966. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Buddy Holly: Hey, Riley, we're all plugged in and checked up... yeah, we're ready.
Buddy Holly: [to Ray Bob] Riley wants to hear you at the mike - that's the one right there; say somethin' into that mike.
Ray Bob Simmons: One, two, three, testing... one...
Buddy Holly: [to Riley] How's that sound?
Riley Randolph: All right, that's a good level, Buddy, hold it right there... Yeah, you better get ready, it's about thirty seconds till eight.
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Crazy Credits

Caption shown at end of film: "Buddy Holly died later that night along with JP 'The Big Bopper' Richardson and Ritchie Valens in the crash of a private airplane just outside of Clearlake... and the rest is rock 'n' roll!" See more »


Soundtracks

True Love Ways
Written by Norman Petty (uncredited) and Buddy Holly (uncredited)
Performed by Gary Busey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I was there!
4 December 2004 | by mrbiscuitSee all my reviews

I was fortunate enough to be an extra in this movie when I was about 13 during the roller rink scenes. My junior high school drama class was invited to participate. It was a fantastic experience.

Gary Busey, Charles Martin Smith and Don Stroud played the music live, all day! As a musician, I can appreciate the tireless work and dedication these guys put in to their roles. They must have played those songs 20 times. It's very difficult to maintain consistency and energy under those conditions. This is visible during a cut to a close-up on "That'll Be the Day," but fortunately the unsuspecting public probably wouldn't have picked it up.

Skating around all day, getting the day off from school and being transported back in time was a incredible thrill. I also had my first "date" on film. I had to walk a girl up to the ticket booth. Woo hoo! Even with an out-of-date haircut and hot lights melting the vaseline in my hair, it was still worth it. Fun stuff.

The movie is top notch and is highly satisfying as a whole. Busey delivers his best role ever and the supporting cast is superb. I'm glad to have participated in a great film of the day. To think I could have been in Corvette Summer or something. Not.

A funny ironic ending to this is that years later I was in a video store in Malibu looking at the movie the week it was released on video. Gary Busey walked in and stood right next to me. I showed him the cover and babbled on how great he was and how I was an extra and whatnot. Pretty weird, but very cool, for what it's worth.


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