Best Movies by Farr
The Buddy Holly Story Poster
Released Runtime Category
1978 114 Family, Musicals
Director Language
Steve Rash English
Gary Busey, Maria Richwine, Amy Johnston

The Buddy Holly Story

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What's it About

This evocative musical biopic traces the meteoric rise and too-sudden demise of gifted singer-songwriter Buddy Holly (Busey). "Story" follows his meteoric journey from his conservative roots in Lubbock, Texas to big-time stardom and marriage. It also portrays his on-again, off-again relationship with his band mates, the Crickets, as well as Holly's contribution to blurring, if not erasing, the color barrier in the emerging musical phenomenon dubbed "rock'n'roll." What shines through poignantly is the sense of a burning talent snuffed out randomly, and way too soon.

Why we love it

Steve Rash's film takes liberties with some details of Holly's short life, but more than compensates in drawing out an incredible performance from its unlikely lead actor: Gary Busey, known for tough guy roles rather than musicals. The husky, rugged actor somehow turns himself into the lanky, bespectacled Texas singer — and more impressive still, performs all the songs himself. This was a triumph of characterization for which Busey was Oscar-nominated. The movie also succeeds in profiling an exciting — if ultimately tragic — early chapter in rock music, leading all the way up to “the day the music died.”

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"