HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
   
 
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
   
 
  Buddy Holly Story, The Rave OnBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Gary Busey, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith, Maria Richwine, Conrad Janis, William Jordan, Amy Johnston, Dick O'Neill, Fred Travalena, Paul Mooney, Gailard Sartain
Genre: Musical, Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's 1956 in Lubbock Texas, and a new band of three musicians led by Buddy Holly (Gary Busey) are playing in the local rollerskating rink, being broadcast on the radio across the area, but the tunes they perform are bland country numbers that appeal more to the mums and dads than the kids. However, Buddy has ideas about playing his own music, and launches into a rock and roll song, something which the teens love but outrages the parents - and the sponsor of the radio show. Yet Buddy will not be moved, he knows what he is playing is right for him, and right for the music business in general...

The Buddy Holly Story was a musical biopic in the vein of The Glenn Miller Story in that it was respectful and shows what a nice guy he was, without sticking too closely to the facts (there's a Cricket missing, for a start). Gary Busey is excellent as Holly, showing him as an ambitious, talented man, brimming with ideas. Instead of having Busey mime to old Holly records he sings them live, which really pays off, giving the music an immediacy and an authentic sound.

Although Holly didn't have the danger of, say, Gene Vincent or the young Elvis Presley, he's made to look rebellious in the film because everyone around him is so staid. Pretty much every rock and roll film is about rebellion of some kind, and this is no different, with the preacher denouncing the music from the pulpit and the producers at Nashville rejecting it as only appealing to the African Americans - excpet they don't term quite so politely. So you see Holly defying 1950's convention as a white musician playing what's regarded as black music or by marrying a Puerto Rican secretary (Maria Richwine).

That anti-racism theme is important, and made the film vital and relevant for what could have been a simple history lesson. The film has a bright, colourful look and a bittersweet, nostalgic feel which makes the ending appropriately poignant, especially when Busey sings "True Love Ways" with the orchestra backing him. While plainly filmed and with the tone pretty mild throughout, there are some nice, evocative scenes: Holly improvising "Peggy Sue" in the back of a car (except he calls it Cindy Lou), the DJ barricading himself into his studio to play "That'll Be the Day" non-stop, the humorous "entourage" scene.

The best sequence, however, is where they play the Apollo, going against convention to be the first white band to do so, mainly because we get to hear three numbers played without interruption and with tremendous vigour - Busey's energy here is not to be underestimated - but also because we get the feeling of barriers being broken down thanks to the unstoppable power of rock 'n' roll. Seeing Busey play with the big band at the end just isn't revolutionary enough, somehow. For a film where everyone watching is presumably well aware of how it will end, the script by Robert Gittler (who tragically committed suicide soon after this was completed) does engage the attention, and puts in a decent tribute to a pioneer thanks in no small part to Busey's commitment to the role.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 10763 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: