Moviedrome Mondays: The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Steve Rash’s 1978 biographical drama The Buddy Holly Story, readers will have to rely on a transcript of his intro (read here). The episode’s original airdate was August 20, 1989 (read here). Nothing really to add here except that I echo Cox’s sentiments on this film. Nevertheless, it is turned to a good film thanks to Gary Busey’s electrifying performance as the iconic title character. A shame that the rest of it comes up bland by comparison (notice I said “by comparison”).

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


12 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

  1. Like Alex Cox and yourself I found this film fairly bland. Busey is great, as always, though and he sings with a style that does Holly justice.

  2. I was not a fan of the movie. Gary Busey–and I’m talking about the young, Buddy Holly era Busey–always got on my nerves. Even his turn in the Streisand version of A Star is Born, one of the few things that the critics liked about the film, got on my nerves. I realize that I’m of the minority opinion on this, that I’m reacting from a visceral and unfair bias.That said, I liked him in Straight Time.
    Anyway, I disagree with Alex Cox on this one all the way around. Buddy Holly is an icon. He was the first alternative rocker, some 20-25 years before the term was coined. He was initiative and creative to the extreme. A fantastic songwriter and guitarist. A wonderful producer. A gifted performer and unique singer. The plane crash that took his life and the life of the Big Bopper and Richie Valens is referred to as “the day the music died.” I think he is a worthy subject matter for a film. It’s not his fault that the movie didn’t hit on all eight.

  3. I just downloaded every Buddy Holly hit I could think of off YouTube. That’s quite a few songs. I wonder how many people realize this guy was a genius?

  4. Busey was great in the role, but the film was in-between mediocre and good as a whole. Either way, I love Busey’s work whether it be early or later. I too do not agree with Cox either regarding his opinions of the musician Buddy Holly (not the film, I agree with him on that), but I also love the musicians that Cox mentioned in his intro that he is big on. I think we can all agree though that Buddy Holly did deserve a better movie than this. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. Buddy Holly was a genius indeed. Nevertheless, as I told Pam above, he deserved a better movie than that 1978 biopic of him. The only thing I can recommend about it is Gary Busey’s galvanizing performance as the title character. Sadly, it takes more than just a great performance to make a movie a masterpiece. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  6. I never even knew about this movie, but I would have been surprised if it did him justice. Busey has done some decent work, but portraying someone like Holly is a daunting task.

  7. Well jcalberta, no film can do justice to any subject (it is literally impossible), but at the very least, it should do something interesting with the art of cinema. I mean just look at Todd Haynes 2007 film about Bob Dylan entitled I’m Not There.

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