Review: The Buddy Holly Story
Blu-ray: The Buddy Holly Story (1978)
Made just 19 years after Holly’s tragic death aged 22 in a freak crash along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, The Buddy Holly Story is a surprise, and perhaps one of the best music biography’s I’ve seen. This is largely due to an Oscar-nominated lead performance by Gary Busey, and support from Don Stroud and Charles Martin Smith as the Crickets.
Adapted by Robert Gittler from ‘Buddy Holly His Life and Music’, by John Goldrosen, and directed by Steve Rash, it tells the story of Holly as a teenager from Lubbock, Texas, who becomes an international star.
The story itself is a brief touch on Holly’s career (he was so young when he died) but it’s unblinking look at racism for a film made in the late 70s was quite a surprise, from their stint in Harlem, playing the Apollo, to going on tour with an all-black review and also staying in segregated hotels with them.
But the heart of the film is Busey’s performance. Singing live during the several VERY enjoyable music breaks and live gigs I felt rather puzzled and saddened that this actor with so much potential never fulfilled his promise. This performance really is something special and lifts it from a mere biopic to something deeper, Holly was so talented, and so is Busey in this.
Of course we all know the end but the film ends on a high where Holly plays his last ever gig with a promise to return.
A really poignant and entertaining biopic of a legend, starring a legend.
- Audio Commentary by Gary Busey and Director Steve Rash
- Isolated music score
The Buddy Holly Story is released on 22nd February by Fabulous Films.
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Fabulous Films.