Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Buddy Holly Story

Go To

The Buddy Holly Story is a 1978 American biographical film directed by Steve Rash, which tells the life story of rock musician Buddy Holly, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death. It is adapted from John Goldrosen's book Buddy Holly: His Life and Music. Holly is played by Gary Busey, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.

This film features examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: The Stratocaster that Holly plays near the end of the movie during his final Clear Lake show is a 1968 model rather than a 1950s model. He is also seen playing a Fender Bronco, which was not produced until 1967.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The film shows a physical confrontation at Holly's first Nashville session when nothing of the sort actually occurred.
    • Film Holly's main guitar is a Fender Telecaster; the real Buddy Holly only used a Fender Stratocaster. Also, while the film Holly does play a Stratocaster near the end of the movie during his final Clear Lake show, the guitar is a 1968 model and not a 1950s model.
  • Captain Ersatz: The film had a fictionalized version of the Crickets (two members instead of three, names changed) because the real-life Crickets had already signed onto a different Buddy Holly project.
  • Doomed Protagonist: Since it's a film about one of the musicians from "The Day the Music Died", this is a given.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Those who are familiar with the history of rock and roll will already know that Buddy will die in a plane crash.
  • The Power of Rock: Holly and the Crickets are signed up by a record company sight unseen and booked at Harlem's Apollo Theater on the impression they're a black group. When the curtain opens on stage, stunned silence hits with a thud – but then they start playing, and inside of a minute the racial barriers of the time have dropped and everyone is enjoying themselves.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: When interviewed on the Best of Hollywood, Michael Ochs noted how several critics complained in their reviews of the film about Busey's portrayal of Holly dancing around the stage as something invented for the film. However, despite the several legitimate Artistic License – History moments mentioned above, Ochs says he saw Holly live in concert and he actually did this.
  • Stunned Silence: Buddy and his band are met with stunned disbelief when they go onstage at the Apollo and the black audience stares at these four white hillbillies. Buddy lampshades it before winning the crowd over when the music starts playing.
    Buddy: Just so you know, we wasn't expectin' ya'll, neither.