The Buddy Holly Story (1978)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The rapid rise and tragic end of one of early rock & roll's most influential (and ahead of his time) performers is told in this well-wrought biopic. The role of Buddy Holly made actor Gary Busey (who did all his own singing and guitar playing) a star and earned him Oscar nomination.

Rating: PG
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Goldrosen, Robert Gittler
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 7, 1999
Columbia Pictures


as Buddy Holly

as Jesse Charles

as Ray Bob Simmons

as Mrs. Santiago

as Eddie Foster

as Jenny Lou

as Mr. Wilson

as Mr. Wilson

as Sam Cooke

as Desk Clerk

as Engineer Sam

as Cadillac Salesman

as Mr. Holly

as Mrs. Holly
Show More Cast

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for The Buddy Holly Story

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (5)

The facts in this pop biography are often hopelessly askew, but the story is carried by the unadulterated power of Gary Busey's original and insightful performance.

Full Review… | April 22, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

...a better-than-average behind-the-scenes drama that boasts a sterling turn from Busey and a whole lot of memorable music.

Full Review… | November 1, 2014
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Buddy Holly Story


If you want to see the promise and potential of Gary Busey before a drug-induced psychosis enveloped his entire being, this is the film to watch. Busey's portrayal of the legendary rock-n-roll pioneer is absolutely brilliant. He even sings all of Buddy's songs himself. Gary Busey is a walking, talking testament to the belief that the line between genius and madness is a thin one. Much like Buddy Holly himself, Busey is a star that burned out all too quickly.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Probably the best work Gary Busey has ever done.


Super Reviewer

Good bio on the famous rock 'n' roller! I particularly enjoyed the cricket scene!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

The Buddy Holly Story Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Buddy Holly Story on our Movie forum!