The Buddy Holly Story


The Buddy Holly Story

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Reviews Counted: 20

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,528


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
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Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

Gary Busey's sterling performance as Buddy Holly graces this entertaining film biography of this pioneering rock and roll performer. The film follows the trajectory of Holly's musical career from his beginnings in Lubbock, Texas, through his troubled recording career, to his national fame after the success of his hit "That'll Be the Day." As Holly struggles up the road to success, the film also chronicles the tension between him and his backup band, The Crickets (Don Stroud and Charles Martin Smith), along with his love for his Puerto Rican bride Maria (Maria Richwine).

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Critic Reviews for The Buddy Holly Story

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (4)

  • 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.

    Apr 22, 2013
  • The Buddy Holly Story smacks of realism in almost every respect, from the dramaturgy involving Holly and his back-up band, The Crickets, to the verisimilitude of the musical numbers.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • This is one rock and roll movie with a chance of being remembered, one with something to say and the style and energy to say it well.

    Dec 6, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's Gary Busey's galvanizing solo performance that gives meaning to an otherwise shapeless and bland feature-length film about the American rock-and-roll star who was killed in a plane crash in 1959.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…
  • Ultimately, the success of the film rests on Gary Busey's performance. Not since we saw the young Montgomery Clift and James Dean in their earliest roles has an actor emerged with so sharp and instantly empathetic a persona.

    Feb 25, 2019 | Full Review…
  • ...a better-than-average behind-the-scenes drama that boasts a sterling turn from Busey and a whole lot of memorable music.

    Nov 1, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Probably the best work Gary Busey has ever done.


Super Reviewer

Gary Busey not only did his own singing, but even lost 32 lbs to play Buddy Holly in this sensational musical biography of the singer from Lubbock Texas. Despite reportedly playing fast and loose with facts, the film is extremely entertaining. Busey was rightfully nominated for an Oscar for his effective portrayal.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer


I couldn't name you a single Gary Busey movie since his fabulous performance as Buddy Holly and yet...why is this guy still popping up every now and again? He may be strange but the story of the Crickets was great.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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