Although it could
have been much
better with higher production values and more accurate research,
THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY still works as a modestly entertaining little
film thanks to the earnest performance by Gary Busey in the title role
and the verisimilitude of the musical sequences. Busey became
star, albeit one that never really took off, on the strength of his
portrayal of the bespectacled, awkward Holly, one of the most gifted
and innovative pop stars of the early days of rock and roll.
Charles Martin Smith do well as two fictional crickets, and Maria
Richwine makes for a very lovely Holly bride.
Along with Stroud on
drums and Smith
on bass, Busey sings and plays
Holly's classic songs himself, and the results are uniformly excellent,
with Busey's voice being close enough to Holly's to be convincing
throughout. Faithful, heartfelt recreations of memorable and
melodic hits like
the Day", "Every Day", "Maybe Baby" and "True Love Ways", though
sometimes ragged, make for a superb soundtrack.
Like tejano singer Selena of the '90s, Buddy Holly's tragic early death left scriptwriter's without much to work with. His too-short life does not provide the necessary for a truly great biographical film. Yet, like the film SELENA, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY works because of the performance of its lead, a good supporting cast, and the quality of the music. ½ - JB
IS THAT WHO I THINK IT IS?
Matthew "Stymie" Beard, of Our Gang/Little Rascals fame, has a small part in this film.