What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Buddy Holly Story is a good-hearted look at a rock 'n' roll pioneer that contains lots of great music and none of the melodramatic excesses of many musical biopics (no drugs, no overt sexuality, no self-destructive behavior). Only the credits at the end of the film reveal that Buddy Holly died in a plane crash on the night after the final performance in the film. There's occasional swearing, with repeated use of some expletives: "hell," "sh--t," "bastard," "damn," "ass," and more. When a bigot utters a racial slur, Buddy Holly counters with slurs of his own to embarrass the offender. Alcohol is consumed in several scenes; one character drinks too much and gets drunk. Some cigar and cigarette smoking consistent with the time period.
- Families can talk about how Buddy Holly is considered one of the most influential creative forces in early rock 'n' roll. What do you think there was in his music that inspired such artists as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones?
- How did parents and society in general react to early rock 'n' roll music? Are there parallels to more current music (rap, Lady Gaga, heavy metal)? What does this say about the challenges that occur in a changing culture?
- How does this movie deal with race? What did you learn about music's role in race relations in this time period? What kinds of stereotypes are challenged or reinforced in The Buddy Holly Story?