The plotting of this 1978 biopic is contrived, and director Steve Rash’s feeling for Buddy Holly’s time and place is virtually nil, but Gary Busey’s performance is astonishing—less as an interpretation than as a total physical transformation. Since Holly’s life offers no cinematically gripping conflicts, the filmmakers are obliged to invent some, and they tend to distort rather than illuminate Holly’s career. Still, the dramatic high point comes when Busey makes the epochal transition between wire- and horn-rimmed glasses, and a star is born. With Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith, and Maria Richwine.