Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) - Rotten Tomatoes

Coal Miner's Daughter1980

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)



Critic Consensus: Like a classic traditional country song, Coal Miner's Daughter draws on time-tested formula -- and undeniable talent -- to tell a solidly affecting story.

Coal Miner's Daughter Photos

Movie Info

Loretta Lynn was one of the first female superstars in country music and remains a defining presence within the genre; with her strong, clear, hard-country voice and tough, no-nonsense songs about husbands who cheat and wives who weren't about to be pushed around, Lynn introduced a feminist mindset to Nashville years before the phrase "women's liberation" became common currency. Coal Miner's Daughter is a screen adaptation of Lynn's autobiography, starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn. One of eight children born to Ted Webb (Levon Helm), a coal miner raising a family despite grinding poverty in Butcher's Holler, KY, Loretta married Dolittle "Mooney" Lynn (Tommy Lee Jones) when she was only 13 years old. A mother of four by the time she was 20, Lynn began singing the occasional song at local honky-tonks on weekends, and at 25, she cut (at Mooney's suggestion) a demo tape that earned her a deal with an independent record label. Loretta and Mooney's tireless promotion of the record (including a long road trip through the south in which they stopped at every country radio station they could find) paid off -- Loretta's first single, "Honky Tonk Girl," hit the charts and earned her a spot on the Grand Ole Opry. Stardom called and Loretta never looked back, but success brought with it both joy (a long string of hit records and sold-out concerts and a close friendship with Patsy Cline) and sorrow (a nervous breakdown brought on by overwork and a great deal of stress to a marriage that endured -- but just barely). Sissy Spacek won an Academy award for her vivid, thoroughly natural performance as Loretta (she also did her own singing), and Levon Helm (drummer for the legendary rock group the Band) made an impressive screen debut as her father. Ernest Tubb makes a cameo appearance as himself. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Sissy Spacek
as Loretta Lynn
Tommy Lee Jones
as Doolittle Lynn
Beverly D'Angelo
as Patsy Cline
Malla McCown
as Webb Child
Pamela McCown
as Webb Child
Bill Anderson Jr.
as Webb Children
Kevin Salvilla
as Webb Child
Foster Dickerson
as Webb Child
William Sanderson
as Lee Dollarhide
Sissy Lucas
as Loretta and Mooney's Child
Pat Patterson
as Loretta and Mooney's Child
Brian Warf
as Loretta and Mooney's Child
Elizabeth Watson
as Loretta and Mooney's Child
Robert Elkins
as Bobby Day
Bob Hannah
as Charlie Dick
Ernest Tubb
as Himself
David Barry Gray
as Doc Turner
Jessica Beasley
as Peggy Lynn
J. Michael Baish
as Storekeeper
Susan Kingsley
as Girl at Fairgrounds
Royce Clark
as Hugh Cherry
David Gray
as Doc Turner
Gary Parker
as Radio Station Manager
Billy Strange
as Speedy West
Bruce Newman
as Opry Stage Manager
Grant Turner
as Opry Announcer
Frank Mitchell
as Washington Neighbor
Merle Kilgore
as Cowboy at Tootsie's
Jackie Lynn Wright
as Redhead at Tootsie's
David Thornhill
as The Coal Miner's Band
Billy West
as The Patsy Cline Band
Vernon Oxford
as Preacher
Ron Hensley
as John Penn
Doug Bledsoe
as Cowboy at Grange Hall
Aubrey Wells
as Red Lynn
Russell Varner
as Bidder at Pie Auction
Tommie O'Donnell
as Teacher at Pie Auction
Lou Headley
as Teacher at Pie Auction
Ruby Caudill
as Teacher at Pie Auction
Charles Kahlenberg
as Business Manager
Alice McGeachy
as Woman With Doll
Ken Riley
as Road Manager
Jim Webb
as Bus Driver
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Critic Reviews for Coal Miner's Daughter

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (10)

Wears thin as it plays on, devolving into familiar showbiz sentimentality.

April 1, 2020 | Full Review…

Coal Miner's Daughter, however, belongs to Sissy Spacek, and in a smaller way to Beverly D'Angelo, who plays Patsy Cline, Loretta's friend and erstwhile country-music 'rival'. Both sing their hearts out with infectious application.

January 15, 2020 | Full Review…

The musical biography by now has a pattern as fixed as a traditional 12-bar blues. It is just that some blues are better than others, and so are some musical biographies. Coal Miner's Daughter... is on of the best of its kinds.

June 28, 2019 | Full Review…

Coal Miner's Daughter is most interesting when it's conveying the bleak, dreary Kentucky landscape that formed Lynn's childhood. It's least interesting when it's portraying the agonies of show-business success.

April 27, 2018 | Full Review…

A thoughtful, endearing film charting the life of singer Loretta Lynn from the depths of poverty in rural Kentucky to her eventual rise to the title of 'queen of country music'.

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…

Highly conventional stuff, but lovingly constructed to produce unremarkable but heart-warming entertainment.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Coal Miner's Daughter

My aunt and cousin were watching "The Coal Miner's Daughter" and I wasn't really wanting to watch it. There wasn't anything else to do, so I watched it. It was actually a pretty good movie. It tells the biography of Loretta Lynn all the way from how she struggled becoming a mother at the age of 14 all the way to when she forgot the lyrics on stage one night. It also has everything in between such as her becoming friends with Patsy Cline and how she achieved superstardom and became the queen of country music. Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones put on great performances as do the others in the movie. Sissy Spacek sings all the songs herself and does a great job as Loretta Lynn. If you like biographical movies, you need to see "The Coal Miner's Daughter." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000 of this great film from the year I was born. Surprised its average rating here on Flixster isn't higher. Would like to see it again, even though I'm not a fan of much old (i.e., older than 80's) country.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

Movie's OK. I would probably rate it higher if I could stand country music.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

sissy and tommy lee are both very very good but the film could have used a little editing.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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