Watch Coal Miner's Daughter

"She was married at 13. She had four kids by the time she was 20. She's been hungry and poor. She's been loved and cheated on. She became a singer because it was the only thing she could do. She became a star because it was the only way she could do it."
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Coal Miner's Daughter is a biographical movie about the life of singer Loretta Lynn. The story starts in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, where Loretta, the second oldest of eight children, lives in a small shack with her family. As was the custom with people living in the hills of Kentucky, Loretta is married by the time she was fifteen. Her husband, nicknamed Mooney, is several years her senior. By the age of nineteen, Loretta is mother to four children of her own. The movie shows some of the daily life of her early years as wife and mother, when she would often sing to her children.

Mooney, decides Loretta's voice is good enough to get her into show business. She begins by singing in local clubs, referred to as honky-tonks. Mooney is definitely the driving force behind the career Loretta develops. The movie depicts the long hours and life on the road the couple endures while trying to push Loretta's career into the spotlight. It also shows how negotiations were handled with club owners, record producers and other people involved in the music business. The couple usually brings their kids along on the road, but after Loretta's father dies, they leave the kids with her mother to pursue a longer promotional tour.

This movie is a true rags-to-riches story which also details all of the stress and work involved in getting to the top. As the daughter of a poverty stricken coal miner, Loretta reached mega-star status by the time she is forty years old. The rags-to-riches story is not without a few tragic events thrown into the mix. Life on the road combined with long hours and stress eventually causes Loretta to have a nervous breakdown. Despite numerous obstacles, Mooney and Loretta achieve life long success and build the home of their dreams.

| 1980 | 2 hr 5 min | 7.5/10 | 87/100
Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm, Phyllis Boyens-Liptak
March 7, 1980 (U.S. release)
Michael Apted
Produced By
Bernard Schwartz

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