2 July 2002 | michaelRokeefe
A rock 'n' roll career fast and hard as a roller coaster.
It did not necessarily hurt being on TV every week. We watched him grow up on his family's TV program that later became a launching pad for his recording career. This is a glimpse at the ups and downs of Ricky Nelson's career between 1940 and New Years Eve 1985, when he died in a plane crash in Texas. His career is recalled in a series of flashbacks as Nelson reviews his past with a fan....just hours before his life ended. It is impressive they did not try and candy coat his story. Several bits of negative activity is presented along with accomplishments anyone would be proud of. Of course this TV film is not meant to be the gospel of Ricky Nelson, so take some of this in stride.
I am not impressed with Gregory Calakis as Nelson. A grin and wide eyes just doesn't cut it. Jamey Sheridan was darn good as Ozzie Nelson. Sara Botsford plays Harriet and Anthony Lemke is David Nelson. The cast is pretty much made up of unknowns. I'm sure if this was a theatrical release we would see some real stars in the key roles. Roles of interest: Chris Loane as James Burton; Chris Dignan as Johnny Burnette with his brother Sean playing Dorsey Burnette; Kelly Harms as Randy Meisner and Rob Fenton hams it up as Elvis. If you are a 'rockin' Ricky fan you will be pleased that someone cared to put this project together. It is worth watching.