As first reported by Saving Country Music in March, a new dramatic film called Patsy & Loretta is on its way that follows the careers of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn as they intertwined in the early 60’s. Though some of this subject matter was covered in the critically-acclaimed Loretta Lynn biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter from 1980, the new film focuses on the friendship between the two stars exclusively. Megan Hilty, who appeared in the music drama series Smash as well as the theater adaptation of 9 to 5, plays Patsy Cline. Jessie Mueller, who won a Tony Award in 2014 for portraying Carol King in a musical, plays Loretta Lynn. The film was shot on location in Nashville in March.
Many familiar names worked on the Patsy & Loretta project, including director Callie Khouri who wrote Thelma & Louise and was a major figure behind the recent Nashville television series. Patsy Cline’s daughter Julie Fudge and Loretta Lynn’s daughter Patsy Lynn Russell also worked on the film as co-producers. The script was written by Angelina Burnett. Sony Pictures Television is the studio for the film.
Patsy & Loretta will air on Lifetime in the Fall, with the official release date yet to be announced. Though some may be concerned that the film will carry a made-for-TV aspect since it’s being shown on Lifetime, a trailer just released for the film (see below) shows that the subject matter will not be all rosy, and the story will delve deep into the complicated relationships the two women faced both with their men, and the music business.
Patsy Cline was already an established star when Loretta Lynn showed up to Nashville with a $17 guitar. Instead of Patsy seeing Loretta as a potential competitor or replacement, she took Loretta under her wing, and they soon became close friends, touring partners, and confidants, helping each other through the struggles of fame and familial problems.
The friendship of the two country legends came to a tragic end when Patsy Cline died in 1963 at the age of 30 in a plane crash that also took the lives of Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas. Meanwhile Loretta would go on to be known as the First Lady of Country Music, and is still recording and releasing music today at the age of 87.
More information on Patsy & Loretta when it becomes available.