Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors
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Dolly Parton s Coat of Many Colors is a 2015 American made-for-television drama film based on a true story by Dolly Parton, written by Pamela K. Long and directed by Stephen Herek. The film premiered on NBC on December 10, 2015. The film received generally positive reviews from critics.


Coat of Many Colors details Dolly Parton s upbringing in 1955 as her family struggles to live in Tennessee s Great Smoky Mountains, putting a strain on love and faith. Dolly (Alyvia Alyn Lind) aspires to be something greater but must cope with family troubles, including the premature birth and death of a baby brother. Dolly s mother, Avie Lee Parton (Jennifer Nettles) uses the baby s blanket to make Dolly her patchwork coat of many colors. Although Dolly is at first proud of it, she changes her mind after school bullies make fun of her. Meanwhile, Dolly s father, Lee Parton (Ricky Schroder) suffers a personal crisis brought about by the baby s death combined with the depression of his wife and a drought which threatened his tobacco crop. Eventually, faith brings the family together again.


  • Alyvia Alyn Lind as Dolly Parton, a precocious nine-year-old who hopes to be a famous singer
  • Jennifer Nettles as Avie Lee Parton, the devout matriarch of the Partons living in the mountains
  • Ricky Schroder as Robert Lee Parton, the hard-working patriarch of the Partons with faith issues
  • Gerald McRaney as Rev. Jake Owens, Avie Lee s father and preacher
  • Kelli Berglund as Willadeene Parton, Dolly s oldest sister
  • Hannah Nordberg as Judy Ogle, Dolly s schoolmate-turned-friend
  • Mary Lane Haskell as Miss Moody, school teacher who is firm yet supportive of Dolly s aspiration
  • Stella Parton as Corla Bass, owner of the town market and a gossip
  • Forrest Deal as Rudy Sanders, a school bully
  • Kennedy Brice as Gloria Sanders, Rudy s sister and another bully
  • Farrah Mackenzie as Stella Parton, Dolly s younger sister
  • Parker Sack as David Parton, Dolly s oldest brother
  • Dylan Rowen as Denver Parton, Dolly s second-oldest brother
  • Blane Crockarell as Bobby Parton, Dolly s younger brother
  • Jennifer D. Taylor as Aunt Dorothy Jo
  • Dolly Parton as the narrator
  • Christopher Ryan Lewis as Claude Sanders, Rudy and Gloria s brother



Coat of Many Colors was filmed in Covington and Conyers, Georgia, and Sevier County, Tennessee, the latter at Dollywood for introductory and closing scenes from Dolly Parton.


Parton, whose childhood is told in the film s story written by her, is also executive producer. She spoke about the casting process, beginning with singer Jennifer Nettles, who plays her mother: When she started reading I thought, Oh my lord, that s momma. And, she is incredible … I didn t even know she acted. For her father, Parton already had someone in mind, Ricky Schroder, because he reminds me so much of my daddy. In casting the younger Dolly, several hundred children auditioned. Parton stated God s going to send her. Alyvia Alyn Lind auditioned and could sing…act and cry on cue , said Parton, adding, When she came in, it just kind of blew it all out of the water and she got the part. In addition, Dolly s younger sister Stella Parton appears in the film, playing town gossip Corla Bass.


Critical reception

Coat of Many Colors received favorable reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has received a 78% rating from nine critics. Among eight reviews at Metacritic, it holds a generally favorable score of 65 out of 100.

Ken Tucker of Yahoo TV gave the film its highest praise, stating The pastoral nostalgia that this TV-movie taps into is powerful, if maudlin, stuff. This is the time of year when sentimentality can be a warming thing, and Parton s Coat will keep an awful lot of people warm this winter.

The Guardian s Brian Moylan commented on the film s faith storyline: For those who don’t regularly visit the house of the Lord, it will make your eyes roll like loose marbles in the back of a station wagon.

David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle was the most critical but commented: Although it s a struggle at times, you do suspend disbelief and go with it because Lind is so adorable, and you want to accept that the saccharine story line could have played out in real life just the way it s depicted in the film.


In its initial December 10, 2015 broadcast, Coat of Many Colors was seen by 13.03 million viewers and received a 1.8/6 rating/share in the 18-49 age demographic. This marks the highest viewership for any television film (made for TV or theatrical) or miniseries on the broadcast networks since 2012.


On April 3, 2016, Coat of Many Colors was honored during the Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony with the Tex Ritter Award, which is presented to a film released in the previous year that features country music. Dolly Parton accepted the award. At the 6th Critics Choice Television Awards, Alyvia Alyn Lind was nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Television Movie.


In May 2016, it was announced that a sequel to the film was in the works. In Dolly Parton s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Schroder, Gerald McRaney and Alyvia Alyn Lind reprised their roles. Stephen Herek returned to direct the sequel written by Pamela K. Long. Dolly Parton herself also had a cameo. The film aired on NBC on November 30, 2016.

Year 2015
ReleaseDate 2015-12-10
RuntimeMins 81
RuntimeStr 1h 21min
Plot Discover the magic and warmth of Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, based on the inspiring story of living legend Dolly Parton’s remarkable upbringing in rural Tennessee.
Awards Awards, 7 wins & 5 nominations
Directors Stephen Herek
Writers Pamela K. Long
Stars Alyvia Alyn Lind, Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Schroder
Produced by Sam Haskell, Hudson Hickman, Stephanie Johnson, Pamela K. Long, Dolly Parton, Josh Rogers
Music by Velton Ray Bunch, Mark Leggett
Cinematography by Brian J. Reynolds
Film Editing by Maysie Hoy
Casting By Craig Fincannon, Lisa Mae Fincannon, Patrick Rush
Production Design by Thomas Valentine
Art Direction by Gentry L. Akens II
Set Decoration by Gia Grosso
Costume Design by Michael T. Boyd
Makeup Department Brynn Berg, Shantel Jordan, Teresa Morgan, Tracie Morrison, Evelyn Roach, Monty Schuth, Katrina Suhre, Denise Tunnell, Janice Tunnell
Production Management Amy Leigh Hubbard
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Tyrez Armstead, Yor-El Francis, Todd Hilyard, Paul Lindsay
Art Department Shannon Black, Sean Britts, James Brothers, Lyle Curry, Russ Dickerson, Jodi Diodati, Roman Drankin, Brenda Findley, Shun Jester, Justin J. Jordan, Trevor McNure, Russell Michniak, Scott Mobley, Katina Parham, Erik Louis Robert, Victor A. Sandoval, Natalie Taylor Smith, John Thomason, Thibault Tosseram, Ana Wackermann, Angie Woodard
Sound Department Larry Benjamin, Tim Chilton, Benjamin Farthing, Mike Filosa, Mark Friedgen, Matt Hovland, Matthew Kallen, Reed Lovell, Tiffany T. Mack, John Maskew, Kevin Meltcher, J. Seeman, Dean St. John, Andy Welker, Allen Lee Williams III
Special Effects by Chad Pruett, Greg Pruett, Lisa Reynolds, Bob Shelley, Durk Tyndall
Visual Effects by Chad Fetzer, Blake Goedde, Bryan Haines, Nicholas Johnson, Chris LeDoux, Mark LeDoux, Tim LeDoux, Sean Pollack, Jason Sanford, Butch Seibert, Joshua D. Stevens
Camera and Electrical Department Rose Ashikyan, Tom Barrett, Matthew Berning, Mike Besaw, Cristen Clark, Quantrell D. Colbert, Chelsea Craig, Roberto Delgado Jr., Eddie Evans, Patrick D. Fields, Mike Fisher, Eddy Flores, Raul Flores, Kevin Gentry, Steven Shorty Haralson, Derek L. Harris Jr., Darryl Humber, David Iverson, Zach Junqera, Michael Kim, Nicholas Leone, Daniel John Lerch, Denny Mooradian, Jeff Morris, Roman Peoples, Justyn Plath, James C. Sharpe, Reid Stegall, Robert A. Sutton, Jeffrey Tarver, German Valle, David Weissman, Riley Wood
Casting Department Ressie Burtley, Jamie Lynn Catrett, Jeffrey Drew, Joseph C. Nelson, Justin Tucker
Costume and Wardrobe Department Sara Cobbeldick, Shelby Davis, Kim Rollins Dometrovich, Shenelle Evans, K. Drew Fuller, Mauricia Grant, Jennifer Hryniw, Reese Spensley, Rachel A. Walker
Editorial Department Mary Brownlee, Alex Brownley, Lidia Estrada, Brandon Obey, Jon Pehlke, John Persichetti
Location Management Stacey Dunson, Austin Harkey, Paul Mallard, Aaron D. Newton, Sia Sapoundjieva, Lenzi Sealy, Elin Sigurdson
Music Department Peter Bateman, Jordan Cox, Jeff Gartenbaum, Crystal Grooms Mangano, Shinnosuke Miyazawa, Scott Schirle, Jay Weigel, Jessica Gramuglia
Script and Continuity Department Colby Bachiller, Reagan Brandon
Transportation Department Manuel Cespedes, John Croker, Greg Guice, Daniel La Fave, Nathan May, Norman J. Morton, Gary Woods
Additional Crew Taylor Ammons, Tyrez Armstead, Colby Bachiller, Gena Berry, Rachel Bongard, Susan W. Bradley, Elisa Carlson, Cecil Chatman, Greg Chester, Saundra Coller, Lacie Collins, Laurie DeKatch, Anna J. DeMildt, Lisa Edwards, Kerry Fillers, Laura Fraker, William Galloway, Sam Haskell Jr., David Howard, Diane Howard, Michael Jaegers, Lindsey McCollough, Kilee Morris, Ben Murphy, Dolly Parton, Ben Prine, Claire Ramsay, Josh Rogers, Heather Schell, Sheatia X.D. Seymour, Greg Tresan, Justen Tyler
Genres Drama, Family, Musical
Companies Magnolia Hill Productions, Dixie Pixie Productions, Warner Bros. Television
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating TV-G
ImDbRating 7.7
ImDbRatingVotes 2018
MetacriticRating 65
Keywords title from song,folk singing,singing in church,singing girl,sewing