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Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Connie Valenzuela (as Rosana De Soto)
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Rick Dees ...
Marshall Crenshaw ...
Howard Huntsberry ...
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Daniel Valdez ...
Felipe Cantu ...
Eddie Frias ...
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Geoffrey Rivas ...
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Storyline

This is the true story of Ritchie Valens, a young rock and roll singer who tragically died in a plane crash at age 17. The film follows Ritchie from his days in Pacoima, California where he and his family make a meager living working on farms to his rise as a star. The film also focuses on Ritchie's friendship and rivalry with his older brother Bob Morales and his relationship with Donna Ludwig, his girlfriend. Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Born to poverty. Destined for stardom. He lived the American Dream. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Let's Go  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$54,215,416 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before Lou Diamond Phillips auditioned for the role, his agent mistakenly told him that the film was about Frankie Valli (later the subject of Jersey Boys (2014)). Phillips did not think he was right for the part but went to the audition anyway. See more »

Goofs

As Bob is tearing down all his artwork after coming home drunk he bumps into the concrete wall of the basement which bends and shakes from his body weight. See more »

Quotes

Bob Morales: Look Rosie, you're not my wife. Quit being such a drag. What the shit's eating you anyway?
Rosie Morales: I'm pregnant.
Rosie Morales: Well aren't you gonna say anything?
Bob Morales: What's there to say? It's not my first. Or my last.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Caption starting off the music credits: "We greatfully acknowledge the help and support of the Valenzuela family". See more »


Soundtracks

Rip It Up
Words & Music by John Marascalco & Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as Robert A. Blackwell)
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records
Produced by Steve Berlin
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User Reviews

 
Esai Morales steals the show
6 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

Esai Morales gives the best performance of his career in this 1987 movie about Hall of Fame rock and roller Ritchie Valens, who was tragically killed in a plane crash at the age of 17 with the big bopper and Buddy Holly on February 3, 1959. Morales plays Bob Morales, the half brother of Ritchie. Bob is a drunk who feels as if he is in the shadow of Ritchie due to Ritchie's musical talent and success. In fact if I didn't know better you might think the movie is about Bob. He was in the movie a ton. Lou Diamond Phillips does a good job of portraying Ritchie. I would definitely suggest that you watch this movie. It has a ton of great music and like I said before Morales is awesome in this movie.


14 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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