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La Bamba (1987)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  24 July 1987 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 18,715 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 17 critic

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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Title: La Bamba (1987)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 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

Country:

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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rosanna DeSoto is only twelve years older than Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales, who played her sons on the film. See more »

Goofs

During the party for Ritchie, his mother takes a picture with a Kodak Brownie camera. She holds the camera up to her eye which seems normal, however, that style of camera has a viewer which requires the photographer to look down through a prism and not through an eye piece. Normally the camera was held at belly level and while the user looked down through a prism which reflected what was in front of them - it would not be held up to their eye as is depicted. See more »

Quotes

Bob Morales: I've had one sip of beer and I have to admit it taste like piss to me. Want it?
Ritchie Valens: Yeah.
[takes a sip then puts the beer down]
Ritchie Valens: What's your problem man?
Bob Morales: Old Steve. He always said you'd be somebody and I bought it, too. If that's the way Steve wanted it that's the way it was going to be. Even after he told me he wasnt my dad, once I knew the full score, I understood why he treated you just a little bit better than me. I'll just hang around for the leftovers, like a dog. That's how much i loved him. ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Andy Samberg/St. Vincent (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Pajaro Loco
Performed by Los Lobos
Written by Los Lobos
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fairy Tale With a Tragic End
24 February 2004 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Ritchie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) is a very poor Mexican-American living with his family in a slum in Paicoma, California. When he is sixteen years old, his half-brother Bob Morales (Esai Morales) is released from the jail and comes back home, bringing money enough for the family to move from the slums to a humble house in a better place. Ritchie goes to the nearby high-school, where he falls in love for Donna (Danielle von Zerneck). Donna, together with his mother Connie Valenzuela (Rosanna DeSoto), his family and his guitar, are the passions of Ritchie. Bob Keene (Joe Pantoliano), president of Del-Fi Records in Hollywood, invites Ritchie to record a single and offers him a recording contract. His first single (`Come On Let's Go') is a great success, and Bob Keene becomes Ritchie's manager. The next songs (`Donna' and `La Bamba') are also very successful and Ritchie Valens becomes famous, earning lots of money. While traveling making shows along USA, he decides to accept an invitation of Buddy Holly to fly back home. A tragic plane crash on 03 Feb 1959 ends the life of this promising seventeen years old singer, along with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. The dramatization of Ritchie Valens' life is presented like a soap-opera, full of beautiful songs, and it is very pleasant to watch this film. Lou Diamond Phillips has (maybe) his best performance as actor, but Esai Morales is wonderful as his big brother. The touching story looks like a fairy tale, having a tragic end. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `La Bamba'


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why was Ritchie.... lissee92
Delete your post La Bamba style ... demo_deus
Where is Donna today? nemidwest
Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie sprklndiamond87
Live performance during credits takes away from ending travisme123
A 6.5?!!!! eduardovictory
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