MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 543 this week

La Bamba (1987)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  24 July 1987 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 18,473 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 14 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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 15 Aug 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 20 Apr 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 08 Jul 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 15 Aug 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "La Bamba" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: La Bamba (1987)

La Bamba (1987) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of La Bamba.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.

Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Gary Busey, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The life and career of the wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star, Jerry Lee Lewis.

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of rock singer Tina Turner and how she rose to stardom with her abusive husband Ike Turner and how she gained the courage to break free.

Director: Brian Gibson
Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly
Selena (1997)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts.

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Jon Seda
Young Guns (1988)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A guy. A girl. A Diamond.

Director: Joey Boukadakis
Stars: John Patrick Jordan, Brian Smith, Marlana Carter
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.

Director: Ramón Menéndez
Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Biography of Loretta Lynn, a country and western singer that came from poverty to fame.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm
The Cisco Kid (TV Movie 1994)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

This update of the 1950 western TV series changes Cisco and Pancho from wandering heroes of the old west to somewhat anti-"gringo" Mexican revolutionaries.

Director: Luis Valdez
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Cheech Marin, Sadie Frost
Ray I (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington
The Doors (1991)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan
The Ritchie Valens Story (TV Movie 2002)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Biography of 1950s rock singer Ritchie Valens, the first Hispanic rock star, covering his career and the aftermath of his death in a plane crash. Included is footage from his performances and interviews with friends, family and colleagues.

Stars: Carl Bunch, Bob Hale, Bob Keane
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Bob Morales
...
Connie Valenzuela (as Rosana De Soto)
...
Rosie Morales
...
Donna Ludwig
...
Bob Keane
Rick Dees ...
Ted Quillin
Marshall Crenshaw ...
Howard Huntsberry ...
...
Daniel Valdez ...
Lelo
Felipe Cantu ...
Curandero
Eddie Frias ...
Chino
...
Mexican Ed
Geoffrey Rivas ...
Rudy
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In this movie, Jackie Wilson is played by Howard Huntsberry. Two years later, two versions of the song "Higher and Higher" would be used in the movie Ghostbusters II (1989); the first is the Jackie Wilson version in the toaster scene, and the other is a cover by Howard Huntsberry used in the Statue of Liberty scene. See more »

Goofs

In one of the scenes when Bob takes Ritchie to the Tijuana brothel, there is a heavy set woman who approaches Bob and Ritchie and asks them, "Hey mijo, traes ganas?" Her mouth is not moving. See more »

Quotes

Connie Valenzuela: How could you do this to Ritchie!
Bob Morales: To Ritchie? I did this to me, okay!
Rosie Morales: That's my Bob, always thinking of others first.
Bob Morales: Shut your goddamn mouth!
Ritchie Valens: Hey man, don't take it out on Rosie, okay.
Bob Morales: Ritchie, you don't understand man. You don't understand a goddamn thing!
[walking Away]
Bob Morales: What do you think, the whole fuckin' world revolves around you!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Don't You Just Know It
Performed by Huey Smith and The Clowns
Courtesy of Original Sound Entertainment
Words & Music by Huey P. Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A terrific film about the importance of family and realizing your dreams.
9 April 2002 | by (Edison, NJ) – See all my reviews

La Bamba which stars Lou Diamond Phillips as tragic 50's rocker Ritchie Valens(real name Richard Valenzuela) is my favorite rock bio film. The film covers the Mexican American Valens' rise from poverty in California to becoming a rock n roll superstar at the young age of 17 only to lose it all within 8 months on the "Day the Music Died".

In addition to focusing on Valens' music career, writer/director Luis Valdez spends time showing the tense relationship between Ritchie and his older brother Bob who is played excellently by Esai Morales. As Ritchie becomes famous Bob begins to resent him and that provides the film with some of its most powerful and heartbreaking scenes.

The film's other effective moments come between Ritchie and his girlfriend Donna. During their scenes together I felt that Valdez did a good job in showing what teenage romances must've been like back in the more innocent 1950's and how parents prejudices could interfere.

Last but not least is the film's great soundtrack. Ritchie Valens songs were redone for the film by the group Los Lobos. All of the instrumental music was provided by Carlos Santana and Miles Goodman. Also included are many other classic songs from the 50's.

The only small criticism I have of the film is that Valdez spends too much time in foreshadowing Valens' fate through dream sequences and references to his fear of flying. While it is documented that Ritchie did have a fear of flying I would imagine that he didn't talk about it as frequently as he does in the film.

Overall I think that La Bamba is a film about sticking to your dreams and the importance of family. I give this film a pretty strong recommendation. You don't even necessarily have to be a fan of 50's music to enjoy it. This is for those who enjoy small films that deal with the triumphs and struggles of everyday people.


32 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
The ending jennLynn1975
Discuss La Bamba (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?