6.8/10
21,913
63 user 18 critic

La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 July 1987 (USA)
Trailer
1:41 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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:

Reviews
Popularity
3,766 ( 685)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 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
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

La Bamba 2: Hell is a Drag is a camp / sci-fi / horror, parody sequel to the 1987 film La Bamba [the biopic of Chicano rock n' roll star Ritchie Valens]. The film is set in 2059, 100 years ... See full summary »

Director: Rob Fatal
Stars: Jiz Lee, Rob Fatal, Alex Hernandez
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Edit

Cast

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

According to Lou Diamond Phillips in the VH1 documentary Behind the Music: The Day the Music Died (1999), Ritchie Valens' sister was on the set the day they filmed the "coin toss" scene where Ritchie wins (or rather, loses) the chance to fly on the plane with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. As the scenes were being shot, Ritchie's sister began to weep uncontrollably and when Phillips tried to console her, she hugged him and sobbed, "Why Ritchie? Why did you get on the plane?" See more »

Goofs

When Bob takes Ritchie to the brothel, Ritchie chooses to relish the music rather than the women. Bob is left with the women and as Ritchie approaches the stage, you can see Bob in the background putting his arms around a woman. In the next shot, Bob is just approaching the same woman. See more »

Quotes

Buddy Holly: The sky belongs to the stars.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Features New American Bandstand 1965 (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got a Gal Named Sue (That's My Little Suzie)
Performed by Carlos Santana & Los Lobos
Carlos Santana appears courtesy of CBS Records
Words & Music by Ritchie Valens & Robert Kuhn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

My Favorite Movie
28 November 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

One Summer afternoon back in 1996 i was 17 years old, I had a guitar but never played as much as i should have.

With nothing to do i was watching TV, and La Bamba came on and for whatever reason i decided to watch it.

I have heard of Ritchie Valens but knew nothing of him, i knew a few of his hit songs but never knew that was him singing till i watched the movie.

That summer day i watched La Bamba changed my life. The movie just reached out and touched something in my soul. I am a Rocker and love all kinds of Rock music. And that's one of the things i loved about La Bamba the great music.

I watched La Bamba everyday it would come on cable even bought the movie, even after that i would still watch it when ever it came on.

Every time i see it i fall in-love with the movie all over again.

And because of this film i play my guitar, and because of this film i have a dream of working in film as a Writer/Director.

The story is all about Ritchie Valens who is 17 years old and dreams of being a rock star. But there is so much more to it then that.

It's a story about family as well, and young love.

Lou Diamond Phillips who is a Fav actor of mine is amazing in La Bamba he shows how talented he is.

Esai Morales plays Ritchie's older brother Bob.

Esai Morales plays the troubled Bob with perfection.

The Casting is great Rosanna Desoto plays Connie Ritchie's Mother, Elizabeth Pena as Rosie Bob's wife.

Danielle Von Zerneck as Donna Ritchie's Girlfriend and the great Joe Pantoliano as Bob Keene who discovers Ritchie Valens and is his Producer/Manager.

Like i said there is more to the story then just Ritchie's dreams,What La Bamba comes down to is a story about Brothers.

In some ways i relate to Ritchie but at the same time i know how Bob feels being second best.

Writer/Director Luis Valdez does an amazing job. Thank you Mr.Valdez for the wonderful job.

Los Lobos perform most of the sound-track and perform all of Ritchie Valens songs.

Lou Diamond Phillips is amazing but Esai Morales is the stand-out with his performance.

I just wanna thank the cast and crew for the inspiration they have given me.

And of course the man himself Ritchie Valens R.I.P

La Bamba shows you that Dreams can in fact come true.

I give La Bamba 10/10


36 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Delete your post La Bamba style ... demo_deus
Did anybody else like this movie better as an adult? danielpants97-240-504594
Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie sprklndiamond87
Why was Ritchie.... lissee92
Where is Donna today? nemidwest
Live performance during credits takes away from ending travisme123
Discuss La Bamba (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page