6.8/10
23,051
65 user 21 critic

La Bamba (1987)

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

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4,495 ( 130)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 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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Marshall Crenshaw ...
Buddy Holly
Howard Huntsberry ...
Jackie Wilson
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Eddie Cochran
Daniel Valdez ...
Lelo
Felipe Cantu ...
Curandero
Eddie Frias ...
Chino
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Mexican Ed
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Rudy
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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:

Talent made him a star, fate made him a legend. The true story of Ritchie Valens. 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,651,990, 26 July 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$54,215,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The club where Ritchie Valens is nervous about performing before an Anglo crowd is Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth, California.The bar is still in business. See more »

Goofs

Ritchie wears/plays a white Harmony archtop guitar in several scenes. On the headstock appears the words "Steel Reinforced Neck". This did not appear on Harmony guitars until the 1960s. See more »

Quotes

Ted Quillen: Your wife's pregnant and in the car with you?
Bob Morales: [on phone] She's in the car right now!
Ted Quillen: [pause] And what kind of car do you have?
Bob Morales: [on phone] A Rolls Royce!
[Maniacal laughter]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Goodnight My Love
Words & Music by George Motola & John Marascalco
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records
Produced by Steve Berlin
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User Reviews

 
Great biopic of a musical legend
24 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

The life and times of Richie Valens, and well made to say the least. Lou Diamond Phillips really showed a lot of promise in this film, but poor choices later in his career hurt his rep in Hollywood. Nonetheless, this film is quite an achievement in regards to portraying a rock idol (which was far better than the dull Buddy Holly Story). What really made this film was the relationship between Phillips and Esai Morales. Never has a brotherly dynamic been portrayed so fluidly, displaying the sweet and sour sides of the two growing up. With the help of a great soundtrack, I really felt this film has a spirit which isn't displayed in biographies anymore. Nowadays, most films try too hard to show the downside, which is what this tried not to do. 7.5/10


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