6.8/10
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65 user 21 critic

La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 July 1987 (USA)
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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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2,958 ( 97)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 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 ...
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:

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  »

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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

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: What's going on?
Connie Valenzuela: [painting posters] Show business, show business.
Bob Morales: [signs look terrible] These look like shit, even a monkey can do better then this.
Connie Valenzuela: Oh Yea.
Bob Morales: [late at night Bob painting posters] Should've kept my mouth shut.
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 1988 MTV Video Music Awards (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Tweedlee Dee
Performed by La Vern Baker
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Words & Music by Winfield Scott
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User Reviews

 
Oh,what could have been
16 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

Ritchie Valens was a young,vibrant rock and roll star.At 17,he could already write songs,sing,and was an absolute wizard with a guitar.I'm too young to remember the real Valens,but when I think of him,as well as other stars who died tragically young,I can't help but wonder what might have been.This young man was only getting started in his stardom when he was cut down all too soon in the same plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.This film did a great job of bringing the legend of Valens back to life if only for a couple of hours.Lou Diamond Phillips gave the performance of his career here,as Valens,even though he didn't really look much like the real man in my opinion.Being the role he is best known for,I'm sure it is also one he has tried to escape from in the 15 years since its' release.As far as historical accuracy,I have heard discrepancies as to how the story really went,but you know Hollywood,things always have to be spiced up just a little.Overall,this movie is great fun,especially for old rock and roll enthusiasts such as myself.Thumbs up!


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