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La Bamba (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  24 July 1987 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 19,557 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 16 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 & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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.

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 1957 plane crash at Ritchie Valens' Jr. High School which was referenced in this movie, occurred over the San Fernando Valley. A DC-7 and an F-89 jet crashed into each other over the San Fernando Valley. The two planes broke-up in the air, and the DC-7 plummeted from the sky onto the playground of Pacoima Junior High School. Valens did not attend school that day because he was at his grandfather's funeral. At the time of the crash, students were at recess on the playground. The crew of the DC-7 were killed, as were several students on the playground. 74 more students were injured. It was this plane crash that caused Valens to have a fear of flying. See more »

Goofs

When Connie goes to tell Ritchie she was leaving for work, she opens the door and steps down into the basement to stand on the top step. When the camera angle changes to where Ritchie was in the basement, her foot isn't on the top step. See more »

Quotes

Ritchie Valens: This is like my high school prom.
Bob Morales: Yeah. Except this prom puts out.
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 Psych: Game, Set... Muuurder? (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

For Your Precious Love
Performed by Jerry Butler and The Impressions
Courtesy of Vee Jay International, Inc./Original Sound Entertainment
Words & Music by Jerry Butler, Arthur Brooks & Richard Brooks
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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