MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 194 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 18,875 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 17 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 13 Aug 2012
 
a list of 27 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 49 titles
created 8 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
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jimmy Muir is a hard-drinking brewery worker in the city of Sheffield, with an arrogant lack of respect for authority. His entire life has been orientated by football and he possesses the ... See full summary »

Director: Maria Giese
Stars: Sean Bean, Emily Lloyd, Pete Postlethwaite
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When the Kwimper family car runs out of gas on a new Florida highway and an officous state supervisor tries to run them off, Pop Kwimper digs in his heels and decides to do a little ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Elvis Presley, Arthur O'Connell, Anne Helm
Mystery | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Train with medical supplies and small U.S. Army unit is heading through Rocky mountains towards plagued Fort Humboldt. Among its passengers are territory governor, priest, doctor and U.S. ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Gries
Stars: Charles Bronson, Ben Johnson, Richard Crenna
Curtains (1983)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion are targeted by a mysterious masked murderer.

Director: Richard Ciupka
Stars: John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Linda Thorson
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A guy. A girl. A Diamond.

Director: Joey Boukadakis
Stars: John Patrick Jordan, Brian Smith, Marlana Carter
I Love Your Moves (Video 2012)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

After moving to America from his home in Russia, Ari, an awkward teen, has trouble making friends and adapting to his new life. But everything changes when he falls in love with Paris, ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Charr
Stars: Andoni Zorbas, Erika Cortes, Scott Cullen
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
Stricken (2010)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

After her mother's death and her father's brutal suicide, 25 year old Sarah Black fears she is losing her grip on reality. She is haunted by nightmares and terrifying visions, and she can't... See full summary »

Director: Matthew Sconce
Stars: David Fine, Stephanie French, Christina L. Tellifson
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

The Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth, California was where Ritchie Valens was very nervous about the reception he'd receive from an Anglo crowd. The bar is still in business and was used for the film. See more »

Goofs

On the plane trip to Philadelphia when drinks are served they are in a clear plastic glass not manufactured until the mid-1970s. In fact airlines of the 1950s used the real thing, usually etched with their logo. Even the dinnerware was real then. See more »

Quotes

Bob Morales: Look Rosie, you're not my wife. Quit being such a drag. What the shit's eating you anyway?
Rosie Morales: I'm pregnant.
Rosie Morales: Well aren't you gonna say anything?
Bob Morales: What's there to say? It's not my first. Or my last.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Woody Woodpecker (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Betty Jean
Performed by Chuck Berry
Courtesy of MCA Records
Words & Music by Chuck Berry (as E. Anderson)
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
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
Discuss La Bamba (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page