6.8/10
22,788
64 user 21 critic

La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 July 1987 (USA)
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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.

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Popularity
3,037 ( 511)
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 ...
Howard Huntsberry ...
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Daniel Valdez ...
Felipe Cantu ...
Eddie Frias ...
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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

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Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Let's Go  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,651,990 (USA) (26 July 1987)

Gross:

$54,215,416 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie, Esai Morales plays Bob, the older brother of Ritchie Valens, played by Lou Diamond Phillips. In reality, Phillips is over eight months older than Morales. See more »

Goofs

While the scene is true about the coin toss between Ritchie and a member of Buddy's band, Ritchie Valens was not sick as seen in the movie. The Big Bopper was. He begged Holly's band mate (and future country music star) Waylon Jennings for the chance to ride on the plane because he was coming down with the flu. The coin toss took place between Ritchie Valens and Tommy Allsup. 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]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Los Lobos: La Bamba (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Crying, Waiting, Hoping
Performed by Marshall Crenshaw
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Garry Tallent & Marshall Crenshaw
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User Reviews

 
Oh,what could have been
16 April 2002 | by (United States) – 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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