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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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4,825 ( 58)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 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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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)
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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 actors who played Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly were both much older than the stars they played. 25-year-old Lou Diamond Phillips played teen-aged Ritchie Valens and 33-year-old Marshall Crenshaw played 22-year-old Buddy Holly. See more »

Goofs

Several times Ritchie is seen in a phone booth trying to call Donna. The phones' handset cord is of a type not used until the late 1960s. See more »

Quotes

Bob Morales: I've had one sip of beer and I have to admit it taste like piss to me. Want it?
Ritchie Valens: Yeah.
[takes a sip then puts the beer down]
Ritchie Valens: What's your problem man?
Bob Morales: Old Steve. He always said you'd be somebody and I bought it, too. If that's the way Steve wanted it that's the way it was going to be. Even after he told me he wasnt my dad, once I knew the full score, I understood why he treated you just a little bit better than me. I'll just hang around for the leftovers, like a dog. That's how much i loved him. ...
[...]
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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

Referenced in Look Who's Talking (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Cancion Mixteca
Performed by Los Lobos
Music by Joseph Lopez Alvez
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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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