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La Bamba (1987) Poster

(1987)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

When the DJ announces the sad news that Holly, Richardson, and Valens have died in a plane crash, he plays the song "Sleepwalk" by Santo and Johnny as a tribute to the fallen musicians. The crash occurred on 3 February 1959 and the song "Sleep Walk" was not released until July 1959.
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.
The garbage truck that Bob rides is a 1973 International Harvester.
In the 1950s there were no yellow line on the roads, however, when we see a shot of Ritchie and Donna driving off, the lines on the roads are yellow.
The style of the choppers ridden by Bob and his friends is from the late-'60s or early-'70s.
When Ritchie and Donna are riding in Donna's red '49 Ford convertible, on the radio is "This I Swear" by The Skyliners. The song was not released until May 1959, three months after Ritchie Valens' death.
The bassist of the fictional backup band "The Silhouettes" is playing a Harmony H-22 bass guitar. Harmony didn't make bass guitars until 1962. The most common electric basses made in the 1950s were by Fender, Gibson and Kay.
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When Ritchie flies to Philadelphia he is seen flying in a DC-3 which wasn't the type of plane that was making transcontinental flights in the late 50's. The interior mock up is enormous with what looks like a cathedral ceiling, huge seats and a wide aisle. TWA was flying SuperConstellations, United DC-7s, cheaper airlines DC6s. The Boeing 707's would come into service the next year (1958).
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Ritchie wears/plays a white Harmony archtop guitar in several scenes. On the headstock appears the words "Steel Reinforced Neck". This did not appear on Harmony guitars until the 1960s.
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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.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

In one of the scenes when Bob takes Ritchie to the Tijuana brothel, there is a heavy set woman who approaches Bob and Ritchie and asks them, "Hey mijo, traes ganas?" Her mouth is not moving.
When Bob says, "You had me locked out," when he is locked outside his house, his lips aren't moving.
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Continuity 

When Richie and his brother Bob get into a shoving match, Bob pulls on Richie's sweater and yanks his tie out of kilter. A few seconds later, Richie's tie is tucked in and his sweater is smoothed down, but not enough time has elapsed for him to have done this to himself.
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When Ritchie is showing his mother the new house, the shadows are halfway up the walls. When Bob pulls into the driveway with his two sisters, the shadows are totally gone. And when Ritchie opens the door into the house the shadows are there again.
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Ritchie and Bob walk into the back door of the Cowboy Palace but in the next shot they are walking from the front door to the stage.
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When Bob takes Ritchie to the brothel, Ritchie chooses to relish the music rather than the women. Bob is left with the women and as Ritchie approaches the stage, you can see Bob in the background putting his arms around a woman. In the next shot, Bob is just approaching the same woman.
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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.
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Errors in geography 

Bob finds drawings of Woody Woodpecker in a trash bin on the Columbia Pictures studio lot. The Woody cartoons were produced at Walter Lantz's studio at Universal.

Factual errors 

When Ritchie and Donna are sitting in Ritchie's car outside the high school, he signs autographs with his right hand. Ritchie was left-handed.
There was never a "love triangle" between Ritchie, Bob, and Rosie. This was actually based on a situation the director, Luis Valdez and a brother of his.
In one of the final scenes, you see Buddy Holly and his band performing "Crying, Waiting, Hoping". In fact this song was never recorded in the studio or performed with his band during his lifetime. The song was recorded privately by Buddy on his own with his guitar as an idea, on a home tape recorder. But not until after his death was it made into studio release, by various musicians recording overdubs. It is extremely unlikely Holly would've played this song that night.
The real Bob did not find Woody Woodpecker cels. Bob actually found Disney cels at "Disney Studios".
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.
When Valens appeared on American Bandstand in October 1958 he sang "Come on, let's go" not "Donna" as shown in the movie.
The morning after Ritchie and Bob played in the Cowboy Palace, there is a 1957 calendar shown hanging in the kitchen but the days are incorrect in correspondence to the dates. The calendar shows October 1 to be on a Wednesday when, in fact, it was on a Tuesday.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Right when Bob (Esai Morales) finds the cels, the other garbage man calls him by the actor's last name: Morales. However, it's just coincidental that this is also the character's last name.

Revealing mistakes 

As Bob is tearing down all his artwork after coming home drunk he bumps into the concrete wall of the basement which bends and shakes from his body weight.
As Ritchie is making a call from a glass and wood phone booth, you can see modern cars not from the period in the reflection.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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