IMDb > The Mambo Kings (1992)
The Mambo Kings
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The Mambo Kings (1992) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Oscar Hijuelos (novel)
Cynthia Cidre (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Mambo Kings on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 February 1992 (USA) See more »
With a suitcase full of song, Hearts filled with passion, two brothers come to America in search of a dream.
Musician brothers Cesar and Nestor leave Cuba for America in the 1950s, hoping to hit the top of the Latin music scene... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A melodrama but a superior one See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Armand Assante ... Cesar Castillo

Antonio Banderas ... Nestor Castillo

Cathy Moriarty ... Lanna Lake
Maruschka Detmers ... Delores Fuentes
Pablo Calogero ... Ramon - The Mambo Kings Band

Scott Cohen ... Bernardito - The Mambo Kings Band

Desi Arnaz Jr. ... Desi Arnaz Sr.
Mario Grillo ... Mario - The Mambo Kings Band
Ralph Irizarry ... Pito - The Mambo Kings Band

Pete Macnamara ... Johnny Bing - The Mambo Kings Band
James Medina ... Manny - The Mambo Kings Band (as Jimmy Medina)
Marcos Quintanilla ... Willie - The Mambo Kings Band

Tito Puente ... Himself
J.T. Taylor ... Frankie Suarez - The Mambo Kings Band
William Thomas Jr. ... Xavier - The Mambo Kings Band

Yul Vazquez ... Flaco - The Mambo Kings Band

Celia Cruz ... Evalina Montoya

Roscoe Lee Browne ... Fernando Perez

Vondie Curtis-Hall ... Miguel Montoya

Talisa Soto ... Maria Rivera
Joe Petruzzi ... Carlo Ricci

Anh Duong ... Ismelda Perez
Cordelia González ... Anna Maria
Theodora Castellanos ... Blanca
Lázaro Pérez ... Pablo
Helena Carroll ... Mrs. Shannon
John Herrera ... Luis Fajardo

Vitamin C ... Redhead on Bus (as Colleen Fitzpatrick)
Jose Duvall ... Nando
Joe Conzo ... Killer
Millie P. ... Killer's Girlfriend
Doug Barron ... Mike Wells
Jose Alberto ... Johnny Casanova
Frank Grillo ... Machito
Ron Townson ... Empire M.C.
June Brown ... Portly Woman
Valerie McIntosh ... Tracy Blair

Jonathan Del Arco ... Young Cesar
Salvador Miranda ... Young Nestor

Carlos Gómez ... Creep
Adrian Martinez ... Pablito
Rene Monteaqudo ... Robertico
Cecelia Neal Ortiz ... Leticia
Jessica Neal Ortiz ... Leticia

Thomas F. Duffy ... Mulligan
Martin Charles Warner ... Mac
Joycelyn O'Brien ... Gina
Diane Manzo ... Amanda
Jessica Z. Diamond ... Secretary
Stephanie Blake ... Stripper
Anita Banderas ... Anita
Ryan Howell ... Kid with Basketball
Dawn McKinster ... Poolside Patron
Karen Assante ... Karen

Julie Pinson ... Girlfriend #2

Cynthia DeCure ... Mario's Girlfriend (as Cynthia Santos)
Susie Stillwell ... Club Patron
Maiquel Saurez ... Cleaning Woman
Natalie Zimmerman ... Girlfriend #3
Debra Scott ... Enchantment
Sonny Bravo ... Piano Player
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michael Dierks ... Dancer (uncredited)
Candace Mead ... Child (uncredited)
Lauren Mead ... Child (uncredited)
Josephine Powell ... Blonde Patron at Ballroom and Nightclub (uncredited)
Vincent Tumeo ... Featured Dancer (uncredited)
Tony Álvarez ... Dancer (uncredited)

Directed by
Arne Glimcher 
Writing credits
Oscar Hijuelos (novel)

Cynthia Cidre (screenplay)

Produced by
Jack B. Bernstein .... co-producer
Arne Glimcher .... producer
Arnon Milchan .... producer
Anna Reinhardt .... associate producer
Steven Reuther .... executive producer
Original Music by
Carlos Franzetti 
Robert Kraft 
Cinematography by
Michael Ballhaus 
Film Editing by
Claire Simpson 
Glenn Lazzaro (uncredited)
Casting by
Billy Hopkins 
Suzanne Smith 
Production Design by
Stuart Wurtzel 
Art Direction by
Steve Saklad 
Set Decoration by
Kara Lindstrom 
Costume Design by
Gary Jones 
Bridget Kelly 
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Teresa M. Austin .... key makeup artist
Dennis Glas .... key makeup artist (as Dennis Glass)
Medusah .... hair department head
Josée Normand .... key hair stylist
Valli O'Reilly .... makeup department head
Production Management
Mark Allan .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jan Sebastian Ballhaus .... second second assistant director (as Jan S. Ballhaus)
Simone Farber .... dga trainee
Benjamin Rosenberg .... first assistant director
Michael Samson .... second assistant director
Art Department
John P. Bruce .... set designer
Patrick Cassidy .... leadman
Andrea Mae Fenton .... set decorating buyer
Emily Ferry .... property master
Ted Haigh .... graphic designer
Debe Hale .... assistant art director
Ted Hardwick .... swing gang
Kalina Ivanov .... storyboard artist
Roger Meryett .... construction foreman (as Roger D. Meryett)
José Luis Moya .... construction assistant
Ramón Moya .... construction manager
Chuck Roseberry .... swing gang
Patti Safian .... art department coordinator
John H. Samson .... construction coordinator
Ernest M. Sanchez .... on-set dresser
Monti Santilli Rainbolt .... swing gang (as Monti Rainbolt)
Jesse Siono Jr. .... stand-by painter (as Jesse Siono)
Joy Taylor .... assistant property master
Philip Toolin .... set designer
Greg Wilkinson .... assistant props
Helen Wilson .... set dresser
Timothy O'Brien .... carpenter (uncredited)
Eric Yount .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Albert Aquino .... boom operator
Elisha Birnbaum .... foley artist
David Boulton .... adr engineer
Kristine Bulakowski .... assistant adr editor
Vince Caro .... additional recording engineer
Anthony J. Ciccolini III .... sound editor (as Anthony Ciccolini III)
Elliot Deitch .... sound editor
Lee Dichter .... sound re-recording mixer
Eugene Gearty .... sound effects editor
Scott Jacobs .... boom operator
Neil L. Kaufman .... sound editor
Richard King .... assistant sound editor (as Richard Q. King)
Michael Kirchberger .... supervising sound editor
George A. Lara .... foley mixer
Tony Martinez .... group adr editor
Antonio Martínez .... adr editor
Jane McCulley .... supervising adr editor
Eytan Mirsky .... assistant sound editor
Bitty O'Sullivan-Smith .... sound editor
Harry Peck Bolles .... adr editor
Josephine Powell .... sound track consultant
Michael Shore .... assistant sound editor
Joel Shryack .... cable person
Paul P. Soucek .... assistant sound editor
Dominick Tavella .... foley mixer
Susumu Tokunow .... sound mixer
Brian Vancho .... foley artist
Susan M. Wagner .... assistant sound editor
Special Effects by
Kam Cooney .... special effects coordinator (as M. Kam Cooney)
Edward Kennedy .... special effects assistant
Paul Baxley .... stunt coordinator
Kurt D. Lott .... stunts
Jim Stephan .... stunts (as Jim Stephen)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ismael Araujo Jr. .... grip
Florian Ballhaus .... first assistant camera
James F. Cornick .... rigger
J. Patrick Daily .... key grip
David M. Dunlap .... camera operator
Sam Emerson .... still photographer (as Sam Young Emerson)
Kent H. Jorgensen .... dolly grip
Gábor Kövér .... director of photography: second unit
Michael McGuire .... rigging key grip
Charlie McIntyre .... rigging gaffer (as Charles H. McIntyre III)
John 'Fest' Sandau .... assistant chief lighting technician
Cricket Sloat .... dimmer board operator
Jeffrey Thorin .... second assistant camera
James R. Tynes .... chief lighting technician
Tom West .... best boy grip (as Tom W. West)
Eric Whitehead .... grip
Mark Mele .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Randy Nolen .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Lowell Peterson .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Ann Goulder .... casting associate: New York
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting
Rick Montgomery .... additional casting
Dan Parada .... additional casting
Dixie Webster .... additional casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Cheryl Beasley Blackwell .... costumer
Bruce Ericksen .... costume supervisor
Donna Maloney .... costumer
David Mayreis .... costumer
Editorial Department
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Nancy Frazen .... first assistant editor: Los Angeles
Clare Larson .... first assistant editor
David Orr .... color timer
John Reul .... assistant editor: Los Angeles
Judy Silberstein .... associate editor
Music Department
Lori Andrews .... musician
David Carbonara .... music editor
Thomas S. Drescher .... music editor (as Thomas Drescher)
Michael Farrow .... music recording engineer
Michael Golub .... music recording engineer
Christopher Kennedy .... music editor
Dan Korintus .... additional music editor
Robert Kraft .... executive music producer
Pete Macnamara .... musician: trumpet coach
Shawn Murphy .... song recordist
Johnny Pacheco .... music consultant
Ray Santos .... music consultant
Robin Urdang .... music coordinator
Frank Wolf .... music recording engineer
Transportation Department
Bo Falck .... transportation captain
Michael Forte .... driver: Antonio Banderos
Bruce Hauer .... transportation captain
Dusty Saunders .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Lester Ayala .... production assistant
Edward Bates .... production assistant
Shauna Beal .... assistant: Mr. Milchan
Kim Blank .... choreographer: assistant
Kim Blank .... dancer
Robert Chambers .... assistant location manager
Bryan Constans .... production assistant
Patrick Ewald .... assistant: Ms. Reinhardt
Ellen Glimcher .... production assistant
Barbara A. Hall .... production coordinator
Adam Ivers .... assistant: Mr. Bernstein
Eric Jacobson .... production assistant (as Eric R. Jacobson)
Lynn Mackey .... production secretary
Bill McLaren .... production assistant
Brian McMillan .... head animal trainer
Leigh A. Miller .... production coordinator
Carlos Montaner .... production assistant
Nancy Beth Orr .... choreographer
Sharon Perl-Collins .... production controller (as Sharon Perl)
Michael Peters .... choreographer
Josephine Powell .... consultant to producer
Luke Reichle .... production assistant
Seth Riggs .... voice coach
Lolita Ritmanis .... additional arrangement
Eric Roberts .... craft service
Judith Saunders .... script supervisor
Debra Scott .... assistant: Mr. Reuther
Diane Seniw .... assistant production accountant (as Diane M. Seniw)
James D. Solomon .... associate: Arne Glimcher
Karen White .... location manager
Nancy Willen .... unit publicist
Dominic Marcus .... adr supporting artist (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sensuality
104 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Warner Bros. wanted Jeremy Irons and Ray Liotta for the roles of Cesar and Nestor. Irons screen tested with Antonio Banderas. But Arne Glimcher fought for Armand Assante and Banderas whom he felt were perfect for the roles.See more »
Anachronisms: When the Castillo brothers first approach New York City in the early 1950s, you can see the World Trade Center towers in the skyline. The towers weren't built until the early 1970s.See more »
Cesar Castillo:In the name of the Mambo, the Rumba, and the Cha cha cha.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Class Act (1992)See more »
Sh-BoomSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A melodrama but a superior one, 25 October 2006
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

When Cesar that his brother's woman married another man to save Nestor from being murdered, he decides that the time is right for them to leave Cuba and seek out their fortune in America. Arriving in a rainy New York, their relatives and friends already in NY scoff at suggestions that the brothers will walk straight into a downtown club with their music, however when Cesar is invited onto stage with Tito Puente at one such club, things look positive until a shooting spoils it all. As Cesar continues to chase his dream in his own way, Nestor finds himself dragged along, perhaps at the expense of his own dream desires.

Although I personally felt that the narrative could have been deeper and the characterisation more detailed, this film is lifted by the sense of place and period that delivers a glut of passion that runs across the whole film. Although it helps if you actually like the music and the culture, this energy is used well to help raise the material, which could easily have lapsed into soapy daytime melodrama. This is not to say that it doesn't do this occasionally but the film caught me up well to the point where I was engaged by their drama even while knowing it was a bit sentimental and (occasionally) contrived. Those happy to work at the melodrama level will easily enjoy this though because it is a superior example of that "genre" and Glimcher has done a good job of delivering the plot in a serious fashion.

Of course it helps that the main actors are so strong. Assante dominates the film simply because his character dominates his brother. He is full of fire and passion and he delivers the goods in a convincing way. However the more impressive performance is from Banderas. Although a more subtle character, the lack of English meant that he was delivering everything phonetically. I could not be convincing on screen in my own tongue so I can only imagine the challenge of delivering the dialogue while also being convincing emotionally. He nails it though. The two men also work well together and have a natural chemistry that was necessary to make convincing brothers. They own the film and support from Moriarty, Detmers and others never threatens them, although it is cool to have a cameo from Puente.

Overall then this is an enjoyable and energetic melodrama. It occasionally gets a bit too soapy but generally it is kept above this level – mainly thanks to impassioned delivery from Assante and Banderas. Some viewers will be turned off by it for what it is but for a melodrama it was surprisingly good.

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See more (30 total) »

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very, very underrated brasnyo
Movie vs Soundtrack michaelmaison
Phonetically Amry0217
Why Is This Movie Not On DVD? amovielover
The Book Nestor was reading? beckyp23
Weak adaptation of a brilliant novel dw002m
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