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

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The Mambo Kings -- Antonio Banderas co-stars with Armand Assante in this romantic, music-filled epic of two Cuban brothers who come to New York City during the mambo craze of the 1950s.
The Mambo Kings -- Open-ended Trailer from Warner Brothers Pictures


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6.4/10   4,152 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 7% 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:
overlooked and underrated See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Pablo Calogero ... Ramon - The Mambo Kings Band

Scott Cohen ... Bernardito - The Mambo Kings Band
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
J.T. Taylor ... Frankie Suarez - The Mambo Kings Band
William Thomas Jr. ... Xavier - The Mambo Kings Band

Yul Vazquez ... Flaco - The Mambo Kings Band

Armand Assante ... Cesar Castillo

Antonio Banderas ... Nestor Castillo

Cathy Moriarty ... Lanna Lake
Maruschka Detmers ... Delores Fuentes

Desi Arnaz Jr. ... Desi Arnaz Sr.

Celia Cruz ... Evalina Montoya

Roscoe Lee Browne ... Fernando Perez

Vondie Curtis-Hall ... Miguel Montoya

Tito Puente ... Tito Puente

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
Daniel W. Blaha .... propmaker
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
Harry Higgins .... machine room supervisor
Scott Jacobs .... boom operator
Neil L. Kaufman .... sound editor
Kerry Kelley .... machine room supervisor
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
Black and White (flashback scene to childhood) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Because of his commitment to this film, Antonio Banderas had to pass on working with his mentor Pedro Almodóvar for the sixth time on High Heels (1991). The pair did not work together again for nearly 20 years; when they reunited for The Skin I Live In (2011).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 »
Anna Maria:He thinks he's the last Coca Cola in the desert.
Lanna Lake:Honey, he is.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Mucho CorazónSee more »


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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
overlooked and underrated, 25 October 2003
Author: jimi99 from denver

Regarding the recent death of Latin superstar Celia Cruz, I was surprised by the lack of mention of her role in this film in the various obituaries and tributes I read. I don't know if she made movies in Cuba, but she was not only a powerful positive musical presence in "The Mambo Kings" but her character acting was outstanding and very charming. If you don't know anything about her and want to get an idea of who Celia Cruz was, see this movie.

And that is far from the only reason to do so. This is one of my favorite romantic films for adults, as opposed to the juvenile and/or formulaic fare that passes for romance in American cinema. Armand Assante should have been at least nominated for best actor that year, he is so strong and yet vulnerable and lovable as the big brother with a powerful code of honor to his art and his family. The other kid, who has gone on to bigger and not necessarily better things, is also fine, considering his well-publicized effort to deliver his lines phonetically, since he did not speak English at the time. (No, I'm not forgetting his earlier fine contributions to several Almodovar films.)

OK, Roscoe Lee Browne and Cathy Moriarty were a bit miscast, but what about the stroke of genius to have Desi Arnaz Jr play his father? The whole "I Love Lucy" segment of the film, while somewhat contrived in its importance to the story, is funny, well-done, and helps to bring the whole Cuban-American experience in New York into sharper focus, with the portrayal of Arnaz as both a superstar idol and a man very close to his roots.

The music is fabulous, both the use of classic Cuban tracks and new music recorded for the film. Among the latter, "Sweet Maria of my Soul," the theme song performed by both Antonio Banderas in the film and Los Lobos over the end credits, was nominated for Best Song but was beat out by some plastic Disney tune. It is so organic, so romantic and soulful, it should be a classic movie song for the ages. Well, it will be for me...

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