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El cantante (2006)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  3 August 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 3,958 users   Metascore: 46/100
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The life story of Hector Lavoe who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as David Darmstaedter) , 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jared Everleth ...
Tito (4 yrs.)
Bernard Hernandez ...
Tito (7 yrs.)
Christopher Becerra ...
Tito (12-15 yrs.)
Ismael Miranda ...
Hector's Father
Tito Allen ...


The rise and fall of salsa singer, Héctor Lavoe (1946-1993), as told from the perspective of his wife Puchi, who looks back from 2002. In the early 1960s, Héctor arrives in New York from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Success comes quickly. "The more he grew as an artist," Puchi says, "the more he sank as a person." It's a tale of talent - creating salsa with Willie Colón, with the Fania All Stars, and as a soloist - and a story of disintegration - fueled by drugs, alcohol, partying, and depression. Puchi's voice - proud and querulous - dominates off-stage as Héctor's does on. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America discovered him. One woman understood him. But no one could save him from himself.... See more »


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, pervasive language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Who Killed Hector Lavoe?  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,202,035 (USA) (3 August 2007)


$7,556,004 (USA) (28 September 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the DVD commentary, the film was shot in only 33 days. See more »


In the scene where Hector Perez signs his contract with Jerry Masucci, and is given the name Hector La Voe. Willie Colon is standing behind him. On the wall behind Willie is a framed album cover of "The Hustler", the second album they made together. At this point in the story they have not yet recorded together. See more »


Priest: Do you, Hector...
Puchi: He does. Hector, say I do.
Hector Lavoe: [groggily] I do.
Priest: Puchi...
Puchi: I do.
[looks around menancingly]
Puchi: Anybody object?
See more »


Referenced in The Sound and the Heat of El Cantante (2007) See more »


El Cantante
Written by Rubén Blades
Performed by Marc Anthony
Published by Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing (ASCAP) obo Ruben Blades Publishing (ASCAP)
Acoustic Version by Victor Manuelle
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the top five movies of 2006
13 September 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Quite true to the actual events of Hector Lavoe's life, the acting and direction of El Cantante are top notch. Jennifer Lopez probably gives the finest performance of her career, while Mark Anthony without a doubt deserves an Oscar for his star role. I saw this film on Sept. 12/2006 at the Toronto International Film Festival and Jennifer and Mark's presence overshadowed the film itself. However as a stand alone film, it is excellent and my only criticism would be the editing, the cinematography and some of the subtitles which were quite different from what the actors were actually saying. The cinematography seemed quite Schizophrenic at times, while the editing was occasionally shaky. Leon Ichaso has done an excellent job as usual in the direction of El Cantante and while this may be a somewhat low budget film, it is a high caliber production. The music, locales and wardrobe are outstanding as well. While some may dismiss this as a husband and wife chance to work together, given a chance, El Cantante is an excellent film quite able to fight for its chance at a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

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