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El cantante (2006)

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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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the true story of the King of Salsa, Hector Lavoe. 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?


During Filming a fire broke out in Jennifer Lopez's trailer though no-one was injured. 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 »


Puchi: Hector never knew how much people loved him. And that's the thing. It's like he didn't want to know.
See more »


Referenced in Psych: Six Feet Under the Sea (2009) See more »


Catalina La O
Written by Johnny Ortiz
Performed by Pete 'El Conde' Rodriguez
Published by Fania Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Emusica Records, LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

A music movie that is not perfect, but a must for music fans
3 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sure, this movie is not perfect. But the fact that it is a snap shot of the glorious high point of SALSA, makes it something special. The story is sad and clichéd, but the excitement of seeing Mark Anthony on the screen is real. Jennifer adds pathos, and really does quite well as the framer of the plot. But the movie wouldn't have been made with Mark Anthony as the center of the film. Then it would have been a concert movie, not a dramatic work. He is a stunning and unbelievable musical talent, and the form of the film is a classic one, where a great singer gets to make a movie. If you compare it to all the other films where this was done (think Elvis), this film far surpasses all of them. But the whole point of the movie is Mr. Anthony's dream,,,to show how a wonderful moment in musical history unfolded and sadly came to an end. This is a story beyond the life of Hector, and one that is classic in illustrating the rise and fall of popular music and culture. The great artists in our pop culture only have a short life before they are destroyed by a society and media that eats its young. If you love music, Latin culture, and reliving the 70's and 80's, this is a movie you will not soon forget. Viva!

14 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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