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La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 July 1987 (USA)
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Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

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3,246 ( 466)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ritchie Valens
... Bob Morales
... Connie Valenzuela (as Rosana De Soto)
... Rosie Morales
... Donna Ludwig
... Bob Keane
... Ted Quillin
Marshall Crenshaw ... Buddy Holly
Howard Huntsberry ... Jackie Wilson
... Eddie Cochran
Daniel Valdez ... Lelo
Felipe Cantu ... Curandero
Eddie Frias ... Chino
... Mexican Ed
... Rudy
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Storyline

This is the true story of Ritchie Valens, a young rock and roll singer who tragically died in a plane crash at age 17. The film follows Ritchie from his days in Pacoima, California where he and his family make a meager living working on farms to his rise as a star. The film also focuses on Ritchie's friendship and rivalry with his older brother Bob Morales and his relationship with Donna Ludwig, his girlfriend. Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Born to poverty. Destined for stardom. He lived the American Dream. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 July 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Let's Go  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,651,990, 26 July 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$54,215,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The patch on Bob's vest is that of the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club. In 1947, Galloping Goose was one of many clubs that came to Hollister, California during the AMA Gypsy Tour motorcycle rally, which led to a riot. Galloping Goose, with just over a dozen members, was there by invitation. See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

[Bartender shuts the T.V]
Bob Morales: Hey, what the hell! Man I was watching that! Put that back on!
Bartender: You've had enough for one afternoon, buddy.
Bob Morales: Put it back on! That dude's my brother!
Bartender: Yeah and I'm your Irish uncle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Caption starting off the music credits: "We greatfully acknowledge the help and support of the Valenzuela family". See more »


Soundtracks

This I Swear
Performed by The Skyliners
Courtesy of Original Sound Entertainment
Words & Music by Joseph Rock, Lennie Martin, James Beaumont, Janet Vogel, Joseph Verscharen,
Walter Lester & John Taylor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fairy Tale With a Tragic End
24 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

Ritchie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) is a very poor Mexican-American living with his family in a slum in Paicoma, California. When he is sixteen years old, his half-brother Bob Morales (Esai Morales) is released from the jail and comes back home, bringing money enough for the family to move from the slums to a humble house in a better place. Ritchie goes to the nearby high-school, where he falls in love for Donna (Danielle von Zerneck). Donna, together with his mother Connie Valenzuela (Rosanna DeSoto), his family and his guitar, are the passions of Ritchie. Bob Keene (Joe Pantoliano), president of Del-Fi Records in Hollywood, invites Ritchie to record a single and offers him a recording contract. His first single (`Come On Let's Go') is a great success, and Bob Keene becomes Ritchie's manager. The next songs (`Donna' and `La Bamba') are also very successful and Ritchie Valens becomes famous, earning lots of money. While traveling making shows along USA, he decides to accept an invitation of Buddy Holly to fly back home. A tragic plane crash on 03 Feb 1959 ends the life of this promising seventeen years old singer, along with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. The dramatization of Ritchie Valens' life is presented like a soap-opera, full of beautiful songs, and it is very pleasant to watch this film. Lou Diamond Phillips has (maybe) his best performance as actor, but Esai Morales is wonderful as his big brother. The touching story looks like a fairy tale, having a tragic end. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `La Bamba'


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