6.9/10
25,713
72 user 24 critic

La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 July 1987 (USA)
Trailer
1:42 | Trailer

Watch for Free

on IMDb TV

ON DISC
ALL
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.

Director:

Luis Valdez

Writer:

Luis Valdez
Reviews
Popularity
3,144 ( 317)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Selena (1997)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts.

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Jon Seda
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.

Director: Steve Rash
Stars: Gary Busey, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.

Director: Ramón Menéndez
Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

La Bamba 2: Hell is a Drag is a camp / sci-fi / horror, parody sequel to the 1987 film La Bamba [the biopic of Chicano rock n' roll star Ritchie Valens]. The film is set in 2059, 100 years ... See full summary »

Director: Rob Fatal
Stars: Jiz Lee, Rob Fatal, Alex Hernandez
My Family (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man makes his way from Mexico to L.A. in the 1920s, gets married and raises a big family there. The movie follows the children until they, too, get married and have children in the 1960s.

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Edward James Olmos
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The life and career of wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis.

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe
Young Guns (1988)
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips
Lean on Me (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school and he is determined to improve by any and all means.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Robert Guillaume
American Me (1992)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle.

Director: Edward James Olmos
Stars: Edward James Olmos, William Forsythe, Sal Lopez
The Principal (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A teacher is assigned to be the principal of a violent and crime-ridden high school.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: Jim Belushi, Louis Gossett Jr., Rae Dawn Chong
The Ritchie Valens Story (TV Movie 2002)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Biography of 1950s rock singer Ritchie Valens, the first Hispanic rock star, covering his career and the aftermath of his death in a plane crash. Included is footage from his performances and interviews with friends, family and colleagues.

Stars: Carl Bunch, Bob Hale, Bob Keane
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on step-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Damian Chapa, Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Diamond Phillips ... Ritchie Valens
Esai Morales ... Bob Morales
Rosanna DeSoto ... Connie Valenzuela (as Rosana De Soto)
Elizabeth Peña ... Rosie Morales
Danielle von Zerneck ... Donna Ludwig
Joe Pantoliano ... Bob Keane
Rick Dees ... Ted Quillin
Marshall Crenshaw Marshall Crenshaw ... Buddy Holly
Howard Huntsberry Howard Huntsberry ... Jackie Wilson
Brian Setzer ... Eddie Cochran
Daniel Valdez Daniel Valdez ... Lelo
Felipe Cantu Felipe Cantu ... Curandero
Eddie Frias Eddie Frias ... Chino
Mike Moroff ... Mexican Ed
Geoffrey Rivas ... Rudy
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 July 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Let's Go See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,651,990, 26 July 1987

Gross USA:

$54,215,416

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,215,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Many family members from the production team, and Luis Valdez's and the Valenzuela family, appear in this film. 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

Ritchie Valens: Is there someplace where we can talk?
Donna Ludwig: Now's not a very good time.
Ritchie Valens: Okay, let's not beat around the bush, kid, are you seeing other guys?
Donna Ludwig: Yeah! I've been out a few times. What's wrong with that?
Ritchie Valens: You're my girl!
Donna Ludwig: And when am I suppose to see you? I can't keep tagging along with all of your appearances, I mean, all those other girls...
Ritchie Valens: I don't care about all those other girls!
Donna Ludwig: What am I suppose to do?
Ritchie Valens: Do you want to break it off?
Donna Ludwig: I don't know what I want... anymore.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

When the movie was originally released, the second half of the end credits detailing all the musical numbers, was originally shown in silence. On the DVD version as well as all broadcasts since the DVD release, the music credits scroll with "Come On Let's Go" playing in the background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Andy Samberg/St. Vincent (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Donna
Words & Music by Ritchie Valens
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records
Produced by Steve Berlin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Fairy Tale With a Tragic End
24 February 2004 | by claudio_carvalhoSee 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'


23 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 72 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed