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
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Popularity
4,670 ( 553)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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 ... Lelo
Felipe Cantu Felipe Cantu ... Curandero
Eddie Frias Eddie Frias ... Chino
Mike Moroff ... Mexican Ed
Geoffrey Rivas ... 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:

The true story of Richie Valens. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly died in a plane crash on February 3rd, 1959, while on tour in Iowa. See more »

Goofs

When Bob takes Ritchie to the brothel, Ritchie chooses to relish the music rather than the women. Bob is left with the women and as Ritchie approaches the stage, you can see Bob in the background putting his arms around a woman. In the next shot, Bob is just approaching the same woman. See more »

Quotes

Bob Morales: Look Rosie, you're not my wife. Quit being such a drag. What the shit's eating you anyway?
Rosie Morales: I'm pregnant.
Rosie Morales: Well aren't you gonna say anything?
Bob Morales: What's there to say? It's not my first. Or my last.
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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 »


Soundtracks

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Performed by The Platters
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Projects, a division of PolyGram Records, Inc.
Words & Music by Jerome Kern & Otto A. Harbach (as Otto Harbach)
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User Reviews

 
Oh,what could have been
16 April 2002 | by SmileysWorldSee all my reviews

Ritchie Valens was a young,vibrant rock and roll star.At 17,he could already write songs,sing,and was an absolute wizard with a guitar.I'm too young to remember the real Valens,but when I think of him,as well as other stars who died tragically young,I can't help but wonder what might have been.This young man was only getting started in his stardom when he was cut down all too soon in the same plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.This film did a great job of bringing the legend of Valens back to life if only for a couple of hours.Lou Diamond Phillips gave the performance of his career here,as Valens,even though he didn't really look much like the real man in my opinion.Being the role he is best known for,I'm sure it is also one he has tried to escape from in the 15 years since its' release.As far as historical accuracy,I have heard discrepancies as to how the story really went,but you know Hollywood,things always have to be spiced up just a little.Overall,this movie is great fun,especially for old rock and roll enthusiasts such as myself.Thumbs up!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 July 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Let's Go See more »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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