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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.

Director:

Luis Valdez

Writer:

Luis Valdez
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Popularity
4,042 ( 484)
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 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:

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 »
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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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rosanna DeSoto is 12 years older than Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales, who played her sons in the film. See more »

Goofs

Carroll Anderson, the manager of the Surf Ballroom, drove Holly, Valens, and Richardson to the Mason City Municipal Airport. They did not arrive in a taxi as depicted in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Connie Valenzuela: How could you do this to Ritchie!
Bob Morales: To Ritchie? I did this to me, okay!
Rosie Morales: That's my Bob, always thinking of others first.
Bob Morales: Shut your goddamn mouth!
Ritchie Valens: Hey man, don't take it out on Rosie, okay.
Bob Morales: Ritchie, you don't understand man. You don't understand a goddamn thing!
[walking Away]
Bob Morales: What do you think, the whole fuckin' world revolves around you!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in You're the Worst: Worldstar! (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Abuelitos Cortos
Performed by Los Lobos
Written by Los Lobos
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Esai Morales steals the show
6 July 2002 | by Riff98See all my reviews

Esai Morales gives the best performance of his career in this 1987 movie about Hall of Fame rock and roller Ritchie Valens, who was tragically killed in a plane crash at the age of 17 with the big bopper and Buddy Holly on February 3, 1959. Morales plays Bob Morales, the half brother of Ritchie. Bob is a drunk who feels as if he is in the shadow of Ritchie due to Ritchie's musical talent and success. In fact if I didn't know better you might think the movie is about Bob. He was in the movie a ton. Lou Diamond Phillips does a good job of portraying Ritchie. I would definitely suggest that you watch this movie. It has a ton of great music and like I said before Morales is awesome in this movie.


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