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
4,322 ( 2,640)
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:

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second role of a music manager that Joe Pantoliano has played. He played band manager Doc Robbins in Eddie and the Cruisers in 1983. See more »

Goofs

When Ritchie Valens appeared on American Bandstand: Episode #2.26 of American Bandstand in October 1958, he sang "Come On, Let's Go", not "Donna" as shown in the movie. 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

Crying, Waiting, Hoping
Performed by Marshall Crenshaw
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Garry Tallent & Marshall Crenshaw
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User Reviews

a great movie for rock & roll fans
13 April 1999 | by cbsolsonSee all my reviews

This movie is a must see if you are a rock and roll fan. There is great acting and great music. If you grew up with early rock & roll, this movie will give you memories. If not, it will help you learn about one of the most influential rock stars ever. This is a must see as it is a lot more accurate than The Buddy Holly Story although not 100% accurate.


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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