6.9/10
26,227
75 user 24 critic

La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 July 1987 (USA)
Trailer
1:42 | Trailer
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
1,048 ( 1,592)
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
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
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
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
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
Mi vida loca (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Mousie and Sad Girl are childhood best friends in a contemporary Los Angeles poor Hispanic neighborhood. But when Sad Girl becomes pregnant by Mousie's boyfriend, a drug dealer named ... See full summary »

Director: Allison Anders
Stars: Angel Aviles, Seidy Lopez, Jacob Vargas
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
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
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
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
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

Ritchie Valens' family were so attached to Lou Diamond Phillips that when he was shooting the scene where Valens gets on the airplane that led him to his death, the family begged Phillips not to get on, fearing that he would die. The family was warned not to come to the filming the day that they filmed him getting on the plane but his sister ignored this and drove up to the set anyways. She cried, hugged him and begged him not to get on the plane See more »

Goofs

After the concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Buddy Holly announces that the next stop is Fargo, North Dakota. In fact, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were headed to Morehead, Minnesota. Waylon Jennings and Tommy Alsop went to Fargo. See more »

Quotes

Ted Quillen: Your wife's pregnant and in the car with you?
Bob Morales: [on phone] She's in the car right now!
Ted Quillen: [pause] And what kind of car do you have?
Bob Morales: [on phone] A Rolls Royce!
[Maniacal laughter]
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 Jeopardy!: Episode #26.182 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Do You Love
Performed by Bo Diddley
Produced by Willie Dixon
Words & Music by Bo Diddley (as E. McDaniel)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
I was surprised by the "generation gap" in the audience.
22 April 2000 | by Baxter-5See all my reviews

I was a Junior in High School the "day the music died" so I knew how this movie would end going in. I saw the movie in theatrical release in 1987. In the row in front of me was a group of 14-year-old girls. It was apparent that they did not begin to guess the ending until the Beechcraft was rolling down the runway at Mason City.

There may have been some "Hollywood" to this version of Valen's life, but overall it was a very well done Bio. Lou Daimond Phillips is actually better looking than Valens, but he was convincing in the role. Joe Pantoliano is often overlooked, but I think his "Bob Keene" was also strong.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 75 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



Recently Viewed