6.8/10
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64 user 21 critic

La Bamba (1987)

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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
4,631 ( 122)
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:

Talent made him a star, fate made him a legend. The true story of Ritchie Valens. 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

Original title was "Let's Go". See more »

Goofs

While the scene is true about the coin toss between Ritchie and a member of Buddy's band, Ritchie Valens was not sick as seen in the movie. The Big Bopper was. He begged Holly's band mate (and future country music star) Waylon Jennings for the chance to ride on the plane because he was coming down with the flu. The coin toss took place between Ritchie Valens and Tommy Allsup. 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 »

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 Bones: The Maggots in the Meathead (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

We Belong Together
Words & Music by Hy Weiss (as S. Weiss), Robert Carr (as R. Carr) & Johnny Mitchell (as J. Mitchell)
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records
Produced by Steve Berlin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A movie very dear to me
31 July 2001 | by TherodSee all my reviews

I must say I am very disappointed in the people slamming this movie. While they are certainly entitled to their opinion, I think if they watched the movie again without an open mind, they would come to love it as I have.

I can't even begin to describe the pure quality of this movie. Absorbing story, believable, sympathetic characters, pathos, bathos, all the makings of a thought-provoking movie. Personally, there are two quintessential rock and roll movies: "The Doors," and "La Bamba."

For a good cry and a good time, check out this movie. You don't even have to be a fan of Valens or a fan of 50's music to fall in love with it.


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