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Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

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Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

Wim Wenders (by), Nick Gold (original concept)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Compay Segundo ... Himself
Eliades Ochoa ... Himself
Ry Cooder ... Himself
Joachim Cooder Joachim Cooder ... Himself
Ibrahim Ferrer ... Himself
Omara Portuondo ... Herself
Rubén González Rubén González ... Himself
Orlando 'Cachaíto' López ... Himself
Amadito Valdés Amadito Valdés ... Himself
Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal ... Himself
Barbarito Torres ... Himself
Pío Leyva Pío Leyva ... Himself
Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea ... Himself
Juan de Marcos González Juan de Marcos González ... Himself
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Storyline

A group of legendary Cuban musicians, some as old as their nineties, were brought together by Ry Cooder to record a CD. In this film, we see and hear some of the songs being recorded in Havana. There is also footage from concerts in Amsterdam and New York City's Carnegie Hall. In addition, many of the individual musicians talk about their lives in Cuba and about how they got started in music. Written by George S. Davis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cuba | song | concert | singer | guitar | See All (13) »

Taglines:

In Havana, music isn't a pastime, it's a way of life. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

Germany | USA | UK | France | Cuba

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Havana Rhapsody See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$127,370, 6 June 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,997,620, 30 January 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Buena Vista Social Club album was put together by guitarist Ry Cooder in 1997 as a means of recapturing the "lost" music of pre-revolutionary Havana. The story was later made into this movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jack Black/The Strokes (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Guateque Campesino
Written by Celia Romero
See more »

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User Reviews

Lovely Film -- but...
14 January 2000 | by Fantomas-6See all my reviews

I just got to see this on video last night. It's a lovely film, and the protagonists are memorable. My one problem, however, is with Ry Cooder. Don't misunderstand my admiration for Cooder's past work. He's an original, often evocative guitarist and composer. I just felt that his additions to these recordings -- both in the studio and in their concert versions -- were intrusive at the least. That wailing slide guitar just about ruined some great songs. I'm surprised the gentlemen and ladies of the band didn't say anything. It was a relief when he sat out of a performance. I really wanted to jump into the film, tap him on the shoulder and ask him to put down his guitar and just sit behind the mixing board!

OK. That's my rant. This is an impressive and lovely film.

If you have a chance, track down 1997's Black Tears (lagrimas Negras).


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