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El cantante (2006)

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The life story of Hector Lavoe who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States.

Director:

Leon Ichaso

Writers:

Leon Ichaso (screenplay), David Darmstaeder (screenplay) (as David Darmstaedter) | 3 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marc Anthony ... Hector Lavoe
Jennifer Lopez ... Puchi
John Ortiz ... Willie Colon
Manny Perez ... Eddie
Vincent Laresca ... Ralph
Federico Castelluccio ... Jerry Masucci
Nelson Vasquez ... Johnny Pacheco
Antone Pagán ... Papo (as Antone Pagan)
Romi Dias ... Priscilla
Jared Everleth Jared Everleth ... Tito (4 yrs.)
Bernard Hernandez Bernard Hernandez ... Tito (7 yrs.)
Christopher Becerra Christopher Becerra ... Tito (12-15 yrs.)
Andrea Navedo ... Zaida
Ismael Miranda Ismael Miranda ... Hector's Father
Tito Allen Tito Allen ... Singer
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Storyline

The rise and fall of salsa singer, Héctor Lavoe (1946-1993), as told from the perspective of his wife Puchi, who looks back from 2002. In the early 1960s, Héctor arrives in New York from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Success comes quickly. "The more he grew as an artist," Puchi says, "the more he sank as a person." It's a tale of talent - creating salsa with Willie Colón, with the Fania All Stars, and as a soloist - and a story of disintegration - fueled by drugs, alcohol, partying, and depression. Puchi's voice - proud and querulous - dominates off-stage as Héctor's does on. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story of the King of Salsa, Hector Lavoe. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, pervasive language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

3 August 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Who Killed Hector Lavoe? See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,202,035, 5 August 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,556,004, 30 September 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to the DVD commentary, the film was shot in only 33 days. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Hector Perez signs his contract with Jerry Masucci, and is given the name Hector La Voe. Willie Colon is standing behind him. On the wall behind Willie is a framed album cover of "The Hustler", the second album they made together. At this point in the story they have not yet recorded together. See more »

Quotes

Priscilla: [referring to Puerto Rico] Where were you raised on the island?
Puchi: Oh, um, no. THIS island.
Priscilla: Here?
Puchi: Right here. I don't even remember what a palm tree looks like.
Hector Lavoe: It doesn't matter where she was raised, cause she got me now. Palm trees, beaches, pork hash, in person. It's like Berlitz dining.
Puchi: Maybe, uh, one day I'll get back to Puerto Rico. I get there.
Hector Lavoe: What did I say? You're there. Next, you meet my father. He thinks he owns the island.
Priscilla: We're from Ponce. All of our family still lives there. Hector ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Six Feet Under the Sea (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Ahi Viene
Music & Lyrics by Iris Chacón
Performed by Iris Chacón
Courtesy of Farris, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hector Lavoe's life on the big screen
5 August 2007 | by LamontSmithSee all my reviews

I knew very little about Hector Lavoe or his music before seeing this film and I must admit that apart from knowing a few of his songs, I still can't say that I know the man or why he was the way he was. The film almost glorified his tragic lifestyle and choices but gave us no real insight into what motivated the man.

I take the film 'Ray' as an example. We go deep into Ray's childhood to understand why he does what he does, positive and negative, and why he thinks and feels the way he does. We never see Hector as a child, I don't know what happened to his mother and never get a sense of the relationship between him and his father.

Honestly, and sadly, this film doesn't make me see Hector Lavoe the man or the even Hector Lavoe, the musical genius. From the first sequence, this film was about a drug addict who also sang who was named Hector Lavoe.

I think he deserved more than that.

With that said, the music is very well done and there were flashes of brilliance but there was too much quick cutting and jumping away from dramatic moments. It's fine if you wanted the music sequences to be fast paced but even dramatic moments were rushed along and stylized to the point of taking me out of the film.

Good film but poorly directed and not a classic which, like I said, Hector deserved better. He deserved the full 'Ray' treatment of this being a shining testament to his genius and not a movie about Puchi's husband.


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