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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
3,632 ( 1,038)
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:

The electrifying 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the repeating plane crash dream of the 1957, one of the planes is a Beechcraft Bonanza Model 35 V tail. This is the type plane that Richie actually crashed in on Feb. 3, 1959. The actual planes in the 1957 crash were a DC7B and a F89 jet. See more »

Goofs

When Ritchie's mom is on the truck PA, announcing the upcoming dance, she advertises Richard Valenzuela and his flying guitar and then incorrectly repeats the message in Spanish. She says "Ricardo Valenzuela y su flying guitar" but she should have said "Ricardo Valenzuela y su guitarra voladora". See more »

Quotes

Rosie Morales: He doesn't want a wife. He wants a love slave, one that he can kick around.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in 1988 MTV Video Music Awards (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Rip It Up
Words & Music by John Marascalco & Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as Robert A. Blackwell)
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records
Produced by Steve Berlin
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User Reviews

 
"La Bamba" is an excellent star vehicle for revealing late Ritchie Valens' musical genius
8 January 2009 | by FilmCriticLalitRaoSee all my reviews

In the history of Hollywood cinema,musicals have always played an important role."La Bamba" is one of those rare,well made musicals which depict the cause of the rising popularity of Latino music.All credit for this film's success must go to its creators such as director Luis Valdez,famous musicians Carlos Santana and Los Lobos and amazing actors Esai Morales and Lou Diamond Philips who plays "once in a lifetime role" of a talented rock musician named Ritchie Valens who left for heavenly abode at a young age.This film provides for an interesting viewing experience as we get mesmerized by its diverse themes which range from family drama,gentle romance,sibling rivalry and soothing music.La Bamba has enough material in the form of social message too.We learn from this film that true brothers are always made for each other as they understand each other's joys and pains.It is said that talent never goes undetected.This is shown candidly as young Ritchie Valens succeeds only due to his natural ability to perform beautiful songs."La Bamba" is a film for all those admirers of good cinema who would like to see a musical film.


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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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