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La Bamba
     

La Bamba

3.6 6
Director: Luis Valdez

Cast: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna de Soto

 

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Lou Diamond Phillips plays legendary 1950s rocker Ritchie Valens (born Ricardo Valenzuela), in this musical biography. Before scoring radio and concert success with hits like "La Bamba," "C'mon Let's Go," and "Donna," Valens was a 15-year-old migrant worker who worked with his mother Connie (Rosana De Soto). Valens' half-brother Bob Morales (Esai Morales) is a

Overview

Lou Diamond Phillips plays legendary 1950s rocker Ritchie Valens (born Ricardo Valenzuela), in this musical biography. Before scoring radio and concert success with hits like "La Bamba," "C'mon Let's Go," and "Donna," Valens was a 15-year-old migrant worker who worked with his mother Connie (Rosana De Soto). Valens' half-brother Bob Morales (Esai Morales) is a vitriolic ex-con who roars into the migrant camp on his Harley after his release from jail. Valens' musical talents are encouraged by his family -- though later various members of his family react to his fame with varying degrees of pride and envy -- and he soon earns an audition with legendary record producer and former Artie Shaw clarinet player Bob Keane (Joe Pantoliano). Valens soon appears in an Alan Freed rock n' roll teen exploitation film, lip-synching his blistering recorded version of "Ooh, My Head." When a romance with Donna Ludwig (Danielle von Zerneck) is forbidden by her conservative father, Valens pens the famous ballad that bears her name. Tours follow his chart success until the fatal plane crash that claimed the lives of Valens, The Big Bopper (aka J.P. Richardson), and Buddy Holly on February 3rd, 1959. The supporting cast is excellent with power-pop icon Marshall Crenshaw playing Buddy Holly singing "Crying, Waiting, Hoping." Brian Setzer accurately portrays rocker Eddie Cochran, and Howard Hunstberry plays Jackie Wilson and sings "Lonely Teardrops." Additional music is provided by Los Lobos, a band who traces their musical roots directly to Valens and other Mexican influences. Also making cameo appearances are the real-life Mrs. Connie Valenzuela and Bob Morales. Although not 100% historically accurate, La Bamba is much more accurate than 1978s The Buddy Holly Story. The feature turned a new generation on to the influential Tex-Mex rock that was an inspiration to such later rockers as The Bobby Fuller Four as well as Los Lobos.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A somewhat syrupy rendering of real-life rags-to-riches rock and roller Ritchie Valens, La Bamba is both heartwarming and tragic. Lou Diamond-Phillips gives an energetic performance as the Mexican-American Valens; his acclaimed work in the film ultimately proved a double-edged sword, as the actor was largely unable to eclipse this performance in subsequent films. La Bamba's script extrapolates freely from the actual life and events surrounding Valens, but the end result is a pretty sound story that makes for a solid film. The music, provided primarily by Mexican-American rockers Los Lobos, helped their re-make of "La Bamba" chart on Billboard thirty-odd years after its initial release. Supporting performances by Marshall Crenshaw as Buddy Holly and Brian Setzer as Eddie Cochran lend the film even greater rock and roll credibility. The story that ended tragically in a plane crash claiming the lives of Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly informed a new generation of their legacy and was a hit at the box office.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/06/1999
UPC:
0043396031791
Original Release:
1987
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Sony Pictures

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lou Diamond Phillips Ritchie Valens
Esai Morales Bob Morales
Rosanna de Soto Connie Valenzuela
Elizabeth Peña Rosie Morales
Danielle von Zerneck Donna Ludwig
Joe Pantoliano Bob Keene
Marshall Crenshaw Buddy Holly
Rick Dees Ted Quillin
Howard Huntsberry Jackie WIlson
Brian Setzer Eddie Cochran
Daniel Valdez Lelo
Connie Alvarez Farm Worker
Junie Lowry-Johnson Actor
Bob Morales Actor
Irma Valcorta Farm Worker
Mrs. Connie Valenzuela Actor
Eddie Frias Chino
Mike Moroff Mexican Ed
Geoffrey Rivas Rudy
Sam Anderson Mr. Ludwig
Maggie Gwinn Mrs. Ludwig
Jeffrey Alan Chandler Alan Freed
Stephen Lee Big Bopper
John Quade Bartender
Diane Rodriguez Ernestine
Ernesto Hernandez Garbage Man
Noble Willingham Howard
Kim Sebastian Donna's Girlfriend
Dyana Ortelli Donna's Girlfriend
Tony Genaro Mr. Caballero
Allison Robinson Girl at Party

Technical Credits
Luis Valdez Director,Screenwriter
Adam Greenberg Cinematographer
Stuart Benjamin Executive Producer
Alan C. Blomquist Production Designer
Bill Borden Producer
Rosemary Brandenberg Set Decoration/Design
Don Brochu Editor
Vince Cresciman Production Designer
Miles Goodman Score Composer
Taylor Hackford Producer
Warren Hamilton Sound Editor
Sheldon Kahn Editor
Lobos Score Composer
Carlos Santana Score Composer,Songwriter
Curt Sobel Score Composer
Susumu Tokunow Sound/Sound Designer
Daniel Valdez Associate Producer
Sylvia Vega-Vasquez Costumes/Costume Designer

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La Bamba 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
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