The Mambo Kings (1992)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

New York art dealer Arne Glimcher took his first crack at film directing with this florid, high-energy romance about two brothers who flee Cuba in the early 1950s to make it as musicians in the United States. Cynthia Cidre wrote the literate screenplay adapted from Oscar Hijuelos's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Cesar (Armand Assante) and Nestor Castillo (Antonio Banderas) are popular musicians on Havana's club circuit, but when they make enemies of the wrong … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Art House & International
Directed By: ,
Written By: Cynthia Cidre
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 16, 2005
Warner Bros. Pictures


as Cesar Castillo

as Nestor Castillo

as Desi Arnaz, Sr.

as Evalina

as Himself

as Maria

as Fernando Perez

as Ismelda Perez

as Mrs Shannon

as Luis Fajardo

as Redhead on Bus

as Killer

as Killer's Girlfriend

as Mike Wells

as Johnny Casanova

as Machito

as Empire MC

as Portly Woman

as Tracy Blair

as Young Cesar

as Young Nestor

as Robertico

as Mulligan

as Kid with Basketball

as Poolside Patron

as 2nd Girlfriend

as Mario's Girlfriend

as Club Patron

as Cleaning Lady

as 3rd Girlfriend

as Enchantment

as Bernardito

as Johnny Bing

as Frankie Suarez

as Manny - The Mambo Ki...

as Redhead on Bus
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Mambo Kings

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (7)

A spirited evocation of the mambo craze which swept post-war America, adapted from Oscar Hijuelos' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's as if there were a terrible telephone connection between the film's vivid sound track and its tepid romantic melodrama, to which the music is supposed to give style and substance.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

A corny, eye-filling concoction of sound and strife, it recalls the heyday of a dance craze with the Technicolor splash of a 1950s musical.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

"The Mambo Kings" is so pumped up with life it threatens to burst. It's beautifully filmed and flashily edited. It pulsates with rhythmic ecstasy. It throbs, it sweats, it pounds, it undulates.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

In some ways this story is as old as the movies, but "The Mambo Kings" is so filled with energy, passion and heedless vitality that it seems new, anyway.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The Mambo Kings is a tinsel-edged dream of a movie.

Full Review… | February 28, 1992
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Mambo Kings

Good movie!

Leo L

Super Reviewer

The first movie that introduced me to Mambo. The spirit of Mambo music drove this film from beginning to end. Strong acting, compelling love story, and soundtrack made this film one of my top films of 1992. Great movie with well respected acting make this one to watch. Rent or buy! You wont be disappointed.


I Loved the Music in this, & I must admit, I had such a Crush on Armand Assante for awhile after this Film

The Mambo Kings Quotes

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