La Bamba

1987, Biography/Drama, 1h 48m

74 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Elevated by a perceptive performance by a perfectly cast Lou Diamond Phillips, La Bamba distills its subject's creative energy -- and reflects his music's enduring appeal. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Los Angeles teenager Ritchie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) becomes an overnight rock 'n' roll success in 1958, thanks to a love ballad called "Donna" that he wrote for his girlfriend (Danielle von Zerneck) whose parents didn't want her to date a Latino boy. But as his star rises, Valens has conflicts with his jealous brother, Bob (Esai Morales), and becomes haunted by a recurring nightmare of a plane crash just as he begins his first national tour alongside Buddy Holly (Marshall Crenshaw).

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