La Bamba 1987 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(155) IMDb 6.8/10
Available in HD
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The rise of Ritchie Valens from farm laborer to chartbusting rocker. Stars Esai Morales and Lou Diamond Phillips.

Starring:
Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales
Runtime:
1 hour 49 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

La Bamba

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Music
Director Luis Valdez
Starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales
Supporting actors Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Peña, Danielle von Zerneck, Joe Pantoliano, Rick Dees, Marshall Crenshaw, Howard Huntsberry, Brian Setzer, Daniel Valdez, Felipe Cantu, Eddie Frias, Mike Moroff, Geoffrey Rivas, Sam Anderson, Maggie Gwinn, Jeffrey Alan Chandler, Stephen Lee, John Quade
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

The music is great, good movie for all time.
Marci Lee
Wonderful movie, makes you feel like you are actually involved, and it is easy to get really wrapped up in it.
"chas21g"
Good movie love it and would recommend it to any ages and a family movie loved it will watch it over and over.
tiny

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Fabian Palomar-Z on January 5, 2005
Format: DVD
Movies about entertainment icons can be very promising, but at the same time misleading.<br />
<br />
Such can be said about the talented 17 year old Ritchie Valens (Richard Steve Valenzuela) of Southern California. The Ritchie Valens story is one of which many know the end, but not necessarily beginning or the middle.<br />
<br />
When you see La Bamba, it's important to keep in mind that, unless you are already familiar with the Ritchie Valens legacy, the film will forever distort the image and persona of a 1950's star.<br />
<br />
For example; Ritchie did not have a gilrfriend named Donna. The band Valens performed with up until a few months before his demise (including the bandleader) were close friends of Ritchie's until the end. Ritchie did not have constant premonitions about his fate. On the contrary, he lived his life as happy as can be and struggled, as many other music performers of his day, with a sometimes dishonest manager who sought to make a buck out of a talented but innexperienced teenager.<br />
<br />
But, why is this movie worth noting? Because it perpetuates Ritchie Valens' legacy and music. This is something important since Valens is a pioneer figure from the early days of rock n' roll. His untimely death after only eight months into his professional career placed his music and legacy in momentary oblivion. The dated news reports of February 1959 listed Valens as the biggest star of the three who were killed in a plane crash (Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper were the other two). At the time of his death Ritchie had the number one song in the popular music charts for the West Coast and the number two song in the nation.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Miles D. Moore TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2003
Format: DVD
I saw La Bamba the other night for the first time in many years, and was delighted to see how well it had held up. Of the many tragedies in the history of rock, there are few more bitterly poignant than that of Ritchie Valens, and director Luis Valdez makes us feel the full force of the tragedy. He makes us love not only Ritchie (Lou Diamond Phillips) but also his supportive mother Connie (Rosana De Soto) and his troubled brother Bob (Esai Morales), then ends the film as he should, on a note of raw, unmitigated grief. On the way to the tragic end, however, we also get marvelous recreations of vintage rock songs by Los Lobos, Brian Setzer, Marshall Crenshaw, Howard Huntsberry and others. Seeing La Bamba again brings up a smaller tragedy: why Phillips, Morales and De Soto didn't become bigger stars, as they clearly deserved to become from their performances in this movie. Only Phillips came at all close to stardom, and for every step forward he took--his change-of-pace villainous role in Courage Under Fire, his Broadway triumph in the revival of The King and I--he took two steps back with some straight-to-video flick. But in any case you can still see them in La Bamba, and laugh, cry, and applaud.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dave. K VINE VOICE on May 1, 2008
Format: DVD
La Bamba is my favorite movie of all time hands down. Of all the films I have seen not many reached me the way La Bamba did. I first saw this movie back in the summer of 96 when I was 17-years old and I fell in love with this movie and also became a big fan of Ritchie Valens. No joke I would watch this movie every single day it was on. La Bamba was a staple part of HBO's line up and even if it was on twice a day I would watch it. For me, each time I saw the movie it felt like the first time. I would drive my friends crazy with having to watch it even after I recorded the movie they figured I wouldn't watch it as much, but I still did.

At the time I was actually learning the guitar and I never really played at all and this movie inspired me to actually practice and not only that, but it also inspired me on wanting to be a filmmaker. I really can't think of any other movie that reached me on this deep of a level. Like I said in the opening of my review La Bamba is hands down my favorite movie of all time. For starters it has some truly great music; La Bamba is about having a dream and not letting anyone stop you from reaching that dream. It's about love and family.

The screenplay by Luis Valdez was excellent; the characters are great and each of the main players all add to the movie. None of the characters are just there. Each character plays a crucial part of the movie. While yes the story does revolve around Ritchie played amazingly by Lou Diamond Phillips, but in many ways movie is actually Bob's story played by Esai Morales who pretty much steals the show. There is a bond between the 2 brothers, but there is also tension. Bob is always in Ritchie's shadow despite being older and I was really able to relate more to Bob in many ways than Ritchie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leganto on March 18, 2003
Format: DVD
La Bamba is one of my top 25 favorite films. Lou Diamond Phillips comes across for real. I was surprised when I saw a picture of the real Ritchie Valens. I had forgotten what he looked like (when I was a teenager). Lou doesn't look like him, but who cares? This is a great suspension of disbelief.
Esai Morales doing a great job as the troubled brother Bob. it is easy to feel his pain. And it is almost impossible to tell the difference between Los Lobos' rendition of the title song and the original Ritchie version. The hint is in those couple of seconds of silence that Los Lobos does near the end. And then there are those excellent imitations of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Jackie Wilson and others.
The DVD has two feature-length commentaries that are worth listening to. Beyond this, I have also turned on the Spanish-language track and watched the film a few times that way. If you have some understanding of both languages, it helps to show how they get the nuances across it slightly different ways.
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