La Bamba

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An enjoyable if slightly innocuous biopic based on the brief life and short-lived fame of teen rock'n'roll idol Richie Valens ('La Bamba'). You know the kind of thing: poor but talented kid, spotted playing in local band by LA record producer, enjoys all too brief a spell of fame before dying tragically young. Plus the usual background stuff: hard-pressed but cheerful mother struggling to make ends meet, no-good brother always in trouble, girlfriend's father objecting to her dating a kid who sings 'jungle music'. The musical side of things is handled surprisingly well. Fresh-faced Phillips mimes convincingly to Los Lobos' admirably faithful cover versions of the songs, and there's a show-stealing rendition of Jackie Wilson's 'Lonely Teardrops' by Howard Huntsberry.

By: NF

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Luis Valdez
Screenwriter: Luis Valdez
Cast: Lou Diamond Phillips
Esai Morales
Rosana De Soto
Danielle von Zerneck
Elizabeth Peña
Joe Pantoliano
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