La Bamba (movie)

From Academic Kids

La Bamba is a 1987 movie based on the real life events that affected the lives of rock star Ritchie Valens, his half-brother Bob Morales, his girlfriend Donna Ludwig and the rest of their family. It also documents how Valens witnessed an air collision when he was young and was fearful of airplanes since then.

The movie follows Ricardo Valenzuela, a normal teenaged boy who becomes singing super-star Ritchie Valens. It shows how he met and fell in love with Donna Ludwig, for whom he wrote a song that became a number one hit. The movie also has several subplots, such as his relationship with his mother and half-brother Bob Morales, and how his brother felt that their mother favored Ritchie. In one scene, Bob won an important art contest that helped promising cartoonists, only to throw away his prize because, in his eyes, his mother didn't seem to care enough.

As Valens becomes famous, his responsibilities change because he must go on tour with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper after his hits "La Bamba" and "Donna" reached the top of the Billboard charts. However, every time they get a chance, he and Bob sneak out and have fun, going to carnivals and to Tijuana and acting like young people.

The movie ends with Valens, Holly and The Bopper taking off under a snow storm for their fateful flight. As Bob is fixing a car, he listens to the news that his brother's plane crashed without any survivors, and the news hits the whole Valenzuela family. Bob then goes onto a bridge and screams the name of Ritchie, remembering all the good times they had had.

This movie helped the careers of Lou Diamond Phillips, who played Valens, and Puerto Rican Esai Morales, who played Bob. Elizabeth Pena played Bob's girlfriend Rosie.

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