Film Reviews, Uncategorized

La Bamba (1987)


The story of the 17 year old rock and roll sensation Ritchie Vallens, who was on the same plane as Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. 

Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales

Directed By: Luis Valdez

I decided to watch this because the Gentleman Caller and I are fans of Longmire, and I was trying to place where I had seen Lou Diamond Phillips before, the actor who plays Longmire’s best friend Henry Standingbear. This film came up, and I had a vague remembrance of it being a big deal at some point in my childhood, though half remembered.

I didn’t realise that I was watching a biographical film of a real person at first, and then got an awful feeling part way through when Ritchie (Lou Diamond Phillips) starts to do well, and talks about a fear of flying and Buddy Holly.

The film is kind of sweet and nostalgic, the music is the real reason to watch it, and the fashion and tunes are really something.

Ritchie is a lovely guy, just 17, carrying his guitar everywhere and following his passion, never letting anyone down and in love with his teenage girlfriend. His brother, Bob (Esai Morales) an ex con whose life is going nowhere, tends to get jealous and basically have tantrums like a child, which is odd and annoying, but seems to function as the main conflict. The boys mother, Connie (Rosana De Soto) who pushes them to live their dreams, tries to protect them, and has big plans for them, is pretty sweet. I liked her character a lot.

It’s a sad story, since Ritchie Vallens died in the crash at just 17 with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, but the central themes of the film are uplifting. It was fun to watch.

See It If: maybe one just for fans of 50’s music, not one to seek out.


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