La Bamba (1987)
Filmmaker Luis Valdez and actor Lou Diamond Phillips both hit their zenith with this film about 17-year-old Ritchie Valens, who was one of the bright young stars of rock 'n' roll during the 1950s. The film combines an obvious warmth for the struggles and virtues of contemporary Chicano life in California with the colour-blind burgeoning rock 'n' roll scene for which Mr. Valens lived and breathed. Phillips is aptly wide-eyed and enthusiastic in the lead – he seems as raw about his forthcoming fame as Valens must have been. And there is well-written, but never simplified drama in Valens' family life and relationship with his brother. This is an enjoyable and respectful biopic with an inevitable ending.