Submitted by Julio M

Short pooper:
Richie (Lou Diamond Phillips), Buddy Holly (Marshall Crenshaw) and “The Big Bopper” (Stephen Lee), along with their pilot Roger Peterson, all perish when the plane they had chartered to get from Clear Lake to Moorhead crashes shortly after takeoff. Richie’s brother Bob (Esai Morales), mother Connie (Elizabeth PeΓ±a), girlfriend Donna (Danielle Von Zerneck) and manager Bob Keane (Joe Pantoliano) all find out the next day on the media and are devastated by it -particularly Bob, who deeply laments not having been more supportive of his younger brother-.

Longer version:
The overnight success of Richie’s version of “La Bamba” marks a positive turning point in his career. Once he convinces Keane to release it alongside the “Donna” song he dedicated to Donna, he starts performing at concerts everywhere and even somewhat overcomes his eternal traumatic fear of flying, in order to fulfill his commitments. His newfound fame and wealth allows him to buy a new house for his family; however, he still has to deal with the growing jealousy of his older brother, Bob -who even breaks Richie’s lucky charm during a fight at a Christmas gathering-, and the ongoing refusal of Donna’s father, Mr. Ludwig (Sam Anderson), to allow them to be together -although they do reassure their love for each other and vow to eventually marry-.

In the escalating success of Richie’s fame and fortune, he gets to perform at venues like Philadelphia’s American Bandstand and The Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, where his live rendition of La Bamba captivates the crowd. The pinnacle of his then-ascending career happens when he is invited to perform at the Winter Dance Party tour, along with no others than Buddy Holly and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson Jr.; however, while they are all performing in Clear Lake, Iowa, their touring bus breaks down, so Buddy has the idea of chartering a plane to get them to their next commitment in Moorhead, Minnesota. Before leaving, Richie has one final phone conversation with Bob, where they seemingly make amends and agree to reacquaint again in Chicago.

The next morning, as Bob is doing some mechanical work on Connie’s car, the radio interrupts its programming to make the sad announcement that, due to a heavy snowstorm, the plane crashed shortly after taking off from Clear Lake, killing Richie, Buddy, Bopper and their pilot -a tragedy that later came to be known in popular culture as “The Day The Music Died”-. At the same time Bob runs to tell Connie but she has already found out and has a meltdown, Donna and Bob Keane are informed and seen saddened and heartbroken over it.

The movie ends with the sequence of the funeral procession at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery, while a distraught Bob is seeing screaming, at the top of his lungs, “RICHIEEEEE!!”; at the same time, we see a flashback of Bob trying to run after Richie, who is holding his guitar, as an allegory of how Bob did not want to let go of his younger brother as the latter ran away to follow his dreams all the way to his untimely death, and now Bob would have to live with the guilt of not having resolved those differences when they had the chance.

πŸŒŸπŸŽΈπŸŽΆπŸ’πŸ›©οΈπŸ’”πŸ πŸ’°πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

01 hours 48 minutes