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The Mambo Kings

  R HD Closed Captioning

Arnold Glimcher

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Plot Summary

Antonio Banderas ("Philadelphia," "Interview with the Vampire") makes his American film debut co-starring with Armand Assante ("Private Benjamin") in this romantic, music-filled epic of two Cuban brothers who come to New York City during the mambo craze of the 1950s. Factory workers by day, by night they are passionate musicians, filling the dance clubs with their songs of love as they desperately pursue their big break. With Academy Award-nominee Cathy Moriarty ("Raging Bull") and Desi Arnaz, Jr., who appears as his bandleader father when the brothers guest on "I Love Lucy." Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and featuring the classic Cuban dance music enjoying a renewed popularity in the U.S., including legendary artists Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, along with Linda Ronstadt and Los Lobos.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 24
  • Fresh: 20
  • Rotten: 4
  • Average Rating: 6.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: It's as if there were a terrible telephone connection between the film's vivid sound track and its tepid romantic melodrama, to which the music is supposed to give style and substance. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Oct 24, 2011

Fresh: The Mambo Kings is a tinsel-edged dream of a movie. – Entertainment Weekly, Oct 24, 2011

Fresh: A corny, eye-filling concoction of sound and strife, it recalls the heyday of a dance craze with the Technicolor splash of a 1950s musical. – Rita Kempley, Washington Post, Oct 24, 2011

Fresh: "The Mambo Kings" is so pumped up with life it threatens to burst. It's beautifully filmed and flashily edited. It pulsates with rhythmic ecstasy. It throbs, it sweats, it pounds, it undulates. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Oct 24, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


I don't care what others may say this is still one of my favorite movies of all time. I mean you get Armand Asante and anterio banderas in the same film ? Hello!!! It's an awesome love story supported by mambo style music by freaking legends in the biz!!! The soundtrack alone is worth it's price double in Gold for its value In REAL mambo artists of that era !!!! This is $10 Well spent!


I've loved this movie from the beginning. One of my all time favorites. I sing the beautiful Maria song daily. Antonio Banderas is at his best and Armada Asante? Oh my gosh two good looking men. Love the plot, love the movie full of passion.

Mambo Kings

I love the music in this move. The music alone is worth 5 stars, but the rest of the move is great too.

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The Mambo Kings
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1992

Customer Ratings