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The Mambo Kings Details


New York art dealer Arne Glimcher took his first crack at film directing with this florid, high-energy romance about two brothers who flee Cuba in the early 1950s to make it as musicians in the United States. [[Performer~P85061~Cynthia Cidre~cynthiacidre]] wrote the literate screenplay adapted from Oscar Hijuelos's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Cesar ([[Performer~P2629~Armand Assante~armandassante]]) and Nestor Castillo ([[Performer~P3682~Antonio Banderas~antoniobanderas]]) are popular musicians on Havana's club circuit, but when they make enemies of the wrong people, they are forced to leave for New York City, the moody Nestor leaving behind his true love. In New York, the brothers work as meat-cutters during the day as Cesar tries to organize a band and make inroads into the lively New York music scene. Soon, as The Mambo Kings, they get club bookings and Cesar falls in love with a sharp-tongued cigarette girl, Lanna Lake ([[Performer~P50679~Cathy Moriarty~cathymoriarty]]), and Nestor with the beautiful Delores Fuentes ([[Performer~P18782~Maruschka Detmers~maruschkadetmers]]), who wants to be a teacher. Cesar concentrates on singing and managing the band, while Nestor plays the trumpet and writes emotional songs of love. All seems to be going well until Cesar antagonizes the moneymen on the Latin nightclub circuit and they finds themselves playing bar mitzvahs. But after they're discovered by Desi Arnaz (Desi Arnaz Jr.), the group is prominently featured on [[Feature~V159382~I Love Lucy~jegelskerblat]]. Their popularity soars and they cut a successful album called "Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love." Cesar is glorying in his success, but Nestor is disappointed and longs to return to Cuba. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:February 28, 1992


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Kraft Best Song 1992 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Arnold Glimcher Best Song 1992 Nominee


Armand Assante
as Cesar Castillo
Antonio Banderas
as Nestor Castillo
Cathy Moriarty
as Lanna Lake
Maruschka Detmers
as Delores Fuentes
Desi Arnaz, Jr.
as Desi Arnaz, Sr.
Roscoe Lee Browne
as Fernando Perez
Celia Cruz
as Evalina Montoya
Vondie Curtis-Hall
as Miguel Montoya
Talisa Soto
as Maria Rivera
Joe Petruzzi
as Carlo Ricci
Theodora Castellanos
as Blanca
Lazaro Perez
as Pablo
Rene Monteaqudo
as Robertico
Tito Puente
as Himself
Salvador Miranda
as Young Nestor
Doug Barron
as Mike Wells
June Brown
as Portly Woman
Scott Cohen
as Bernardito, The Mambo Kings Band
Maiquel Saurez
as Cleaning Woman
Suzanne Smith
Joe Conzo
as Killer
Valerie McIntosh
as Tracy Blair
Carlos Gomez
as Creep
William Thomas
as Xavier
Pablo Calogero
as Ramon, The Mambo Kings Band
Martin Charles Warner
as Mac
Susie Stillwell
as Club Patron
Frank Grillo
as Machito
Anita Banderas
as Anita
Cordelia Gonzalez
as Anna Maria
Jocelyn O'Brien
as Gina
Ryan Howell
as Kid with Basketball
Natalie Zimmerman
as 3rd Girlfriend
Debra Scott
as Enchantment
Jonathan Del Arco
as Young Cesar
Yul Vázquez
as Flaco, The Mambo Kings Band
Dawn McKinster
as Poolside Patron
Jose Duvall
as Nando
Ron Thompson
as Empire MC
Mario Grillo
as Mario, The Mambo Kings Band
Stephanie Blake
as Stripper
Thomas F. Duffy
as Mulligan
Ralph Irizarry
as Pito, The Mambo Kings Band
Jose Alberto
as Johnny Casanova
Karen Assante
as Karen
Pete MacNamara
as Johnny Bing, The Mambo Kings Band
Adrian Martinez
as Pablito
James Medina
as Manny - The Mambo Kings Band
Julie Pinson
as 2nd Girlfriend
Colleen Fitzpatrick
as Redhead on Bus
Helena Carroll
as Mrs. Shannon
Ahn Duong
as Ismelda Perez
Billy Hopkins
Diane Manzo
as Amanda
Marcos Quintanilla
as Willie, The Mambo Kings Band
Jessica Z. Diamond
as Secretary


Arnold Glimcher
Arnold Glimcher
Steven E. Reuther
Arnon Milchan
Cynthia Cidre
Oscar Hijuelos
Book Author
Michael Ballhaus
Carlos Franzetti
Composer (Music Score)
Robert Kraft
Composer (Music Score)
Claire Simpson
Stuart Wurtzel
Production Designer
Steven A. Saklad
Art Director
Jack B. Bernstein
Kara Lindstrom
Set Designer
Gary Jones
Costume Designer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer
Susumu Tokunow
Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Peters
Suzanne Smith
Billy Hopkins