Based on Oscar Hijuelos's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, THE MAMBO KINGS follows brothers Cesar and Nestor Castillo. Talented musicians, the brothers must flee their native Cuba when ladies' man Cesar is caught with a local gangster’s girlfriend.
The pair settles in New York City where they find work as meatpackers during the day, while hitting the music clubs at night. While watching a performance by Tito Puente, Cesar climbs on stage and joins in on the song. Tito is impressed and soon the brothers’ band ‘The Mambo Kings’ have a regular club gig. The brothers each fall in love, Cesar with the brash cigarette girl Lanna, and Nestor with the less flashy but stunningly beautiful Delores. While Cesar spends his time managing the band, Nestor writes songs and pines away over Maria, the girl he left behind in Cuba.
One night, Cesar gets in an argument with the club owner and the brothers lose their job. Relegated to performing at weddings and bar-mitzvahs, they struggle to survive until they are seen by Desi Arnaz who books the band to play on his hit television show I Love Lucy. Their fame grows even more once they record an album, which quickly becomes a hit. While Cesar basks in the glory of gaining everything he’s ever wanted, Nestor yearns to return home, even if it means breaking up the band and his brother’s heart.
Filled beginning to end with high-energy songs and dances, THE MAMBO KINGS stars Golden Globe® nominees Antonio Banderas and Armand Assante and features the Academy Award® nominated song "Beautiful Maria of My Soul".
- Armand Assante
- Antonio Banderas
- Pablo Calogero
- Arne Glimcher