Watch The Mambo Kings
- 1 hr 44 min
Cesar (Armand Assante) and Nestor Castillo (Antonia Banderas) escape from Havana, Cuba, in the early 1950s. The brothers worked in a club owned by a mob boss with whom they have a violent disagreement and flee. In New York City, the brothers attempt to restart their careers in the music industry while working dead-end jobs to get by. Cesar falls in love with Lanna Lake (Cathy Moriarty), a cigarette girl in a night club. Nestor writes a song about the love of his life that he left behind in Cuba. Maria (Talisa Soto) is the only true love for him. He meets a shy young woman in the meantime named Dolores (Maruschka Detmers). Unexpectedly, she gets pregnant, and they decide to marry. Desi Arnaz, Jr. plays Desi Arnaz, a Cuban bandleader in the United States. The television star hears the Castillo brothers one night as they perform at a part-time job. Arnaz spends an evening with the brothers in Nestor's home. He invites them to appear on the I Love Lucy show. Nestor doesn't want to become as famous as his brother would like. He would rather have a small club to perform in. Cesar reveals that Maria actually sacrificed herself to the mobster in exchange for Nestor's life. Cesar denies himself of any feelings for any woman who could love him. Nestor's relationship with Dolores is hampered by the love he truly feels for Maria. On a snowy night, the two brothers are driving along and run off the road into a tree. Nestor is killed instantly, but Cesar survives by being in the back seat. Cesar is changed forever with the death of his brother. Instead of pursuing his dream in the music industry, Cesar honors his brother by opening a club. The small club does well, and Cesar is forever scarred by his brother's tragic ending. Dolores comes along and requests that Cesar sing Nestor's song, and then the movie ends.