The Mambo Kings (1992) Movie Script

Me and my little brother here...
...we're going to New York now.
We're going to make an orchestra.
Biggest songwriter in Cuba
sitting right there, Nestor Castillo.
We're going to call it
"Kings of the Mambo" ...
...something like that.
You know, we could use a pretty girl
like you to pose for the album cover.
If you'd be interested.
We're gonna set
New York on fire, baby.
That's for you, lady.
- So are you famous?
- All over Cuba.
Hey, brother, listen to this.
"The D.D. v anderbilt
Practical Secret of Success."
- Success.
- Success.
- Success.
- Success.
The hell with it.
"Whether you're rich or poor...
...Chinaman, Indian
or from the planet Mars...
...this book can change your life."
Something tells me...
...I'm gonna be sorry
I ever got him that book.
His English ain't so good.
I think Cuban accents are sexy.
You think so?
Let's go! Come on!
Forget Maria, kid!
Because the best-Iooking girls
in New York...
...are waiting for you right now!
Move over, come on!
Get your paper here!
Schweitzer wins Nobel Peace Prize!
Give me a big hug!
Put him down.
Sure, New York
is just waiting for you!
I've been waiting for you, baby!
Blanca, look at that.
Mama embroidered that.
Come on, get the hell out of here.
Come on, eh?
- What happened?
- Nothing. I cut myself shaving.
- You were lucky you were not killed.
- Will you stop? Please?
Hey, Cesar, what happened?
The man who owned the club
where we played...
...wanted to own us too.
They got into a fight.
And that's why we came.
- To make a new career.
- Make a new career.
Nobody owns
Cesar and Nestor Castillo.
You write the music,
I worry about the business...
...and we're all gonna get rich,
happy and famous in America.
Would you get out of here
with this stupid thing? Stupid kid.
- Where should we make our debut?
- Now, wait a minute...
Come on,
what's the most classy joint in town?
We just got here.
The shrimp that sleeps gets carried
away by a cocktail. Let's not be stupid.
You haven't changed.
Just off the boat, and you think
you'll land a gig downtown.
Ten thousand Latin guys in Jersey...
...playing rent parties,
and he's gonna play the Palladium?
Is that where a gentleman like
Desi Arnaz would play?
The one and only!
Blanca and me were there... a little bit every weekend.
- That's it. That's it.
- Let's go!
- What?
Please, you think I came to New York
to sit with my feet in hot water?
We're going to the Palladium.
Get up. Come on.
Nando, let's go!
Oh, how beautiful!
Hi, Russ. I love these... Oh.
Who's the big millionaire over here?
Fernando Perez and his wife, Ismelda.
Biggest manager in the business.
He can take you to the top
of el mundo mambo...
...but he'll own your soul.
That's Carlo Ricci next to him.
He owns half the clubs in town.
I love it.
Who is that?
Miguel Montoya,
best arranger in the city.
With him, is his mother, Evalina.
She owns Club Babalu in Harlem.
- Babalu.
- I heard they got shot at once.
But their Yoruba spirits
turned their bullets back.
- Who's the kid next to her?
- Their godson, Frankie Suarez.
Two of everything
in this country, huh?
My kind of place.
Come on, there's one for you
and one for me. Come on!
Hey! Get away from her!
I got this. I got this covered.
Please. Thank you.
I got it! I got it.
I got this covered. Now, please.
You know, you are a knockout, baby.
I'm just gonna sit here
and buy everything you got to sell.
Thanks, hon, but I think they'll wreck
that nice baritone voice of yours.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God!
If she cooks like she walks,
brother, I am gonna lick her plate!
Stay away from her!
Hey, Tito!
Tito! Remember me?
Let me play!
- Tito!
- Come on, come on.
- Thank you.
- Go ahead, come on, come on.
- Yeah, yeah!
- Thank you.
Look at that!
He's my brother! He's my brother!
- My cousin.
- His cousin! He's my brother!
Where did everybody go?
Come on, guys, inside!
Let's go. Come on!
It was his fate.
- Son of a bitch had it coming.
- Son of a bitch ruined my number.
Maybe our chances of a job here
with Tito Puente.
- That's a shame.
- T's going on tour tomorrow, anyway.
Go down to the union and join up.
Everybody can join the union, man.
You need a tunesmith to play
more than a rent party in this town.
I'm Frankie Suarez.
- You play an instrument?
- Los bongos.
If you play like you dance,
let's get together.
Remember, tomorrow is work.
We gotta be up with the birdies.
You didn't get much sleep on the bus.
There's enough time to sleep
when I'm dead.
- Good night.
- Cesar Castillo.
I am so enchanted to have met you,
I can't tell you.
Lanna Lake.
Honey, you're the cat's meow
I know that. Thank you.
You know, my brother and I
are making our own orchestra.
We could use a pretty girl like you
to pose for the album cover.
Modeling is my chosen profession,
Anyway, all this modeling ever got me
was a Miss Teenage America Pageant...
...and a spread in Seventeen magazine.
A spread, huh?
In Seventeen magazine.
- I was tickled pink.
- Pink.
Then I left Sandusky
and I moved right to New York.
But, honey...
...what the judges liked,
the magazine didn't.
I was just a little too broad
in the beam.
Lucky for us, I'm not a magazine.
I played a few choruses,
but I never made the Rockettes.
I couldn't take all the creeps
making passes at me in the clubs.
So when I landed this job
with the bouncers to protect me...
...I thanked my lucky stars.
In Cuba, a girl like you
would need an army to protect you.
You shouldn't complain so much.
I bet you say that to all the girls.
You're my first American beauty.
And I'm the Statue of Liberty.
You know, you're so beautiful, Lanna.
You're not so bad yourself.
Statue of Liberty, huh?
That's beautiful. Say that again.
Te quiero, baby.
And I "te quiero" you too, baby.
I love this country.
I thought you believed in me.
In our love.
I was wrong.
Since you married Luis...
... there is nothing left for me in Cuba.
And so I've gone to America
with Cesar.
A new country.
New life.
Without you.
But someday you'll hear my song:
"Beautiful Maria of My Soul."
And then, you will know
that you are my destiny...
... as I am yours.
Don't worry. It's gonna happen
for us here, kid.
I can feel it.
In the name of the Mambo
and the Rumba and the Cha-cha-cha.
Would you get to work?
You crazy?
Aren't you the msico loco
that got up at the Palladium?
This is the guy.
Tell me, how do you cross
your sticks like that?
That was some show
you put on last night, man.
- You saw my solo?
- Solo?
You almost did that solo
on your ass!
- But Tito liked you.
- They were at the Palladium.
Anyway, I'm Pito. This is Willie.
Are you fellas musicians?
Who isn't?
- Let's show them how we warm up.
- Watch, man.
I play timbales, he plays the bass.
This is not the Palladium, guys.
Oh, sorry, man.
Did you have a band in Cuba?
Yeah. The Havana Melody Boys.
We used to slaughter
more than a cow.
With a first-class arranger...
...someone who knows the ropes...
...we'll set New York on fire.
Where you gonna find an arranger
like that?
I'm telling you...
How you gonna pay him?
With steaks and hamburgers?
Just leave it to me.
You have very good taste.
Lecuona is the finest composer
alive today.
Thank you, Cesar...
...Nestor, for your generosity.
So Frankie tells me that you
and your brother are very talented.
That you've written songs
with a new sound.
We got so many now,
they fill a suitcase.
And you have just come from Havana
where you played in clubs?
Our last job was at the Tropicana
in Havana.
We played all the clubs in Cuba.
All the clubs.
You want to know if I would be
interested in arranging these songs?
...the son of Chang.
The other...
...the son of Yemay,
goddess of the sea.
Fire and water.
I must hear them play.
Let's go downstairs to my club.
- You play for us there, okay?
- Of course.
Friday night, Empire Ballroom.
Happiness, the American way.
Come to the Empire.
"The deepest urge
in human nature... the desire to be important,
to be great.
The rare individual
who satisfies this hunger...
...will hold people
in the palm of his hand... even the undertaker
will regret his death."
The undertaker can regret our death...
...but it'd be nice
if he came to see the show first.
Here, give these pretty fliers
to the people.
I show you my deepest urge.
Come Friday night.
- Mambo Kings!
- Mambo, Mambo King. Mambo, please.
You come see me,
I'll come see you, okay? Please.
Come on, Nestor, come on, Nestor!
You are a musician?
Yes, I am a musician.
I can tell you're a good musician.
I mean, thank you.
My name is Nestor Castillo.
- Delores.
- Delores.
Delores Fuentes.
The song you were whistling before?
A bolero.
I have written
12 different versions of it.
It has a name?
"Beautiful Maria of my Soul."
Something like that.
This Maria...
...inspired 12 different versions
of your song?
It's just a name.
Maybe I'll write it
using your name instead.
I clean house for a rich man on 61 st.
He's so rich, he's unhappy.
But he always says
I can help myself to any of his books.
So for lunch...
...I make roast-beef sandwiches
and read.
What will you do with all that reading?
I'm studying to be a schoolteacher.
I got to school twice a week.
At night.
You're ambitious, huh?
I want to make something of myself.
Is your family here?
Yes, my sister.
My father died last year.
I'm sorry. I'm very sorry.
And the song at the bus stop?
"Beautiful Maria of My Soul."
We were going to be married.
What happened?
She married the owner of the club
where my brother and I played.
- I'm sorry.
- That's okay.
You know, Delores...
...I'm going to have
my own little club someday.
You see? You are ambitious too.
A little bit.
Why don't you come dancing with me?
You can see us play.
How are you?
I love you.
Yeah! Come on!
Which one is he?
The one in the middle, dancing?
The one with the trumpet.
That Castillo, he looks like trouble.
Yes, I know, but I think he is worth it.
Mambo Kings, ladies and gentlemen!
Come on, let's hear it for them!
Mambo Kings!
And now, ladies and gentlemen...
...let's get ready for Machito...
- Thank you, thank you.
...and his Afro-Cubans!
Mambo Kings! Don't forget that!
So we're a bunch of farm boys, huh?
Drinks for everyone
on the Castillo brothers!
- Hey, how are you?
- Fine.
This is the girl I told you about,
Delores Fuentes.
- My brother Cesar.
- Pleased to meet you.
I'm Anna Maria, Delores' sister.
You fellows were great!
Lanna Lake, honey. Nice to meet you.
I think I'll go powder my nose.
- I'll be back in a minute, okay?
- Okay. I'll wait here.
He thinks he's the last Coca-Cola
in the desert.
He is, honey.
Johnny, signing with me
was just the beginning.
From here, anything you want.
El Morocco, the Palladium.
Your future is gold.
Thank you, Fernando.
I'm very grateful.
It's my pleasure.
Ladies and gents,
it's my pleasure to introduce... from Puerto Rico,
El Suavecito, Johnny Casanova.
This is for you.
It's beautiful.
You like?
Let me do it.
I'm really happy you're here, Delorita.
Thank you for coming.
They've been on top
for about 40 weeks now.
We play circles around them.
Montoya says if we top the Diamonds,
we'll play any club.
A month from now, they'll be opening
for you, and you'd go on another day.
Very, very impressive, Seor Castillo.
I knew it when I saw you
at the Palladium...
...that you were very talented.
You feel the music...
...and that nobody can teach you
or take away.
It's a lucky coincidence
to run into each other.
But I always say, God puts his children
exactly where they should be.
That's funny, I always said that too.
Have a Havana with me, Cesar.
And let's see how Fernando Perez
can take the Mambo Kings to the top.
Who the hell are you, anyway?
The Mambo pope?
Guy thinks I came to America
to trade one thief for another.
- Cesar.
- I think you don't know who I am, seor.
Whoever you are, I know in Havana...
... los Mafioso with balls of steel
could not own Cesar Castillo.
So don't you try.
You have much to learn, Mambo King.
Pray God you learn it...
...before the banana boat
sails back to Cuba.
- What are you, the captain?
- Cesar, are you crazy?
I'm crazy, and your brain's so soft,
already you forgot Luis.
It's lucky I have that
as a reminder for the rest of my life.
Let's get out of here before these
pendejos give me a stroke.
Here. Pay with that.
Leave the business to me
and stick to your music, kid.
"It was a fabulous night
at the Empire Ballroom... a new band came on the scene.
The Latin rhythms filled the air as...
...under the hip-swinging,
...admiralship of their singer,
Cesar Castillo...
...the fabulous Mambo Kings
made a fabulous debut."
As Mr. v anderbilt says, "He who can,
has the whole world with him.
He who cannot,
walks the world alone."
Miss Enchantment, if you wanna come
with a Mambo King...
- ...I'll show you a little piece of Havana.
- Yeah, a very little piece.
Bigger than your piece.
Mr. Ricci.
Did you see this "fabulous night at
the Empire Ballroom" debut?
I know. Everybody love you guys.
But it's such a shame.
- What's the shame?
- My girl Luisa, she no call you?
I got no call. Who got a call?
Seor Castillo, my club,
it is booked for months.
Maybe there is one place for you,
I put you in.
Sorry, I make a mistake
with the booking.
- You made a mistake?
- I'm sorry, I got partners.
- I can't do anything about it.
- Come here.
- Hey, Cesar.
- We had a deal!
- Hey, we had a deal!
- The club is booked.
Hey, don't touch my brother!
Hey, don't push him! Don't push him.
That's it, it's finished.
I knew it. I knew it. I told you so!
Come on, will you?
Let's show them in Havana
what a couple of stars look like.
Smile, will you? We're in America.
No, no, I don't hear you.
I don't hear you.
Talk American to me, please.
It's not my language, American,
not my country.
Well, it's the only country
we got right now.
Now, come on, smile.
Smile. You want me
to waste another 25 cents?
Come on, smile. Smile.
It's all right? "It's all right."
It's okay? "It's okay."
Come on.
- We have to work.
- We're working our asses off.
- Talk to Perez. Please.
- No. Please.
- He's not like Luis.
- Haven't you learned anything?
Talk to him. Come on. Apologize.
What? You wanna kiss his ass?
No, we'll make a deal.
He'll slit both our throats,
the way Luis cut mine.
He cut more than your throat.
We should have stayed in Havana.
But stay for what? Some whore
who never even loved you?
- I'm not talking about Maria.
- The whore sold herself to another man...
I'm talking about us.
We don't belong here.
Get it through your head. She's not
waiting for you! It's a dream!
Now, how long before
you're gonna give that up?
How long?
And you, Cesar?
How long before
you give up your dream?
There's no dream, man.
It's our life.
- Come on, smile, will you? Come on.
- No. No, no.
This is your life, yeah.
I feel like a ghost.
Cesar is wrong.
We won't make it.
Even if we did,
that's not what I want.
I'd be happy writing music...
...playing love songs
in my own little club.
There is my dream.
A nice place where people could get
Cuban food and listen to good music.
- That's what I want.
- Nestor. Then do it.
Just open your little club. Do it.
Listen, why keep dreaming?
Make it come true.
Do you believe in me?
Oh, yes.
You do?
Yes, I do.
I didn't want
to come to America, but... brother was right.
If I hadn't come to America...
- ...I wouldn't have met you.
- Wouldn't have met me.
Don't move. Don't move.
Stay like this.
Why are you laughing?
- Happy birthday.
- Thanks.
Thank you, darling.
Give me a rum there, straight up.
I need a Scotch.
Not bad for Montclair, New Jersey.
One hundred Seor Washingtons.
Life could be worse. There you go.
Swear to God.
Listen, Cesar, we gotta talk.
Mario's got this gig with Tito Puente.
Keys has got a shot with Machito.
We want to stick together, man,
but we're falling apart.
Can't you see that?
I don't want to carry
a bunch of losers either.
I'm going to Babalu.
- That ain't a real gig.
- Don't you tell me what a gig is.
- Hey, Cesar. Cesar.
- Yeah?
Manny and I wanna open a club.
Don't be a child, will you, please?
Mr. Vanderbilt says...
- What you know about running a club?
- He can learn.
Delores, it's men's business,
you know.
It's not your worth getting involved.
Men's business has you
playing in New Jersey.
- When I want your opinion, I'll ask for it.
- Think of the future.
- Who are you to tell me what to think?
- Don't talk to Delores that way.
- She's gotta fight your battles for you?
- Don't talk to Delores like that.
- Don't you teach me how to talk.
- She's going to be my wife!
- Go on.
- Sorry.
Sorry, Delores.
I know this is not the way
we were going to tell him, but...
Delores has consented to be my wife.
My God. I feel like an idiot.
No, you're not.
An animal, you're an animal.
Are you okay?
Yeah, you're okay.
- I have to talk to you.
- What?
She's gonna have a baby.
Hell of a good reason
to marry her too, kid.
- Hell of a good reason.
- What are you saying?
- I love her. I love Delores.
- Is Maria out of your heart now?
Let's just thank God for that.
Okay, you know, Cesar...
- I was thinking about that. About Maria.
- About what? What?
I have written her many letters.
But she never, never answered them.
...I think Maria was right.
- I wasn't her destiny.
- Come on.
What the hell are we talking about?
A woman like that for you?
That's poison, kid.
- But you really know now.
- What?
How lucky you are... have a woman like Delores?
Yes, I know. I know.
Then what is this?
You save your pennies. You're like
a little hormiguita, opening a club.
I wanna have something
to show my wife and my baby.
But you don't come to me?
Yes, I do.
- I know it's...
- Well, come on. That is it.
A man without a family,
who the hell is that?
That's nobody.
- Do you know how much I love you?
- Yes, I love you too.
You don't forget that.
Good work, kid!
Maria. Maria.
Dump it right on the scale.
Delores is on the telephone.
It's her time.
Delores! The baby! Come on!
- He's beautiful.
- Isn't he?
I got these for you.
I hope they're good.
Oh, Cesar.
Jane Eyre.
Crime and Punishment.
How did you know what to choose?
Fellow at the store, you know.
I hope they're good.
It's the most wonderful present.
Thank you.
I'm so happy for you.
Hey, let me see him.
He's a Castillo.
Look at the expression on his face.
Like a headache.
Look at this little angel.
- Good evening.
- Good evening. Good to see you.
- Miguel, good to see you again, friend.
- Welcome.
You remember Mike,
my business manager. Mike Wells.
- Good to see you.
- Always a pleasure.
Miguel, these fellows are fantastic.
I'd like to invite them to our table.
- Would you ask them to join us?
- My pleasure.
Thank you.
Desi Arnaz.
Oh, my God. That's Desi Arnaz.
- This is my manager, Mike Wells.
- Pleasure to meet you both.
- Hi, Mike, how are you?
- Mike, hello.
- I am so pleased to meet you.
- Me too. Me too.
- I'm Cesar Castillo.
- I am his brother, Nestor.
Oh, gracias, gracias. What a surprise.
- What a surprise. What a nice surprise.
- Please, sit down.
Mike and I wanted to
compliment you on your performance.
That was a wonderful song.
"Beautiful Maria of My Soul."
I have written many different
songs of the ver... Name.
Many different versions of the song.
Excuse me.
Have you written any other songs?
- Yes, a few songs.
- He's got a suitcase full.
- A suitcase.
- Suitcase.
So where are you fellas from in Cuba?
Las Pias.
That's the sugar-mill town
in Oriente, you know that.
So am I from Oriente too.
Guess you put a couple of Cubanos
together, we're all related, right?
That calls for a celebration.
You don't know how nice it is
to just relax for a change.
You are probably tired of dining out
with the Rockefellers all the time.
We get tired of eating
with them too, you know?
Do you fellas have un conjunto?
- Yeah. We're the Mambo Kings.
- Mambo Kings?
- Where have you been playing?
- We haven't played a gig in months.
- We are butchers.
- What a stupid thing to say!
But it's true, brother. It's true.
This kid, he worries himself to death.
I tell him, everyone starts this way.
- You don't listen to me. You no listen.
- That's how I got started.
- I did all sorts of things.
- I know that.
- Cleaned birdcages.
- Mr. Arnaz, this is our boy, Eugenio.
- Please, call me Desi.
- Desi.
How wonderful your family is,
Seora Castillo.
Tomorrow's work. Always work.
Sorry, I have to go.
I wanted to tell you something
before I do.
That cancin you fellows played at the
club tonight, "Beautiful Maria"?
- That's a great song. I really like it.
- Thank you.
I want you to come on my show,
do it for me there.
Oh, that's nice.
- The nightclub show?
- No, the I Love Lucy show.
- In Hollywood?
- I Love Lucy show?
- No.
- Yes, Hollywood.
I mean, yes. Yes. Oh, my God.
He's coming. He's coming.
Take care of yourselves.
My God, this is something.
Didn't I tell you this would happen?
It's a miracle, eh, Cesar?
That's what you wanted.
We're just about ready to get started.
Tonight we have a special show
for you, entitled "Cuban Pals."
So sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
- My stomach is...
- Your stomach is fine.
Come on, we never looked this good
in our lives.
Take it easy.
Just be yourselves. Don't worry.
Even if you flub,
we'll take care of it.
We're no flubs.
- Let's go!
- Okay, let's go.
What the hell is that?
Oh, jeez.
- Hey, you all right?
- I'm all right.
- Are you sure? If you want...
- I want. Don't worry about it.
I want. You gotta be kidding me.
The light. Carmen, the light.
I'm so proud.
- Cesar, Nestor, this is Lucy.
- How do you do?
What kind of a girl
did you think Ricky would marry?
No, don 't tell me.
I shouldn 't have asked that.
Ricky told me
all about your success in Cuba.
Where do you think
you'll go from here?
They don't understand.
Do you know
where you'll go from here?
I think Lucy likes Nestor,
Delores. Yes?
"We 'doughnut."'
"Wee doughnut"?
Sounds like someplace in Arkansas.
We "doughnut" speak English.
You do not speak English. Oh, well...
- Can you believe he was in the kitchen?
- I can't believe I missed that.
- Did you have a nice talk?
- I had a nice talk.
Beg pardon?
He wants to know
if the color of your hair is natural.
Oh, well, certainly,
tell them it's natural.
And my father and mother
both had red hair.
Yeah, and my parents had blond hair too.
- Sure.
- They did!
Well, Ricky, go ahead and tell them.
- Henna rinse.
- Ah, henna rinse.
I have an idea my hair
suffered in the translation.
I saw Lucy once, standing outside the
Lord & Taylor's during Christmastime.
- Oh, she seemed very nice.
- Oh, she is.
- You can tell just by looking at her.
- Come on, it's starting!
Come on, let's go.
Well, folks, tonight I have
a special treat for you.
It's my pleasure to present to you,
direct from Havana, Cuba...
... Cesar and Nestor Castillo, singing
a bolero of their own composition:
"Beautiful Maria of My Soul."
Telephone for Mr. Goodson.
You know, I was in a movie once
with Ricardo Montalban.
Desperados From
The Land of the Golden Sun.
Oh, Ricardo was a dreamboat.
You are a fleet of dreamboats.
I'm gonna put you in my next movie.
Do you have a part for me?
- Hey!
- Come on, let's not get stingy, huh?
Paging Mr. Castillo.
And I'm gonna form
an all-girls' orchestra with you too.
I'll be right back,
I'm gonna tune you all up.
Oh, don't go. Don't go.
You wait for me, muchachas, huh?
Don't you go away.
Delores is on the phone.
She wants to tell you she loves you.
Sorry. Your phone has been busy.
No, no, no.
No, see... See you later.
What the hell are you looking at?
You follow your pinga
wherever it goes, brother.
Hey, I don't have no wife,
no son who loves me.
You worrying about me?
Thank you, brother.
You're turning into a cabrn.
A cabrn would have
gone back by now.
- Back to Cuba?
- Yes.
Yes, you are the one that
wanted to come to New York.
You're a big shot now on television
with Mr. Desi Arnaz.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah. Do you want to go back to Cuba?
I never wanted to be a big shot!
Why...? Why do I always have to do
what you want? Why, brother?
Maybe without me, you'll be singing
your love songs in a shower somewhere.
That would be good enough.
You can't keep using me, Cesar.
What the hell you talking about?
I use you?
No, no, no.
No, I do it for you!
I do it for you! And I did it for you!
Get the hell out...
You don't even know how lucky you are,
you know that?
Lucky in Cuba with Maria.
No other way!
- You wanna talk about Maria?
- Yes!
Get the hell out of my life.
You make me sick.
- Your stupid life wasn't worth saving.
- Saving?
- You don't know anything.
- What are you talking about?
If I hadn't brought you to America,
you'd be playing trumpet with angels.
- What do you mean? Please.
- Stay the hell out of my way.
- Tell me, brother!
- You want to talk to me about Maria?
Maria begged me. She begged me
to take you out of Cuba!
- Yeah, Luis would have slit your throat.
- Lies. Lies, it's not true.
If she hadn't married him,
he'd have killed you. She saved you.
And I called her a whore. A whore?
She's too good for you.
Delores is too good for you!
We're all too good for you!
Stop it!
You knew this about Maria
and didn't tell me?
Why, brother?
- To save your life.
- My life?
Why do you think why?
You didn't save my life, Cesar.
You ruined my life.
Five thousand bucks
from Desilu Productions.
And God bless this country!
Not bad for one little bolero, bro!
Now let's see Perez try to keep us
from playing the Palladium.
Delores, the salesman said he's gonna
send a new encyclopedia every month.
- I want to show you something.
- It's so beautiful.
It's got power steering.
Power brakes. Power everything.
- You're crazy.
- I guess Mr. Vanderbilt was right, bro.
"Chinaman, Indian
or from the planet Cuba..."
- Cuba!
- Cuba!
"...a man can find happiness
the American way!"
Whether he likes it or not.
- Cut the cake and pour champagne.
- Don't wet the check.
- Don't wet the check.
- Don't wet that check, please.
You're on top of the world.
Don't be so modesto.
We are working.
Nothing that will make us rich...
...but we are bringing in
a few dollars, and...
Well, you seem in good shape.
Is a good beginning.
No. It's okay for the time being.
But we have a long way to go.
Then we shouldn't lose more time
in our friendship.
So, Nestor, what is it I can do for you?
Do you need money? Please tell me.
I want to open a club.
Good, good.
My brother doesn't think
this is the time to settle down.
He thinks that we will be stars.
But you are the one
who writes the songs, no?
And your brother,
he doesn't want anyone to own him.
But he thinks he owns you.
Cesar does not own me.
Nobody does.
Then you sign with me, mi amigo...
...and your future is gold.
El Morocco, the Palladium...
...and then your own little club.
Let's drink to my freedom.
I'm gonna play the Palladium.
I'm going to open my own little club
in Havana.
Without Cesar.
Honey, you really are seeing
pink elephants.
Adis, Mambo Kings.
Adis, Cesar!
Nestor, what happened?
Let's drink to my freedom.
Let's drink to my freedom.
Bartender. No coffee.
Two Nestor Libres.
Cesar can't keep using me.
I told him that.
Nestor, he's your brother,
your family.
What's a guy without a family?
Double nothing without love.
You know how that is, don't you?
To love someone so much?
Nestor, can't you see
how Cesar feels...?
About Delores?
Stop being a big jerk, huh?
He'd do anything for you.
Please, don't break his heart.
I want to go back to school
and be a teacher.
I want to go back to school
and make something of myself.
Yeah, you should do that.
That's what you wanted
before you...
...met me.
I know it's been very hard for you.
I never meant it to be that way.
But you must know, in my own way...
...I have loved you.
I have loved you.
I love this country!
Where is everybody?
I love this country!
Come here. Come here,
you wanna see something?
Compliments of Mr. Ricci.
With an invitation
to play the Palladium.
Did I tell you this would happen?
That we'd make it on our own? Did I?
Come on, toma.
That's for real.
From now on we get what we want.
Maybe even our own television show.
I mean, what the hell.
What the hell did we come
to this country for if not for that?
Come on, let's call the fellas.
Come on. Can you imagine,
we call the fellas now?
We tell them the Kings of the Mambo
are going to play Palladium?
I think I'm having a heart attack today.
I gotta find a cigar or something.
How many times? How many?
Did I keep my promise to you?
Did I keep my promise to you?
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
the song you've been waiting for... patiently.
I predict that Nestor Castillo
will be remembered among the greats.
With Machito, Puente, Beny Mor,
Tito Rodriguez...
I never told my brother about the deal.
Oh, believe you me...
...your brother will thank you for it
in his sunset years.
No, Seor Perez. No.
A promoter I know, an Englishman...
...wants to mount a show
at the London Palladium.
Of course, I told him about you.
It's all being planned right now.
And who knows?
Stop, Seor Perez, stop.
I've made a mistake.
I can't do it.
I can't.
Nobody owns the Castillo brothers.
All right, Nestor.
Then tonight's your last night.
Tell that to your brother.
Oh, God, Delores should be
with us tonight.
The baby has a fever.
Listen to him, Seor Sensible here.
Brother, I have something to tell you.
It's a long way from Havana, kid.
You see that?
Mambo Kings, baby.
Mambo Kings forever.
- Give me the keys.
- Give him the keys.
- I'm gonna drive.
- Give him the keys!
All right! Get in the car
before I turn into a Popsicle.
Come to think of it,
you'd probably love that.
Gonna turn me into
a roast-pork sandwich, huh?
I might.
Well, get going.
You know, brother...
...we didn't get the job
the way you think.
There's plenty of time to talk.
We're on top, kid. Just enjoy it.
What the hell are you doing?
You're choking me. Are you crazy?
Come on, honey.
- Come on.
- God help me.
Where are we? Oh, Jesus.
What the hell did he do?
He smashed up the goddamn car.
What do you people think I'm made of?
- Come on, Cesar.
- Look at that.
What a waste.
The insurance company
will buy another one.
What happened?
What happened?
Oh, God.
Hey, mister. Mister, throw me the ball.
- Come on, let's go, let's go.
- Let's play.
- All right, ready?
- Come on.
Ready? Here we go.
- Stop.
- No.
Come on. Come on...
- Stop. It's no use.
- What?
Stop acting like a little girl.
I'm about as far from
a little girl as you can get.
It's over, Cesar.
It's over.
There's nothing I can do for you.
I'm drunk.
Don't you see that? I'm drunk.
I'm gonna miss you.
What can I do?
Oh, my God.
You know,
I thought you were my mother.
Cesar, Miguel tells me
you left the band.
Yeah, it's better this way.
Come, sit. Sit, sit, sit.
My God.
I thought you were my mother.
Cesar, when my mother died...
...I wanted only to live in my sadness.
It was all I thought I had left of her.
But the music within me...
...would not be silent.
And when I finally sang...
...I found my mother
in the happiness of the people.
That kid...
He was the music.
And so are you.
Fire and water.
Both beautiful, Cesar.
But they have different life.
"In today's America,
every obstacle is temporary.
Every problem can be solved.
Where there is a will, there is a way...
...for the man of tomorrow... today's America."
We gotta take a vacation, you and me.
We gotta go down to Miami, huh?
And if we're too big in Miami,
we'll go straight back to Hollywood.
We'll go see Desi.
Remember what he told us?
We could always just drop by.
What's the matter?
I know.
"Chinaman, Indian
or from the planet Mars...
...a man can find happiness
the American way."
I guess you couldn't
find happiness after all.
We want to make a toast... our friend whose dream it was
to someday have a little club.
Nestor Castillo.
May he rest in peace.
But as not to let this little
gathering slip into sadness...
...I make a toast... all the lovely ladies who have
brought us warm smiles.
- To the fabulous Mambo Kings!
- And Tito Puente!
And to Cesar Castillo.
To America.
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
a little cancin that will live forever:
"Beautiful Maria of My Soul."
Cesar, come on up here.
No, you play now.
- Cesar.
- Go on.
Sing it for Nestor.
He worshiped you, Cesar.
He was always happy to go with you
to places to play for the people.
Those were good times.
Nobody can take that away.
I hurt him in so many ways.
Oh, no, Cesar.
You didn't hurt him.
Nestor hurt himself.
Nobody could save him.
You know, everything I was in my life...
...was because of him.
I would change places with him
right now...
...if I could.
It's his club.
Cesar, this is your club.
Now sing the bolero.
I don't have it in me anymore to sing.
Sing it for me.