The Mambo Kings

The Mambo Kings Brief Information

The Mambo Kings is a 1992 drama film directed by Arne Glimcher. It is an adaptation of Oscar Hijuelos's 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. The film stars Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas as Cesar and Nestor Castillo, brothers and aspiring musicians who flee from Cuba to America in the hopes of reviving their failed musical careers. The Mambo Kings marks the directing debut of Glimcher and features Banderas in his first English language role.

Glimcher purchased the film rights to Hijuelos's novel in 1988, before hiring Cynthia Cidre to write the screenplay. Various studios rejected the film, and after an unsuccessful pre-production development at Universal Studios, the project moved to Warner Bros., with producer Arnon Milchan agreeing to co-finance the film. When the studio wanted Jeremy Irons and Ray Liotta in the lead roles, Glimcher had to convince executives to cast Assante and Banderas instead. Filming for The Mambo Kings took place in Los Angeles, on sets recreating 1950s New York.

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