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Tango & Cinema: “Tango Bar” (1935)

Tango Bar, his last movie.

In the streets of Buenos Aires you can listen to the elderly talking about 1930 ́s tango as the most authentic representation of that art. Those were tango ́s golden years: spreading contagiously around the world in all sorts of forms, sizes, flavors and colors. Cinema was one of the most marvelous packages that would expose the essence of its authentic characters, such as Carlos Gardel.

Tango Bar is an example of this. A 1935 movie directed by Austrian John Reinhardt and starring Zorzal Crillo, an incredible actor renown worldwide in the leading role. It is a one hour footage that tells the story about a horse gambling man that loses a bet because of one head or, as the song says “por una cabeza”. Does this sound familiar to you?

Therefore, Ricardo Fuentes (Gardel) travels by ship from Buenos Aires to Barcelona with the sole purpose of opening a tango bar where he could expose his art and milonga. But just before arriving on Europe, he meets Laura Montalván (Rosa Moreno) in the ship and he falls in love with her, although there are some details of her life that could make him hesitate between love ́s spade and a moral barrier.

The film is a musical displayed in black and white colors and is firmly sustained by Alfredo Le Pera, Gardel ́s and Alberto Castellanos music. The film was shot both in Argentina and the United States, delighting us with tango classics such as “Por una cabeza”, “Los ojos de mi moza”, “Lejana tierra mía” y “Arrabal amargo”.

The result is an enjoyable story that evoques feelings, proverbs, facts and bits of 1930 ́s comedy. Furthermore, you can get to see Enrique de Rosa, an Argentinian established actor from that era.

Tango Bar was first released in 1935 in New York City by Paramount Pictures. This represented the last one of the series of Carlos Gardel movies, since he passed shortly just days before its release.

Certainly, this charming fusion between tango and the seventh art is not merely a recommendation, but a must-see if you are a tango lover or a cinema fan.

© images/videos credits: www.buenosaires.gob.ar; youtube: Antonius74