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EXPERIENCE,  NEWS,  Tango & Cinema

Tango & Cinema: La cumparsita (1947)

Tango and love under the light of 1916.


“La cumparsita” is an Argentine cinematographic piece, both drama and musical genre, starring Hugo del Carril, directed by Antonio Momplet  and a screen by Alejandro Verbitsky and Emilio Villalba Welsh.

It develops in the year 1916, narrating the story of a journalist and an Argentine tango singer named Ricardo Galván (Hugo del Carril), an impossible love (Luisa, the daughter of the owner of the newspaper “El Faro”, played by Nelly Darén), of another life (along Pablo or Paul) and another love (Susana, played by Aída Alberti). On top of these, a memory loss after a “visit” to Paris and the things that took place during the first world war.

The film perfectly describes the classic fight that revolves around tango: a very popular opinion, like that portrayed by the character of Don Martín (the owner of the newspaper “El Faro”, played by José Olarra) that exposes tango as rude, immoral, associated with bad neighborhoods and brothels. On the other hand, the other end of this fight would say that it is a popular musical genre, originated in the suburbs, from humble people who “have no artifices and are not pretentious”, as Ricardo Galván says on the film, while narrating a sport new.

While on this topic, there is another scene that regards another classical tango battle: music that you can dance to and the participation of the singer. The owner of a dance saloon concludes “…people come here to dance! Singing goes better with zarzuela or romanas…”.

During the duration of this film we are also filled with beautiful classics, such as: “Che papusa oí”, “El rosal”, San Telmo”, “Mocosita”, “El choclo”, “El taita del arrabal”, “El entrerriano”, “Vea, vea”, “Garufa”, “Compadrón”, “Apache argentino” and the vals, “Mañana por la mañana” concluding with “La cumparsita” (considered by Uruguay as its “Himno popular y cultural” since 1998) with lyrics by Gerardo H. Matos Rodríguez (“La cumparsa of endelss miseries parades itself around that ill human being that will soon die of sorrow. That is why he lies whimpering on his bed, remembering a past that makes him suffer…”).

Hugo del Carril delights us while singing with a Gardelian style and Osmar Maderna (considered the Chopin of tango) and his typical orchestra making a recognition, through their interpretations, to Uruguayan Gerardo H. Matos Rodríguez (who died one year later, April 25, 1948).

We consider necessary to point out two important things: first, regarding the lack of credibility of the realism of the film´s plot. The second one, the majority of the tangos that appear on the movie were released after the timeline refered.

We invite you to watch and listen to this version of “La cumparsita”, performed by the amazing voice of Hugo del Carril.



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