Movies all tanguer@s should watch or at least know about!
The following article briefly summarizes movies dealing with argentine tango from 1921. Due to the amount of movies associated with tango, the least important ones are omitted, such as “Tango” from 1933 with Libertad Lamarque, Pepe Arias Tita Merello; or the Norwegian “Soldier of Orange” from 1977.
Hope you’ll enjoy the movies! :)
Part I. : 1921 – 1992
Director: Rex Ingram
Rudolph Valentino (Julio Desnoyers), Alice Terry (Marguerite Lurier), Pomeroy Cannon (Madariaga, the Centaur)
Argentine landowner Julio Madariaga treats his land as if it was paradise. His daughters marry a German and a Frenchman, the latter being openly favoured by Madariaga. As the war approaches family ties result in growing tension..
Julio Madariaga’s grandson leads a lecherous life in Buenos Aires. In the famous tango-scene, a couple is dancing tango. Julio, following a quarrel starts dancing with the woman. Their dance receives an applause, and she ends up sitting in his lap. This is the sixth most popular silent film.
Director: John Reinhardt
Carlos Gardel, Rosita Moreno, Enrique de Rosas
The main character of this musical, Ricardo, decides to return to Barcelona and introduce Spaniards to the love of his life: tango. He meets the lonely beauty, Laura on the way home. He has no idea of the hardships he’ll have to endure in his new home.
This 58′ musical stars Carlos Gardel, in his last role. His tragic death shortly after the production of the movie led to a series of suicides.
Adios Buenos Aires, 1938
Director: Leopoldo Torres Ríos
Tito Lusiardo, Amelia Bence, Floren Delbene
B & W, musical
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Marlon Brando (Paul), Maria Schneider (Jeanne)
The middle-aged Paul is wandering in Paris, looking for forgotten memories of his wife who had committed suicide. His path crosses that of the 20 year-old university student, Jeanne. Lead from the dispair and agony of having lost his wife he engages in a wild sexual relationship with Jeanne. The movie was a huge scandal in the 70s.
The main characters drink in a cafe during a tango competition.
Director: Ken Russell
Rudolf Nureyev (Rudolph Valentino), Michelle Phillips (Natasha Rambova)
Hollywood, 1926. Crowds gather at the funeral of the star, Rudolph Valentino. Journalists bombarding friends and family of the dead star with questions… Valentino started his career as a parquet dancer in bars. A famous directress discovers her and arranges that he get the role of a lead character in the “Four horsemen of the apocalypse”. The Russian star, Nazimova becomes his patron whose girlfriend later becomes Valentino’s second wife. As these strong women direct and influence his life more and ore, Valentino gets more and more desperate…
Rudolf Nureyev was great ballet-dancer, soloist of the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad. In Ken Russell’s Valentino, he plays the role hollywood star and sex idol, Rudolph Valentino with excellent skills.
Director: Irvin Kershner
Sir Sean Connery (James Bond), Klaus Maria Brandauer (Largo), Max von Sydow (Blofeld)
Barbara Carrera (Fatima), Kim Basinger (Domino Petacci), Bernie Casey (Felix Leite)
Edward Fox (“M”)
The iconic Bond actor, Sean Connery had said twelve years before the movie that he’d never ever act Bond again… It isn’t a mere coincidence that the title of the new Bond movie was Never say never again…
In the wake of nuclear terrorism, who else could save the world than the 007 agent? As James Bond travels from England to the Bahamas and to France, his every step is followed by the beautiful but dangerous Fatima Blush who’s ready to do whatever it takes to reach her goals.
Tango: James Bond (Sean Connery) wins a large sum from Maximillion Largo; however, instead of taking the money, he asks for a dance with Domino (Kim Basinger). They dance a tango during which Bond reveals to Domino that it was her husband who killed her brother… the dance must go on if they don’t want Largo to realize what the chat was about…
Director: Fernando E. Solanas
Marie Laforêt, Philippe Léotard, Miguel Ángel Solá
20 year-old Argentine Mariana spends 8 years in Paris, away from the millitary dictature that reigns her country. She talks about how alien it felt to be in Paris and her memories and imagination become tangled up….
Mariana and her friends decide to create a tango musical dedicated to the memory of Carlos Gardel. Osvaldo Pugliese appears in the movie as he plays at a milonga.
The Tango Bar, 1988
Director: Marcos Zurinaga
Raul Julia, Valeria Lynch, Rubén Juárez
Antonio returns from Argentina and starts working with his old partner, Ricardo. They work on a cabared with a talented dance-group. Ricardo tells the story, Antonio sings: the spectators get to know the story of a sensual dance – tango. However, there is tension between the two men.. they are both in love with Elena. Which man will she choose after the show?
A romantic triangle between a tango dancer, his ex-partner and his wife…
Director: Leonard Schrader
Vincent D’Onofrio, Mathilda May, Fernando Rey
1924. Torres the wealthy argentine magistrate is traveling to Buenos Aires with his beautiful french wife on a luxury cruiser. During the trip, Stephanie falls in love with tango and a mystical stranger in whom she discovers the love of her life. She leaves her husband… But Cholo, the mystical stranger isn’t who he seems to be and Stephanie ends up as a prostitute…
The only good thing in the movie is tango. Fantastic venues and even greater dancers from Buenos Aires.
Director: Martin Brest
Al Pacino (Frank Slade), Chris O’Donnell (Charlie Simms)
Liutenant Colonel Frank Slage, after becoming blind in a grenade explosion becomes an intolerably cynical man. He decides to visit New York and enjoy life once again to then commit suicide. Charlie Simms, a prestigious internate’s student accompanies him on his way…
The movie’s tango scene is perhaps the best advertisement argentine tango has ever received! Al Pachino’s dance with the young woman is clumsy yet catching. Oscar winning performance!