Film: 9710

Feature Drama | 1930 | Sound | Colour

Synopsis:

The very first Technicolor musical short. 'La Cucaracha'. (First live action dramatic 3-strip film - to be precise).

Two men in sombreros, Mexican style, and capes walk with their back to the camera towards El Oso cantina where a senorita in red stands outside. Mid shot of two men talking, are well dressed with a pink carnation in his button hole. They walk towards the cantina which has a poster of Pancho outside. It seems the well dressed man is an impresario and is going to see Pancho sing and dance. Close up of beautiful senorita who loves Pancho and does not want him to leave. She speaks her emotions to the poster of Pancho. He appears behind her and listens to her tirade for a moment before interrupting. She apologizes and they argue about his past. He storms through the doors of the cantina. Through the open door is general merriment, eating, dancing girls, waiters. A dance sequence involving women dressed in white lace mantillas and peasant style skirts and blouses and men wearing small sombreros, high waisted trousers and blue blankets. Close up of one woman dancing, in the background are three male dancers hiding their faces behind the capes they wear (looks good). They dance through the Mexican cafe with Pancho's girlfriend watching them. The impresario complains to a waitress about what sort of food he needs to make the perfect sauce Pancho's girlfriend asks her friend, the waitress, whether she can serve the gentleman as she must get rid of him. Her friend agrees. She goes up to the impresario and makes light of his choice of meal. He is outraged. He shakes a spoon at her. She looks puzzled, takes the spoon and polishes it with her lace shawl. She returns the spoon to him and marches off. Camera moves into close up of impresario seething. The waitress serves their food, the senorita in red looks on. He begins to prepare the sauce, a scraping of garlic rubbed into the bowl, a large splash of oil, some vinegar, a teaspoon of salt, ground pepper, a dash of Tabasco. He mixes it all up with a fork and tastes it. He waves the bowl under his eating companion's nose, smiles and looks very pleased with himself. He stirs the sauce with a spoon, smells it and looks displeased. He starts ripping herbs into small pieces and adds them to the sauce. The senorita offers to mix it. He refuses. He offers her a taste. She refuses and smelling it says "too much Tabasco". He is shocked and says "no not enough". He tips the Tabasco bottle into the sauce and vigorously shakes it in. He is still shouting too much Tabasco, what does this woman know? His eating companion looks aghast. He pours the sauce into his Mexican salad. They begin to eat, the looks on their faces become more and more paired. The senorita laughs. The eating companion announces the salad and sauce are delicious. They continue to eat. The impresario tries to eat a tortilla out. The senorita is watching so he must soak up his hot sauce with it and act as though nothing is wrong. Neither man can speak. Male pride ......? They indulge in small talk about the family. Senorita interrupts with "How's your salad?" and flounces off. The two men drop the macho facade and drink some water. Senorita is delighted. The owner of the bar is horrified and demands his waitresses get more water for the impresario. In Pancho's dressing room he is getting ready for the night's show. Senorita eavesdrops on a conversation Pancho is having with his dresser about women. The dresser begins to put the senorita down but Pancho stands up for her saying she is an angel. But then again there are plenty of angels in Mexico City. Amazing scene of dresser putting silver cummerbund on Pancho. Pancho twists into the silver length of cloth like he is dancing. At the final twirl, senorita steps forward to confront him. He denounces her. He wears a fantastic satin shirt. Pancho and senorita (Cucaracha, means cockroach) argue and Pancho kicks her out of his dressing room. La Cucaracha responds saying "it is bad luck to step on La Cucaracha". Pancho stands at door looking worried. Back at the care, Don Pedro wants La Cucaracha to sing. She refuses but he carries her to the stage. The impresario is angry to see her again. His eating companion tries to calm him down. Don Pedro pleads with La Cucaracha to sing. Nice shot of guitar player and La Cucaracha doing the song, 'La Cucaracha'. The cafe clientele join in the choruses. There is a mention of "no tiene marijuana que fumar" (she does not have marijuana to smoke) in the lyrics. Pan around the room to see customers singing with La Cucaracha. Pancho is introduced by the drum roll. Cut to the impresario. The crowd clap. La Cucaracha scowls. Don Pedro smile (he has La Cucaracha on his knee). Pancho and his dancing partner dance. La Cucaracha and customers start singing La Cucaracha. Good shot of the band. They all start singing La Cucaracha. Cut between the impresario, Pancho and La Cucaracha. Pancho dances towards her. His dance partner leaves. Pancho dances on the dance floor with La Cucaracha. Close up of drum beating. Close ups of La Cucaracha and Pancho doing a dance with a red cape. He dances her out of the cantina into an alleyway lit by a red light. He threatens to kill her for ruining his chances. However the impresario is impressed. All ends happily with a grand finale featuring all the dancers, Pancho and La Cucaracha. General merriment ensues.


To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 9710.