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Film / La Cucaracha

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La Cucaracha is a 1934 short film (20 minutes) directed by Lloyd Corrigan.

Señor Martinez, owner of a famous Mexican theater, comes to a cantina to scout out one of the dancers, Pancho. Señor Martinez intends to sign Pancho to a contract and take him away to the theater. However, his girlfriend Chatita (Steffi Duna), who doesn't want to be left behind, attempts to sabotage the deal.

This otherwise rather unexceptional short film was one of the first live-action films to feature the three-strip "No. 4" Technicolor process. Three-strip Technicolor would soon replace the old two-strip process and become the standard in Hollywood for decades.


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Tropes:

  • As You Know: A lot of introductory dialogue between Señor Martinez and his friend establishing that Martinez is a theater owner who is there to scout Pancho.
  • Brownface: Steffi Duna was Hungarian.
  • Titled After the Song: The traditional Mexican folk tune "La Cucaracha".
  • Title Drop: Pancho calls Chatita a cockroach when she starts getting too clingy. So she decides to sing "La Cucaracha" to interrupt and ruin Pancho's dance number.
  • Translation Convention: Except for the chorus to "La Cucaracha", which is sung in the traditional Spanish.

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