La Cucaracha (1934)

Approved  |   |  Short, Comedy, Musical  |  31 August 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 179 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

Señor Martinez, a famous theater owner, visits a local café in Mexico because of its reputation for good food and to audition the famous dancer who performs there. Martinez tells the café ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Steffi Duna ...
Paul Porcasi ...
Señor Martinez
Eduardo Durant ...
Orchestra Leader
Eduardo Durant's Rhumba Band ...


Señor Martinez, a famous theater owner, visits a local café in Mexico because of its reputation for good food and to audition the famous dancer who performs there. Martinez tells the café owner that if the dancer is as good as he has heard, he will offer the dancer a contract to perform in his theater. The café's female singer hears about this and is determined that he won't leave the café without her. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Melody Drama Of Dazzling Splendor In Technicolor


Short | Comedy | Musical






Release Date:

31 August 1934 (USA)  »

Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)


(3-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Natalie Kalmus, wife of Technicolor developer Herbert T. Kalmus, didn't like the use of colored lights in the production. However, upon leaving the studio she was struck by a car and hospitalized, so the production continued with the theatrical colored lighting plan, ignoring her dictum. See more »


Featured in Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (2002) See more »


Mexican Hat Dance (El jarabe tapatío)
Music by Felipe A. Partichela
Performed by Don Alvarado (dance number), with Eduardo Durant and His Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

in truly glorious Technicolor
30 December 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This famous experimental short apparently was the first 20 minute film released in full three strip Technicolor in August 1934. However there are two other shorts possibly filmed earlier but released a month later which are equally gorgeous: GOOD MORNING EVE and SERVICE WITH A SMILE both made for Warner Bros Vitaphone. The notion that these other two were filmed earlier can be confirmed by the fact that they are Hayes code risqué whereas LA CUCARACHA made for Pioneer Pictures at RKO is a lot more tame, even though it got into cinemas a bit ahead. LA CUCARACHA is the least bouncy of the three but has a Technicolor image dripping with oil-painting richness. It is very much like DUEL IN THE SUN made in 1946. LA CUCARACHA is completely Mexican-Spanish and as a breathtaking visual depiction of a Cantina dinner/dance it makes for truly beautiful viewing. It clearly was also made to test the thoroughness of the Technicolor palette in preparation for the full length feature BECKY SHARP produced at RKO few months later. The WB pair are more fun to watch because of their snazzy vaudeville style and art deco madness. LA CUCARACHA is more serious in tone but ha equally astounding use of color. If you can see all three shorts in quick succession and in excellent DVD clarity you will quickly become a dedicated fan of 30s Technicolor. Each are a revelation. This one has studio lit greens and orange hues in a Spanish style that will have you gasping out loud.

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