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La Cucaracha (1934)

Approved | | Short, Comedy, Musical | 31 August 1934 (USA)
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 »



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
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 <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)


(3-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first full-color live-action film. 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

Sure, it's not great, but for film experts, cinephiles and historians, it's a must.
16 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

"La Cucaracha" is a short that features lots of singing and dancing....and about a billion choruses of the song! Yes, THAT song...the one about cockroaches. Señor Martinez comes to the cantina looking for talent for his shows. Conchita is afraid that Martinez will take away Pancho, so she spends most of the film annoying Martinez--to drive him off!

"La Cucaracha" is a film that would have been completely forgotten over the years except for one thing--it's the first color film made using true color. Let me explain. In the early part of the 20th century, a few films actually were hand-painted--and the results were color...or sorts. Later, two-color processed (such as Two Color Technicolor and Cinecolor) were developed and the results were fair. The problem was that the films looked very orange and very green and a true spectrum of colors was absent. So, for example, true blues were not possible with the films. Now when you see "La Cucaracha", you might not be very impressed with the color. It looks garish--and a lot like it's been colorized but with much more vibrant colors (particularly blues and yellows). I am not sure if this ugly look is because of the effects of time and degradation on the film stock, the quality of the new Three Color Technicolor or because the 'experts' just didn't know what they were doing since it was such a new thing. But, regardless, the film is mega-important from a historical perspective. And, by the way, some might think "Becky Sharp" was the first full-color film. It's actually the first full-color FULL-LENGTH film--"La Cucaracha" was a short. Overall, the film is mildly entertaining and moderately funny--but nothing more. It's only fair entertainment but for film buffs it's a must-see.

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