Top 10 Tangos in Film

Posted on: January 30, 2015 in: Tango, Programmes>2016-17 Season>ÉMIGRÉ

In advance of our next CLoSer concert, To and From Buenos Aires and to get you in the mood for the FREE tango taster from 6.45pm, we put together a list of our favourite tango dances on film. Would you agree with our Top 10?


10. Evita

The film traces the life of Eva Duarte (Madonna) who rises from poverty to become an Argentinian actress and wife of powerful President Juan Peron (Antonio Banderas). Through a series of flashbacks, Eva transforms from an impoverished teenager into a woman of influence and power.


9. Strictly Ballroom

In this Baz Luhrmann classic, a maverick dancer risks his career by performing his own moves. This tango with protagonist Paul Mercurio is certainly in line with the plot, with some interesting embellishments!


8. Never say Never Again

This scene has all the drama, class and glamour associated with its fellow Bond films. This rather Viennese version of the tango is danced by Sean Connery as James Bond and Kim Basiger.


7. Shall We Dance

Starring the incredible Richard Gere as a meek workaholic who is trapped in a mind-numbing existence, this film his story as he falls for a dance instructor (Jennifer Lopez). The film is mainly about ballroom dancing, but at one point the aforementioned protagonists dance the tango in beautiful lighting.

6. Je Ne Suis Pas Là Pour Être Aimé

Featuring two of the best French actors, this romantic film has won a ton of awards. The plot revolves around two individuals (Patrick Chesnais and Anne Cosigny) who are both unhappy with their lives and meet, after being advised by a doctor, to take tango lessons. This particular scene is stunningly filmed.


5. Moulin Rouge

Another Baz Luhrmann classic, this film is based on the story of a poet who falls in love with a dying prostitute at the nightclub, Moulin Rouge. Drawing on music from familiar 20th-century sources throughout, the tango is played at the gypsy club and is a tango-fied version of The Police’s Roxanne.


4. Last Tango in Paris

One of the most influential and controversial films of the 20th century, Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider’s appearance in this romance revolves around a tango bar in Paris where Schneider, an unknown Parisian woman, begins to reveal more about herself.


3. Chicago

Centred on two criminals who find themselves on death row, they right for the fame that will save them. In the film there is a prison where they perform a ‘Cell Block Tango’ with avid suggestions of both sensuality and violence.


2. True Lies

This action film-come-comedy begins and ends with the tango: “Por una cadez” by Carlos Gardel. The ending scene is our favourite of the two, featuring the two protagonists, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, and the stereotypical tango rose in the mouth!


1. Scent of a Woman

The story of a blind army colonel (Al Pacino) who hires a prep school student (Chris O’Donnell) to take care of him over the holidays, Al Pacino’s performance is this film is second to none. The tango scene, which occurs when the two are out for dinner and O’Donnell spots a beautiful young lady, demonstrates some of the most important aspects of tango: instinct, lust and passion.



CLOSER: To and From Buenos Aires 
Wednesday 25 February 2015, 7:30pm
FREE tango taster from 6:45pm 
Village Underground, Shoreditch
Tickets £15 or £5 for students (pre-register at available from Spitalfields Music Box Office or via phone on 020 7377 1362.