1952, January 3 – PREMIERE OF “MI NOCHE TRISTE”

The film is based on the life of poet Pascual Contursi with one important difference, in real life Pascual would die alone, in a mental hospital suffering from dementia brought on by the  late stages of syphlis…Pascual’s lyrics had revolutionized tango…previously they had been joyful and gay; he turned them into something nostalgic and melancholy and set them in houses of prostitution where so much of tango culture was born…it was apparently something that he had personal experience with; an experience that would cost him a particularly tragic and painful death at the age of 44…the film, which premiered at the Grand Rex Cinema in Buenos Aires, was directed by Lucas Demare (born July 14, 1910, Cancer) …the soundtrack for the film was composed by legendary Lucio Demare, Lucas’ older brother and was performed in the film by Anibal Troilo and his orchestra…

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The film’s plot, in point of fact, reflects Pascual’s real life experience whereby the main character, a joyful poet, musician and singer falls madly in love with a young beautiful singer by the name of Lita…his wife catches them kissing and leaves Pascual and takes their son with her…intoxicated with love, Pascual decides to stay with Lita and indeed to work where she works so that he can remain near her…for Lita, the infatuation eventually disappears and she leaves him, leaving behind a distraught, shell of a man whose life consists of dreaming hopelessly of her return and drinking heavily…however, it is from this experience that Contursi writes “Lita”  which Carlos Gardel records as “Mi Noche Triste” ; it is the first “Tango Cancion” (sung tango) and the first tango that Gardel records…it is this tango which in time is a major hit and which turns Gardel from a regional folk singer to an international tango legend…at the end of the film, singer Oscar Alonso is heard singing the theme song of the film about whom Anibal Troilo was to say “after Gardel, he was the best tango singer of all time”

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