Manuel de la Pedrosa

Sog.: Manuel P. del Valle. Scen.: George P. Quigley. F.: Enrique Bravo. M.: Julio Chavez, Julio Trigo. Scgf.: Manuel P. del Valle. Mus.: Maño López. Int.: Rafael Bertrand, Maritza Rosales, Lolita Salazar, Bob Wilkinson, Mimí Cal, Julito Díaz, José González Regueral. Prod.: Proficuba. Dvd. D.: 86’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Manuel de la Pedrosa (1915-1981), a Spanish lawyer who moved to Cuba in the 1950s, rose rapidly in the world of cinema with three ‘light’ films, Música, mujeres y piratas, Hotel de muchachas and Príncipe de contrabando. With Cuba canta y baila, funded by producer Manuel Pellón, De la Pedrosa decided to use the same formula. As hinted at by the title, the film revolves around a series of musical numbers resting on a narrative pretext intended only to put the limelight on Cuba’s great popular music. Productora Fílmica Cubana (Proficuba) assembled a stellar cast: actors Mimí Cal, Julito Díaz, Maritza Rosales and Rafael Bertrand, to name a few. The film also featured the dance couple Ana Gloria and Rolando (‘the king and queen of mambo’), Olga Chorens and Tony Álvarez, Joaquín García and his Mulatas de Bronce, Guillermo Portabales, the duo Los Compadres, Jack Dempsey and Amenaza Roja and the comparsas El alacrán, Los marqueses and Las jardineras, since a touristic vision of the Cuban capital without its carnival was inconceivable. The picture also includes a dozen original music numbers by famous local composers, a common figure for Cuban films of that time. The release of Cuba canta y baila was scheduled for August 13, 1951, at the main theaters in Havana: Reina, Negrete, Cuatro Caminos, Luyanó, Olimpic, Ámbar, Roxy and Récord. Distribuidora CubaMex’s printed program reads, “Singing and dancing have always been a part of Cuba, but now more than ever our people can freely enjoy and live the innermost sense of its enchanting rhythms… these beautiful songs and marvelous dances of a bygone time will fully resonate with every Cuban”.

Luciano Castillo

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