Pugliese playing “La Yumba” to his fans in the 1948 film “Mis cinco hijos” (My five sons).
Some things to note in this film clip:
- At the 1:13 mark you will see a little joke added to the scene. The insulting term for these women is “planchadoras.” The word means ironing lady. But, in tango, it refers to women who sits all night at a milonga without being asked to dance. Perhaps because they are pressing their dresses on the sit all night long. Or worse, mocking the social status of domestic workers. This term is found in a few tango lyrics.
- Puliese gets a close-up at 2:24. Notice that he is the only one in the orchestra with his back to the audience.
- Laced throughout the film clip we see examples of what social tango dancing to Pugliese’s music looked like in 1948. Film makers used to ask tango dancers at milongas to dance in films that called for tango dancing, with little more than a promise of some fame. Perhaps this was a cost-cutting measure, but it also makes sense to use real tango dancers for authenticity, rather than specially train actors to dance tango and get less than authentic results. Notice that everyone is dancing close-embrace, with small movements.