Just for fun: Top Five Movie Tango Scenes

My friend took me to a Zumba class last night for the first time, it’s a cardio class fused with Latin and International music and dance moves. I can’t dance worth a damn so I usually stick with more of a card kickboxing type of classes but I found Zumba to be a lot of fun! Time flew as it didn’t feel quite like a regular workout, though the moves were pretty fast that it was tough to follow at times. I was so energized that I thought I’d have a dance-related post for today. Among various dance styles, the Tango is probably one of the most dramatic.

So here are FIVE of the most memorable movie Tango scenes:

Moulin Rouge – el Tango de Roxane


The crème de la crème of all movie Tango scenes, this one still gives me goosebumps every time I watched it! I love how Baz Luhrmann makes this emotionally-charged dance number part of an integral plot. It’s one of the most creative way of illustrating what is going on with Satine at that given moment, and how it breaks Christian’s heart. It’s got to be a challenging scene to film with so many dancers, but Luhrmann pulled it off brilliantly. The contrast between the Argentinian guy’s gruff voice and Ewan McGregor’s smooth tenor is just beautiful and adds so much drama and suspense to the scene. Bravo!

Easy Virtue

You know, I’d never picture Jessica Biel and Colin Firth in a movie together, but she held her own surprisingly well amongst the all-British cast (read my full review). This Tango sequence happens towards the end of the movie, and it’s a great scene not only for the dance itself but what it represents. It’s Biel’s character Larita’s final goodbye so to speak as she’s about to move on from the society that’s suffocating her, and when Firth joins in, he’s making a statement to everyone in the room that she’s sticking by Larita. They’re defiant, and doing it in style!

Scent of a Woman

One of the memorable scenes in this 1992 drama is when Pacino’s character, the blind Col. Frank Slade, observed a beautiful young woman (Gabrielle Anwar) waiting for her date and proceeded to lead her to a spectacular tango on the dance floor. Whoo-hah! :)


Mask of Zorro


Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have amazing chemistry in this movie, seems as if they’re ready to tear each other’s clothes off every time they meet. So no doubt this Tango scene is muy caliente! Rrrrrrr! :D


True Lies

According to IMDb’s True Lies‘ trivia, “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biggest challenge for the movie was not doing all the physical stunts, but dancing a tango.” Ha! You think? That guy is as stiff as a tree trunk! It’s funny how Tia Carere kind of have to be extra sensuous to balance Arnold’s stoic face and movement. But still, just seeing Arnold do the tango is such a hoot that I have to include this scene. Plus, True Lies is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine.

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Oh I feel like dancing now :) Now, feel free to add your own favorite movie dance sequence!

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35 thoughts on “Just for fun: Top Five Movie Tango Scenes

    • Yes, it really stood out even amongst other great scenes in the movie. Never watched Rent before, but I wasn’t too fond of the stage play either.

  1. FUN IS RIGHT!

    I love the one from Scent of A Woman. That movie gets blasted so often, and yet I thoroughly enjoy it.

    I remember seeing Zorro in the theater and how exciting that dance really was. I know Zeta-Jones ended up with Michael Douglas, but the chemistry between her and Antonio STILL makes me believe they belong together.

    And True Lies, YES PLEASE!

    • I know, me too! It’s a good role for Al and even Chris O’Donnell was pretty good in it.

      He..he.. I bet Michael was jealous of Antonio! I think he fell for her in that movie, she’s never looked better than in Zorro IMO, who knew she’s a Welsh girl, I thought she was from Spain!

      I knew a woman of discriminating taste like you would enjoy True Lies, too. High five, Heather!

    • Walk the streets for money
      You don’t care if it’s wrong of if it is right
      ROXANNE
      You don’t have to wear that dress tonight
      ROXANNE
      You don’t have to sell your body to the night

      I love that last line… that whole dance is so poetic!

      Btw, do you tango, Dez? I don’t think I can even if my life depended on it :)

      • I could probably if I had to, especially since I’m physically a bit lazy and tango is slower than rumba, samba, cha cha cha :) But I prefer modern dance. I like to turn on the music, jump on my CARDIO TWISTER and dance ten minutes each day :)

        Yes, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SELL YOUR BODY TO THE NIGHT always reminds me of Pink’s SOBER and the line OOOO THE NIGHT IS CALLING, AND IT WHISPERS TO ME SOFTLY COME AND PLAY, OOOOO I AM FALLING, BUT IF I LET MYSELF GO I’M THE ONLY ONE TO BLAME ……

  2. I had forgotten about the movie “Easy Virtue.” Not at all bad and as you say Biel held her own. And yes, absolutely how can one forget Pacino in Scent of a Woman, truly beautiful…sigh.

  3. Thanks for the list – this was one of my to-do items to gather a tango film festival list for a home viewing someday. I had about five movies in mind but couldn’t remember them all but certainly True Lies and Scent of a Woman were on the top of the list.
    Reminder to self to check out Zorro – C.Z-J is so hot.
    I don’t remember the scenes in Moulin Rouge or Easy Virtue so will have to re-rent them and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Evita and here is another one that I’ve come across: Assassination Tango – Robert Duvall’s fascination with tango finds its expression in this labor of love, a film he wrote, directed, and stars in

    • Hi Sig, welcome to FC! What a neat idea to have a tango film festival viewing. CZJ is hot in the Zorro movies, though the first one was probably the peak of her sexy look. Oh, you’d HAVE to rewatch Moulin Rouge just for the tango scene, it’s the best of all movie tango scenes IMO.

      I’ve never heard of that Duvall movie, wow, I need to check that one out. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Great post, Ruth! I love watching tango because it is very sexy and dramatic. El Tango de Roxanne is one of my favorite scenes ever, period. I’d add Tango:Maureen from Rent and Cell Block Tango from Chicago to the list!

    • Yes, very sexy indeed! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE El Tango de Roxanne, I think that’s the best scene in the film and perhaps the best tango scene ever! It’s filled w/ sooo much emotion!

    • Awesome Fogs! So what’s your fave out of these five? For me it’s hands down El Tango de Roxanne, as I said above, it’s just so heart-wrenching as Christian sings his heart out for Satine… Great question today man!

  5. Ruth,
    Definitely a fun list.
    Pacino and Schwarzenegger on a dance list- phenomenal!
    I enjoy Pacino’s SOAW tango myself. :-)
    Nice tango group.

    • Hi S! Glad you enjoyed the list. It makes me want to rewatch these films again. True Lies is full of fun scenes, but the Tango definitely takes the cake!

  6. The Scent of a woman tango scene is my favorite, especially the song they used and Pacino’s performance! I also like Cell Block Tango from Chicago, do you know it? Very cool

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