JESS FRANCO MONTH: La Reina Del Tabarin (1960)

Queen of the Tabarin is the first film that Jess Franco made for producer Marius Lesouer and the first film that Soledad Miranda would appear in for Franco, although her role is so small you may not even see her.

This is the story of Lolita (Mikaela, who was also in Franco’s Vampiresas 1930), a street singer who comes from very modest beginnings, busking with her uncle (Antonio Garisa) and Miguel  (Juan Antonio Riquelme) while her brother collects the donations from people who walk by. She dreams of a better life, so she sneaks into a big costume party and sings for the Countess.

That’s where she meets Fernando (Yves Massard), the Countess’s son who acts as if he were poor. She falls for him but he’s already spoken for. Despite him being shot in a duel defending her honor, she moves on to Paris, where she gets singing and finishing school lessons, becoming the rich star she was always meant to be while the recovering Fernando tries to win her back after renouncing his promiscuous ways.

Franco’s third major film after We Are 18 Years Old and Labios Rojos, this was originally going to be directed by León Klimovsky. This is very much a for hire job, as this was a vehicle for Mikaela, but the cabaret would feature in so many future Franco films.

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