"Por Una Cabeza" has been recently popularized in the movies,"Scent of a Woman","True Lies"and "Schindler's List" and was also featured in a Canada-Tourism video advertisement last year (1996).
"Por Una Cabeza" - "By a head" (rough English translation) was a song Carlos Gardel composed for a movie (filmed in Hollywood) where he plays a horse-race gambler, thus the "silly" title and even though it became a big hit around the world, no one would think of OTB or horsey-betting when listening to this wonderful music. The truth is that it was not the most popular of his songs. His most popular songs which I heard while I was still in Europe and listening to them in many a tango bar in the Latin quarters were,"Mi Buenos Aires Quierido" and "El Dia Que Me Quieres".
But we live in a world of fads, mimicking and duplications. So first the people in "A Scent of a Woman" heard it and said "...that's it we'll use it!"....then people in "True Lies" said we need a tango..hey the one we heard in "A Scent.." sounded good, lets play it!"...then the geniae (plural of
geniuses?) in "Schindler's List" sort of said the same.... and the rest is history....but it is still one of the most beautiful melodies..and only if one really could hear the rest of the Carlos Gardel's songs....and understand the poetry of his lyrics...he wa truly the king of tangos. ...ludwik