Betty Grable and Dan Dailey are a married song and dance team who cannot have children. The movie follows the travails as they try and adopt and keep the kids they adopt while performing on their TV show.
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This was the first of a series of Latin American-themed movies that became very popular with American audiences in the 1940s. Darryl F. Zanuck produced the film in response to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor Policy" of friendship towards Latin American countries. Also, with the war in Europe starting, Zanuck hoped to develop Mexico and South America as alternative markets for his Hollywood films. However, while Down Argentine Way (1940) was a success in America, the Argentines hated it! When the film was screened in Buenos Aires, Argentine government officials refused to allow it to be shown in any theaters in their country. Among the things the Argentines objected to: (1) None of the Argentine characters in the film spoke with an Argentine Castilian Spanish accent. (2) Several Argentine characters are depicted as lazy, freeloading, or dishonest. (3) The three Argentine bankers who greet Betty Grable at the airport speak to her in fractured English, when most upper-class Argentines spoke perfect English. (4) Casiano, the horse groom played by J. Carrol Naish, wears a "gaucho" outfit ("gauchos" are Argentine cowboys, not horse ranchers). (5) Although Carmen Miranda was popular in Argentina, she was Brazilian and sang Cuban-inspired songs in Portuguese. Her presence in the movie gave the impression that Argentina is a tropical country, when it is a mountain country. See more »
Although Edward Fielding is listed in the credits as having portrayed Glenda Crawford's father, Willis Crawford, he is nowhere to be seen throughout the entire movie. See more »
Betty Grable goes "Down Argentine Way" in this 1940 musical, also starring Don Ameche, Charlotte Greenwood, Carmen Miranda, and J. Carroll Naish. Grable is Glenda Crawford, who buys a horse from the South American Ricardo Quintana (Ameche), unaware that the families don't get along. On hearing her last name, Quintana realizes that he has to cancel the sale in accordance with his father's (Naish) orders. Glenda and Ricardo are already falling in love, so although Glenda rejects him after the aborted sale, she soon heads for Argentina on the excuse of buying horses. With her is her aunt Binnie (Greenwood). There, she reconnects with Ricardo, though she has to meet his father under the assumed name of Cunningham.
This is a typical Fox musical with its bright, vibrant colors and high energy. And, like many Fox musicals, it has no plot and literally one musical number after another. Because Fox had Carmen Miranda and Cesar Romero under contract, there was often a south of the border flavor. Here, Miranda plays herself performing in a nightclub, and she's a dynamo.
Ameche sings pleasantly and does his usual good job, and Grable as usual is a joy - a pretty, likable actress, a good dancer and singer, and a bundle of energy. Charlotte Greenwood has several musical numbers and is very entertaining.
These musicals are always good for what ails you. My favorite Fox musicals of this kind are "Springtime in the Rockies" and "The Gang's All Here," but "Down Argentine Way" is a delightful film.
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