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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 »
Despite it's paper thin plot or saran wrap plot, DOWN ARGENTINE WAY is kind of fun, especially seeing it in this day and age. The DVD is outstanding with the colors very bright and chic, the way Foxs' musicals have always been. This put Betty Grable on the map and she is a fine replacement for Alice Faye. Maybe better, since Betty was a much better dancer as a couple of numbers have been added to the plot because of her. Carmen Miranda doesn't really have a role. She is just featured in a couple of night club scenes. Looks like her scenes were added on and has no bearing on the plot. Don Ameche is fine with his very good accent. The real standouts are Charlotte Greenwood and especially the Nocholas brothers. They must be seen to be believed. Like Miranda, they have no bearing in the story, just a showcase for their amazing dancing. For these reasons alone, see this one. Now Fox needs to release THAT NIGHT IN RIO and THE GANGS ALL HERE on DVD, as well as some other Betty Grables.
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