"Down Argentine Way" is important historically: it was the first of a string of sensationally successful 20th Century Fox Technicolor musicals in the 40's: it was the first to be influenced by the "Good Neighbour Policy" designed to curry favour with USA's neighbouring countries, following the loss of European markets after 1939 - later movies in the series highlighted Brazil("That Night in Rio"), Cuba ("Weekend in Havana") and Canada ("Springtime in the Rockies"): it was also the film to make Betty Grable a star, after 10 years of undistinguished supporting roles in Hollywood - she was eventually to become Fox's top female star: and it introduced Carmen Miranda to a worldwide audience.
The lightweight story concerns a romance between an Argentinian horse-breeder (Don Ameche) and a New York society beauty (Grable) eventually overcoming the disapproval of Ameche's father (Henry Stephenson), but it is mainly an excuse for some colourful song and dance numbers (music by Harry Warren). Don Ameche reveals himself as the owner of a pleasant singing voice (and in Spanish, too!), Betty Grable shakes a mean hoof and looks luscious in colour (she got this break because Alice Faye was unavailable for the role), and Carmen Miranda sings two songs in a cabaret interlude as well as introducing the film with "South American Way". Her sequences were filmed in New York as because of her theatre engagements they could not be filmed in Hollywood.For this film she was in effect merely one of a number of speciality acts, a feature of musicals at the time, but she was so sensational that Zanuck took the unprecedented step of giving her star billing. Another speciality act featured the very talented Nicholas Brothers, one of their very best appearances. The comedy support is well handled by Charlotte Greenwood as Grable's aunt, Leonid Kinskey as an escort/gigolo, and J. Carrol Naish as a wily trainer. None of the main unit of course went anywhere near Argentina, only the second unit gathering some establishing shots of Buenos Aires, and in fact the film caused such offence by caricaturing Latin American types that it was initially banned in Argentina (so much for the Good Neighbour policy!). Everyone else loved it though! And it is still immensely enjoyable.
Extras include a featurette on Betty Grable, a still photo gallery, and small lobby card copies.