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Music,Dance and Romance Latin American Style.,
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This review is from: Down Argentine Way [DVD]  (DVD)
Fox's studio head,Zanuck, intended to capitalise on the excitement generated by Portuguese-born Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda in New York with her Latin-South American music. He proposed an Argentinian location filming with the established Fox stars.(Much was filmed in the Fox studios). Alice Faye announced shortly before the picture shoot that she didn't want to make the film (although her costumes had already been made and the script finalised). She went into hospital. The concensus was it was an appendicectomy which Alice later said was not the case. It did lead to the studio finding another blue-eyed blond good looker by the name of Betty Grable to take the lead role.
Two new actresses presented to the public on film for the first time seemed risky but they both became,as we now know, legendary. Down Argentine Way is a quickly moving,delightfully relaxing and and enjoyable film presented in 1940's Technicolor. An American heiress Glenda Crawford (Betty Grable) loves horses and wants to purchase a thoroughbred off Ricardo Quintana (Don Ameche). The problem is that Ricardo's father Don Diego Quintana (Henry Stephenson) refuses to have any dealings with the Crawford family due to an old feud (over a girl it later transpires) with Willis Crawford, the family head. In pursuit of her love of horses she flies to Argentina with her mother Binnie Crawford (Charlotte Greenwood) also interested in horses and racing. Glenda meets Ricardo and falls in love, the feelings later reciprocated by Ricardo. After an eye-catching dramatic and important horse race old family differences and squabbles are put to rest.
Plenty of singing and dancing. Charlotte Greenwood is solid as an actress but a revelation with her high-kicking dance and singing (Sing To Your Seniorita). Betty Grable dances excellently with glimpses of the famous legs and gives an overall attractive film debut. Don Ameche is a favourite leading man and delivers himself with a reasonable Spanish accent. Carmen Miranda opens the film with a song and a shimmy, subsequently to appear in a night club where she sings two numbers (Mama Yo Quiera and Bambu). Nothing to do with the storyline but she certainly makes an unforgettable impression on the viewer. The outstanding Nicholas Brothers again make an appearance with their best routine I can remember. Fast,flexible double-jointed dancing is remarkable.Sheer delight. An entertaining film poorly received in Argentina as portraying the native population in a patronising Hispanic way. It was, however, phenomenally successful for Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda (she even talks in later films!). The title song,performed by Don Ameche and Betty, was Oscar nominated. A vintage entertaining film.