Thank you to Fox for releasing these fun-filled, lavish and colorful musicals. Even if you are not actually a Grable fan (I am not), you will find all these films wholly entertaining.
If you enjoy musicals and escapist fare, it's hard to to do better. Don't look for plots, just look for exceptional entertainment values. The Fox musicals may not have been the summum of art (like MGM's for instance), but at the time, they were even more popular and exemplified escapist fun more than any other films around. And they hold up wonderfully (for this 33 year old at any rate!)
DOWN ARGENTINE WAY (1940) is resplendant with Latin-flavored (reproduced) locales, flashy costumes, verve, romance and a remarkable cast. That was the film that made Grable a household name, it's the US debut of Brazilian bombshell Carmen Miranda (singing some of her biggest hits). The Nicholas Brothers do an amazing dance number and the songs are all very memorable and blend in it the festive atmosphere. Almost a paid vacation in great company :-)
MOON OVER MIAMI (1941) is perhaps one of the most entertaining of all Fox musicals. The serviceable storyline of fortune-hunters passing off as heiresses helped to produce three hits for the studio, a straight comedy in 1938, this musical in 1941 and another musical in 1946. Exteriors were actually shot on location and it adds a lot to the vacation feel of the film. Hummable songs, snappy dances, breezy fun, the personable and affable Bob Cummings and the beautiful Carole Landis all add to create a really amusing, tuneful musicomedy. Technicolor at its zenith.
THE DOLLY SISTERS (1945) Grable is paired with the lovely June Haver. The fanciful and fictional story built around the (actually brunette) sisters is a fabulous showcase for the two blondes and features some of Fox's imaginative (garish) production numbers. The best songs are those performed more simply by the girls and by John Payne. Fox always did great with this kind of nostalgic musicals and this one is a richly evocative example.
MY BLUE HEAVEN (1950) provided a change of pace role for Grable. Paired with one of her best screen partners, Dan Dailey, her character here is not the usual brassy, sassy kind - this musical is much more sentimental than any other she ever did and it works very well although it's been oddly neglected for years. Newcomer Mitzi Gaynor has some terrific moments too. Just a wonderful, warm-hearted movie.
All 4 films are so good that the set seems a must and to me, they are the best Grable ever starred in. Looking forward to seeing even more Fox musicals on DVD in the future!!!!!