¡Tango! follows a formula established by Carlos Gardel with films such as Luces de Buenos Aires (The Lights of Buenos Aires, 1931) in which a melodramatic story is interspersed with tango songs. However, the film had less dialog and more music, making it more like a musical revue. This format would be copied by many subsequent films. The plot is derived from tango songs. Many of these songs tell of the seduction of an innocent slum girl by a rich man who promises her a glamorous life, but who abandons her when her looks fade. The stylized and sentimental plot of ¡Tango! revolves around a young man who is abandoned by his girlfriend for an older rich man and is heartbroken. The film follows his misfortunes.