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The Band Wagon (1953)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 7 August 1953 (USA)
A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Lester Marton
...
Lily Marton
Jack Buchanan ...
Jeffrey Cordova
...
Paul Byrd
Robert Gist ...
Hal
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Storyline

Tony Hunter, a famous singer/dancer movie star, is feeling washed up and old hat (old top hat, tie and tails to be exact). The reporters are out for Ava Gardner, not him. But his old friends Lily and Les Martin have an idea for a funny little Broadway show and he agrees to do it. But things begin to get out of hand, when bigshot "artistic" director/producer/star Jeffrey Cordova joins the production, proclaims it's a modernistic Faust and insists on hiring a prima ballerina, Gabrielle Gerard, to star opposite Tony, and it's hate at first sight. And her jealous choreographer isn't helping to ease the tension. The show is doomed by pretentiousness. But romance, a "let's put on a show" epiphany, and a triumphant opening are waiting in the wings. After all, this is a musical comedy! Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

7 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Love Louisa  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,169,120 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to supplemental information on the DVD Nanette Fabray stated that Oscar Levant was very difficult to work with. Whenever something would go wrong and he would make a mistake he would blame whoever was around instead of himself. This Included stage hands, other actors, lighting technicians or whoever was handy. She said that, since she was usually closest, she caught the brunt of it. Following the scene where they shot the botched rehearsal he blamed her for something and she lost her temper and told him off using unladylike language. Everyone on the set applauded her. After that he was much easier to work with. See more »

Goofs

Theater people never wish each other "Good Luck" (as Gaby and Tony do in the alley before opening night). They're superstitious that this will bring bad luck instead. That's why they always say "Break a leg". See more »

Quotes

Lester Marton: Joe - if my wife asks where I am, tell her that I've gone to Tahiti. To paint.
See more »

Connections

References Camille (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

A Shine on Your Shoes
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by Fred Astaire and Danced by him and Leroy Daniels
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Now that's entertainment!...
28 March 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Last night's viewing changed my mind...this really is one of the great MGM musicals.

Strangely, this never held the same appeal for me as some of the other technicolor musicals of the period, but watching it last night for the first time in years, I appreciated what a really fine actor/dancer FRED ASTAIRE was and what a gorgeous dancer and woman CYD CHARISSE always was.

Mix in the great supporting cast--JACK BUCHANAN who does a neat tap routine matching Astaire every step of the way and hamming it up appropriately, and those two devils--NANETTE FABRAY with her quick smile and Oscar LEVANT with his quick wit and you realize that Comden and Greene were two of the best comedy writers the screen had, this side of Dorothy Parker.

The two musical highlights for me were "Triplets" (smashing good job by Astaire, Fabray and Buchanan) and the Astaire/Charisse Central Park dance sequence that flows to the music of "Dancing in the Dark".

Summing up: If you love MGM musicals, you owe it to yourself to see this one for the magic of Astaire and Charisse together, not to mention all the other plus factors--costumes, scenery, backstage plot and those marvelous songs that come one after another to delight eye and ear! And give Jack Buchanan a hand for squeezing every bit of ham from a role that calls for it, in spades!

Almost forgot: the opening "Shine on Your Shoes" number set in Times Square is a howl! The only black seen anywhere is the shoeshine man himself.


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