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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
...
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

During the "Louisiana Hayride" number, Nanette Fabray gashed her leg when she broke through the top of a prop crate she was standing on. She said that shooting the "Triplets" number, which was filmed later and where she was forced to stand on her knees, was so painful that she had to take large numbers of pain pills. See more »

Goofs

In the second scene of the movie in which a Caucasian man is pointing to a picture of Tony Hunter in a magazine, the hand he points with is not his, as it is dark-skinned. See more »

Quotes

Gabrielle Gerard: The show's a big hit, Tony... It's going to run for a long time.As far as I'm concerned, it's going to run forever.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moulin Rouge! (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

By Myself
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Performed by Fred Astaire twice
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User Reviews

One sequence is gorgeous in its silence.
22 October 2002 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

There are many shimmering moments in Bandwagon: Fred Astaire (playing a role close to his own life story; he was 53 at the time), the acidic wit of Oscar Levant ('that'll keep 'em laughing!!') tempered by the sunny Nanette Fabray and musical numbers including "Shine on Your Shoes," "I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan," and a clever novelty trio called "Triplets." But the musical sequence that stands out the most is the one which has no vocal, no dialog, and gently advances the movie's plot of whether or not oil-and-water dancers Astaire and Cyd Charisse can actually perform together (when he thinks she's too tall and she thinks he's too old). Against a Central Park twilight, the film shows its heroes enjoy a hushed walk through a park (only an instrumental refrain of 'High and Low' is heard), after which they step into an empty courtyard (he in a pastel linen suit and spectator shoes, she in a flared white dress and ballet flats; a necessity to keep her from being taller than him on film) and into the pas-de-deux of "Dancing In The Dark." It's an exquisite sequence, which at times resembles courtship, foreplay, and ultimately a romantic climax- all done in dance. It ends, just as smoothly as it began, with the two leads spinning up a short flight of stairs and mounting a hansom cab, without a single hair out of place. Now THAT's entertainment.


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