The Band Wagon (1953)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  7 August 1953 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 7,054 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 56 critic

A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition.



(story), (story), 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Easter Parade (1948)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford
On the Town (1949)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar Levant
Top Hat (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. However, things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant
Swing Time (1936)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mimi Glossop wants a divorce so her Aunt Hortense hires a professional to play the correspondent in apparent infidelity. American dancer Guy Holden meets Mimi while visiting Brightbourne (... See full summary »

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A musical remake of Ninotchka: After three bumbling Soviet agents fail in their mission to retrieve a straying Soviet composer from Paris, the beautiful, ultra-serious Ninotchka is sent to ... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon
Royal Wedding (1951)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tom and Ellen Bowen are a brother and sister dance act whose show closes in New York. Their agent books them in London for the same period as the Royal Wedding. They travel by ship where ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Navy sailor tries to rekindle a romance with the woman he loves while on liberty in San Francisco.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott
Carefree (1938)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Dr. Tony Flagg's friend, Steven, has problems in the relationship with his fiancee, Amanda, so he persuades her to visit Dr. Flagg. After some minor misunderstandings, she falls in love ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy


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


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


M-G-M's Top Technicolor Musical! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Love Louisa  »

Box Office


$2,169,120 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


At the New York opening night, the theater name on the marquee is Alcott Theatre, but the program cover has Stratton Theatre. See more »


Lester Marton: I can stand anything but pain!
See more »


Spoofs An American in Paris (1951) See more »


Penny Arcade
Music by Arthur Schwartz
In the score while Tony is in the arcade
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the top four movie musicals of all-time / in no particular order oldsenior
The Band Wagon v Singing in the Rain jamdonahoo
Loved it!!! GREAT!! But... UCFfilmcritic
Leroy Daniels lkpo90
Favourite Character Mel204
Why? And How Could this Happen! mattsmith89
Discuss The Band Wagon (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: