7.6/10
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104 user 57 critic

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:
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Robert Gist ...
Hal Benton
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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

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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,169,120 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In the scene before the revised show opens, Tony and Gabrielle wish each other good luck. It is a well-known superstition in the theatre that saying "Good luck" is bad luck. See more »

Quotes

Tony Hunter: Oh, I'm afraid I've been awfully rude, I haven't told you how wonderful you were tonight.
Gabrielle Gerard: Oh, thank you, I'm a great admirer of yours too.
Tony Hunter: Oh, I didn't think you'd ever even heard of me.
Gabrielle Gerard: Heard of you? I used to see all your pictures when I was a little girl. And I'm still a fan, I recently went to see a revival of them at the museum.
Tony Hunter: [offended] Museum? 'Step right this way, ladies and gentlemen, Egyptian mummies, extinct reptiles, and Tony Hunter, the grand old man of the dance!"
Gabrielle Gerard: Oh I-I didn't ...
[...]
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Connections

References Swing Time (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love Louisa
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
In the score during the opening credits
Performed by Fred Astaire, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray and chorus
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User Reviews

 
The most sophisticated musical ever made
14 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

The most sophisticated of all screen musicals and Minelli's masterpiece. It's also the best putting-on-a-show musical ever made, (forget about those Busby Berkeley musicals and Judy and Mickey; this is the real McCoy). The show about to be put on is a musical version of "Faust", directed by a high-minded type, 'a genius of the theatre' with more hits running than Andrew Lloyd Webber, (Jack Buchanan in a great musical-comedy performance). The show would, of course, have been a disaster had not its star, (the incomparable Fred Astaire at his incomparable best), and its writers, (Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant as fairly obvious take-offs of the film's writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green), not rescued it with some good, old-fashioned Broadway hoofing and a score that includes 'I'll guess I'll have to change my plan', 'Louisiana Hayride' and 'The Girl Hunt Ballet'. It also has Fred and Cyd Charisse 'dancing in the dark' and this is the one with 'That's Entertainment'. Nothing much happens but it arguably has the best score of any musical as well as the best cast and a director who knew how best to utilize both. It really should be preserved in a time-capsule.


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