7.6/10
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96 user 56 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:
...
...
...
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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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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

The film was originally titled "I Love Louisa", from one of the songs in the picture. This title was later scrapped in favor of "The Band Wagon" after the Broadway play. However, because 20th Century Fox owned the rights to that title, MGM had to pay a reported $10,000 for those three words. See more »

Goofs

Gabrielle's last name is spelled "Gerard" in some scenes, "Girard" in others. See more »

Quotes

Jeffrey Cordova: [pitching his idea for the show] Exploiter of children! Purveyor of evil!
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Connections

References Camille (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

National Emblem
(pub. 1906) (uncredited)
Written by Edwin Eugene Bagley
Played by one of the arcade games
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User Reviews

Fred and Cyd dance in the dark - perfection!
6 July 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the finest hour of Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse together (although Silk Stockings comes a close second); the 'Dancing in the Dark' sequence says it all about both this film, and the two impeccably classy stars.

There are, of course, other highlights - Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray's acidic writers; Jack Buchanan's overblown producer; Fred's dance with the shoeshine boy, Le Roy Daniels; anything featuring Cyd Charisse - and those wonderful musical numbers, ranging from the anthem 'That's Entertainment' to the hilarious 'Triplets'.

'The Band Wagon' sends up the old film staple plot "putting on a show" and does it brilliantly, thanks to the crackling Comden/Green script. One of MGM's best musical efforts, hugely enjoyable.


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