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The Band Wagon
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The Band Wagon (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Betty Comden (story) and
Adolph Green (story)
View company contact information for The Band Wagon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 August 1953 (USA) See more »
Get Aboard! See more »
A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(60 articles)
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User Reviews:
Lots of Fun and Finally on DVD! See more (103 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fred Astaire ... Tony Hunter

Cyd Charisse ... Gabrielle Gerard

Oscar Levant ... Lester Marton

Nanette Fabray ... Lily Marton

Jack Buchanan ... Jeffrey Cordova

James Mitchell ... Paul Byrd
Robert Gist ... Hal Benton
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
India Adams ... Gabrielle Gerard (singing voice) (uncredited)

Fred Aldrich ... Hot Dog Vendor (uncredited)

Richard Alexander ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Ernest Anderson ... Train Porter (uncredited)
Barbara Bailey ... Dancer (uncredited)
Patsy Bangs ... Dancer (uncredited)
Lysa Baugher ... Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)
Ralph Beaumont ... Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)

Don Beddoe ... Producer (uncredited)

Madge Blake ... Investor (uncredited)
Herman Boden ... Dancer (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ... Waiter (uncredited)
Joe Brockman ... Hansom Driver (uncredited)

Robert Burton ... Caterer (uncredited)
Sue Casey ... Tall Girl in Arcade (uncredited)
Lyle Clark ... Chorus Member in Hotel Suite (uncredited)
Dorinda Clifton ... Dancer (uncredited)
Joan Collenette ... Dancer (uncredited)
Jack Colton ... Dancer (uncredited)
James Conaty ... First Nighter (uncredited)

Henry Corden ... Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
Pinkie Corrigan ... Dancer (uncredited)
Oliver Cross ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Lillian Culver ... Investor (uncredited)
Dick D'Arcy ... Dancer (uncredited)
Leroy Daniels ... Arcade Shoeshine Man (uncredited)
Fred Datig Jr. ... Usher (uncredited)
Dulcie Day ... Woman in Lobby (uncredited)

Helen Dickson ... Dowager First Nighter (uncredited)
Jack Dodds ... Dancer (uncredited)
George Economides ... Man in Arcade (uncredited)
Michael Economides ... Man in Arcade (uncredited)

Roy Engel ... Reporter (uncredited)

Estelle Etterre ... Investor (uncredited)
Luigi Faccuito ... Dancer (uncredited)
Betty Farrington ... Fitter (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Gwenn Fields ... Woman in Arcade (uncredited)

Bess Flowers ... Lady on Train / Investor / Extra in Girl Hunt Ballet (uncredited)

Steve Forrest ... Passenger on Train (uncredited)
Bill Foster ... Acrobatic Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)

Douglas Fowley ... Auctioneer (uncredited)
Wymer Gard ... Usher (uncredited)

Ava Gardner ... Ava Gardner (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Hotel Doorman (uncredited)
Herschel Graham ... Ballet Audience Member (uncredited)
Marion Gray ... Investor (uncredited)
Shelah Hackett ... Dancer (uncredited)

Thurston Hall ... Colonel Tripp (uncredited)
Mary Hammond ... Dancer (uncredited)

Dee Hartford ... 2nd Model in 'Girl Hunt Ballet' (uncredited)
Eden Hartford ... Girl in 'Girl Hunt Ballet' Sequence (uncredited)
Sam Hearn ... Agent (uncredited)
Julie Hedin ... Woman in Arcade (uncredited)

Al Hill ... Arcade Shooting Gallery Operator (uncredited)
Harlan Hoagland ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Stuart Holmes ... Investor (uncredited)

Jimmie Horan ... Man at Arcade (uncredited)
Curtis Loys Jackson Jr. ... Man in Arcade (uncredited)
Ted Jordan ... Chorus Member in Hotel Suite (uncredited)

Colin Kenny ... Drunk Outside Arcade (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Reporter (uncredited)
Mario Lamm ... Man in Arcade (uncredited)
Judy Landon ... Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)

Carl M. Leviness ... Investor (uncredited)
Shirley Lopez ... Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)
William Lundy ... Dancer (uncredited)

John Lupton ... Jack - Prompter (uncredited)
Alan Marston ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Judy Matson ... Singer in 'That's Entertainment' Sequence (uncredited)
Matt Mattox ... Featured Dancer (uncredited)
Bert May ... Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)
Helen McAllister ... Dancer (uncredited)
Ann McCrea ... Chorus Member in Hotel Suite (uncredited)

Owen McGiveney ... Prop Man (uncredited)

Frank McLure ... Investor (uncredited)
Mary Menzies ... Dancer (uncredited)

Harold Miller ... Bystander in Girl Hunt Ballet (uncredited)
Nolie Miller ... Dancer (uncredited)

Lawrence Montaigne ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Ben Moselle ... Man in Arcade (uncredited)
Peggy Murray ... Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)

Julie Newmar ... Salon Model / Chorine in Girl Hunt Ballet (uncredited)
Loulie Jean Norman ... Singer in 'That's Entertainment' Sequence (uncredited)

Emory Parnell ... Man on Train (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Waiter (uncredited)
Paul Power ... Man in Lobby (uncredited)
Marilyn Radcliff ... Dancer (uncredited)
Frank Radcliffe ... Dancer (uncredited)
Elynne Ray ... Dancer in Troupe (uncredited)
Charles Regan ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Jack Regas ... Dancer (uncredited)
Phil Rhodes ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Joette Robinson ... Dancer (uncredited)
Cecile Rogers ... Dancer (uncredited)
Barbara Ruick ... Passenger on Train (uncredited)
Dick Sands ... Man in Arcade (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell ... Reporter (uncredited)
George Sherwood ... Investor (uncredited)
Eddie Lou Simms ... Man in Arcade (uncredited)
Earl Spainard ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Robert Spencer ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Harry Stanton ... Investor (uncredited)
Bob Stebbins ... Chorus Member in Hotel Suite (uncredited)
Lotte Stein ... Cordova's German Chambermaid (uncredited)
Norman Stevans ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

Bert Stevens ... Train Station Passenger (uncredited)
Roberta Stevenson ... Dancer (uncredited)

Jack Stoney ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Special Effects Man (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Jack Tesler ... Ivan (uncredited)
Jimmy Thompson ... Jimmy (uncredited)
Dee Turnell ... Barbara (uncredited)

Herb Vigran ... Man on Train (uncredited)
Glen Walters ... Tall Woman in Arcade (uncredited)

Bobby Watson ... Bobby (uncredited)
Crystal White ... Dancer (uncredited)
Smoki Whitfield ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Marc Wilder ... Dancer (uncredited)
Stuart Wilson ... Reporter (uncredited)
Gloria Wood ... Singer in 'That's Entertainment' Sequence (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Can-Toss Booth Operator (uncredited)

Directed by
Vincente Minnelli 
Writing credits
Betty Comden (story by) and
Adolph Green (story by)

Norman Corwin  uncredited
Alan Jay Lerner  uncredited

Produced by
Roger Edens .... associate producer
Arthur Freed .... producer
Bill Ryan .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Alexander Courage (uncredited)
Adolph Deutsch (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Harry Jackson (director of photography)
George J. Folsey (director of photography) (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Albert Akst (film editor)
George White (uncredited)
Art Direction by
E. Preston Ames  (as Preston Ames)
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
F. Keogh Gleason (set decorations) (as Keogh Gleason)
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Mary Ann Nyberg (costumes by)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup creator
Production Management
Hugh Boswell .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jerry Thorpe .... assistant director
Al Alt .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Jack Greenwood .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Oliver Smith .... designer: musical numbers
Robert Cormack .... continuity sketches (uncredited)
Tommy Crawford .... props (uncredited)
Tom Ordoqui .... property master (uncredited)
Harold Turberg .... property master: rehearsal unit (uncredited)
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
James Brock .... sound (uncredited)
Ben Price .... recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert J. Bronner .... camera operator (uncredited)
Charles Burrell .... best boy (uncredited)
Phil Philbrick .... gaffer (uncredited)
Mervin Price .... grip (uncredited)
Al Smith .... playback operator (uncredited)
Gene Stout .... best boy (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Morris Brown .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Grace Kuhn .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator
Adolph Deutsch .... musical director
Howard Dietz .... songs by
Michael Kidd .... stager: dances and musical numbers
Skip Martin .... orchestrator
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator
Arthur Schwartz .... songs by
David Crocov .... violin (uncredited)
Robert Franklyn .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Harry V. Lojewski .... pianist (uncredited)
Other crew
Robert Brower .... technicolor color consultant
Henri Jaffa .... technicolor color consultant
Louis Calhern .... dialogue coach: Jack Buchanan (uncredited)
Patricia Denise .... assistant dance director (uncredited)
Patricia Denise .... dancing stand-in: Cyd Charisse (uncredited)
Janet Koye .... secretary (uncredited)
William E. Orr .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Carroll Pratt .... stage manager (uncredited)
Dwayne Ratliff .... dancing stand-in (uncredited)
Alex Romero .... assistant dance director (uncredited)
Alex Romero .... dancing stand-in: Fred Astaire (uncredited)
Emily Torchia .... publicist (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
112 min (Turner library print) (copyright length)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono )Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:K-12 (1974) | Finland:K-16 (1954) | Sweden:15 | UK:U | UK:U (video rating) (1998) (2005) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #16342) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Steve Forrest has an uncredited speaking role as a passenger getting off the train near the beginning of the movie.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: About halfway through "Louisiana Hayride", a crew member can be clearly seen for 2-3 seconds, creeping off to the left of screenSee more »
Auctioneer:[First lines] Yes sir, ladies and gentlemen, we are in luck today here in Los Angeles. Through the years the Bullwinkle Galleries have brought up for auction many collections of the personal effects of your famous movie stars. But, today, today is in deed a red letter day: the personal effects of Tony Hunter...See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in La La Land (2016/I)See more »
The Beggars WaltzSee more »


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38 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
Lots of Fun and Finally on DVD!, 29 March 2005
Author: jacksflicks from Hollywood

MGM, Arthur Freed, Vincent Minelli, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray, Jack Buchanan and that wonderful company behind them. Wow! The Broadway musical is one of America's great contributions to the performing arts, and the Band Wagon delightfully turns its clichés on their heads, with the story of a plucky group of troopers who put all their heart and talent into...a turkey.

Great dancing includes one of Fred Astaire's classic ballet duos, "Dancing in the Dark," with Cyd Charise. She does this spin ending in a semi-kneel, with the mid-calf hem of her dress landing mid-thigh, in order to display one of those spectacular gams of hers...'tis a wonder to behold! Also, there's a number with Astaire and Jack Buchanan, one of the great British variety stars. It's a delight to see this all-too-short exhibition of contrasting dance styles by two master hoofers.

And there's the added treat of Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant (Levant being one those, like Robert Benchley, who entertains by playing himself) standing in for Comden and Green, who happened to write The Band Wagon (as well as Singin' in the Rain and Bells are Ringing). What I like about Comden and Green is, that while most all American musicals come out of New York, the sound of Comden and Green IS New York. They once said, "New York is the ongoing background of our lives - Brooklyn girl, Bronx boy - and whether we have been conscious of it or not, it is the background..."

Yes, there's the music - five numbers, part of the great repertory of American Standards: That's Entertainment, By Myself, You and the Night and the Music, Something to Remember You By, and of course Dancing in the Dark. My favorite dance number after DITD is Shine on My Shoes, surely an under-appreciated classic. All in all, a pretty good score (no pun intended), wouldn't you say?

The story is classified as a "backstage musical," and certainly it is. But there's a scene in Band Wagon with a truly documentary feel. After the show's premier, there's a dress-down cast party. The underpaid company singers and dancers really are in it for the love, and when they want to wind down, they go somewhere cozy, get their drinks and sing a lovely, subdued song, Something To Remember You By. (Of course, after Astaire joins them, the volume goes up, and it's a miracle they aren't evicted. I guess New Haven is used to it by now.) When I was a kid I was a gofer for the Metropolitan Opera when it hit my town on its spring tours, and it's why this scene in The Band Wagon rings so true: as a fly on the wall, I saw the Met company unwinding just this way.

One more element of realism (or life imitating art imitating life): according to the trivia, Buchanan had to have triple root canal work and was in pain for most of the production, and Fabray gashed her knee in "Louisiana Hayride," then had to dance on her knees for the "Triplets" number. Ouch! Talk about plucky troopers!

This was smart and sophisticated musical comedy of the 50s, an era when New York adults still set pop trends and before American culture became corrupted and dumbed down by television. It's not just nostalgia to say they don't make them like they used to.

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