7.1/10
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18 user 10 critic

Bandwagon (1996)

Tony gets fired from his job. He's not really sad about this because he prefers writing songs and playing the guitar. He meets the drummer Charlie and they decide to start a band, although ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Wynn Knapp
Steve Parlavecchio ...
Eric Ellwood
Lee Holmes ...
Tony Ridge
Matthew Hennessey ...
Charlie Flagg
Doug MacMillan ...
Linus Tate
...
Chester Mealy
Steph Robinson ...
Dizz
Mary Ellen Williams ...
Helen
Jeffrey Pillars ...
Trumholdt
Marguerite Lowell ...
Mona La Rue
...
Ann Halen
Sally Nussbaumer ...
Mom Flagg
Beth Cameron ...
Record Store Girl
Lee-Anthony Holloway ...
Member of Spittle (as Lee Anthony Holloway)
Rob Munk ...
Member of Spittle
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Storyline

Tony gets fired from his job. He's not really sad about this because he prefers writing songs and playing the guitar. He meets the drummer Charlie and they decide to start a band, although Tony is afraid of playing in front of other people. He can't even play in front of Charlie. They find another guitarist, Wynn, who enjoys fishing if he's not playing the guitar. The final member of the band is Eric, the bass-player who is often unpredictable in his actions. They name the band Circus Monkey and want to get famous and rich. However, after some successful gigs, they begin to realize what all the big music and show business is about. Written by Gerhard Windecker <g.wind@mbox300.swipnet.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Finally, a movie about a band.

Genres:

Comedy | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

12 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy turné  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$22,189 (USA) (14 September 1997)

Gross:

$22,189 (USA) (14 September 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Steve Parlavecchio (aka bassist Eric Ellwood) passed away on May 5, 2014 at the age of 43 in New Jersey. See more »

Connections

References The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterpiece... what else can I say...
5 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

It's very hard to comment on what for me personally is the greatest movie ever created but I'll give it a shot anyway.

"Bandwagon" is something of a comedy but it's got some romance and drama thrown in the mix as well. Actually the tag-line says it best - "Bandwagon" is a movie about a band. Four young man who have little in common are joined together by their love for music. It's exactly their incompatibility that most of the humor stems from. The jokes are all funny. Non of them will have you rolling on the floor with laughter but not one seems out of place. I wish there would be more comedies like this...

The movie deals with themes of love and commercialism, friendship and loneliness. Each of the four main character has his own demons. And each of the four characters will have to deal with them. As their journey through the auster reality progresses, some all our band members will experience a shift in values and viewpoints. Gradually they will be able to put aside their differences... but you'd be better off seeing that for yourself. Let's just say integrity is opposed to success in the industry and a choice is going to have to be made.

The movie isn't trying to be overly deep, but it doesn't need to be either. You won't find any symbolism that requires vast contemplating like you would in "Last Days" for instance but for me that has never been the mark of a good movie. Things here are kept on a understandable, human level which, however, in no way means that the movie is a no-brainer, so to speak.

The cast consists of unknowns only but John Schultz somehow manages to draw out an excellent performance out of them. Not a single character seemed forced, not a single line was delivered unconvincingly. On the contrary: all the characters seemed perfectly honest and real. It's like the actors were simply being themselves which might just be the truth. You see, Mr. Schultz is telling us a story that's been told a million times - X meets success, X is torn apart from a world that doesn't give a damn, X falls from grace (where X can be a band, an artist, an actor etc.). But "Bandwagon" tells that story in a much simpler, down-to-earth, and it the end believable way. We can all relate (especially those of us who have been in a band) - something that is missing from most movies out there. In light of that, I'm guessing, it was easy for the cast to get acquainted with their characters. By no means are they one-dimensional, however.

Like most movies about a band, "Bandwagon" has that quirky, neurotic front-man. Rather brilliantly portrayed by Lee Holmes, Tony is always perfectly believable, never going overboard (often happens in similar movies), yet retaining a sense of detachment from the world. He's not that out-of-control Jim Morrison from "The Doors", he's simply a little out there. Also unlike "The Doors", "Bandwagon" is a movie about a band, meaning that John Schultz never neglects his other characters in order to put more emphasis on the front-man. At this point I'm starting to think that the tag-line really does say it all but regardless I push on...

"The Connells" member Doug MacMillan also stars in "Bandwagon". I imagine that can be an extra incentive for their fans to go see this. He's Linus Tate, a mysterious and intriguing character who has acquired lots of wisdom over the years spent in the music business. Although I make him sound like an old Chinese guy from a Karate movie, I assure you he's got nothing to do with one of those.

The music in Bandwagon (much like everything else) is simply brilliant. Catchy indie-rock tracks that could have been hits, had they seen some airplay. Alas, the music industry doesn't care about good music.

John Schutlz... I'd rather not contemplate the reason why a man of his talent went on to direct such awful movies like "Like Mike" and "Drive Me Crazy". At least I have some comfort in the fact that he didn't write any of them with the exception of "When Zachary Beaver Came to Town" which I haven't seen (hopefully I will one day and more hopefully it will be OK).

I must admit that my review is by no means objective but it's hard to stick to the facts with a movie that means so much to me. This is one of the few flicks that brought me to tears without even aspiring to do so (*note: I don't cry to tearjerkers).

It's just a wonderful story told with honesty and zest. It's just a movie about a band, there's isn't much more to it really. And I think everyone out there can relate to it on some level.


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