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The Band Wagon (1953)

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

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Betty Comden (story by), Adolph Green (story by)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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
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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

Taglines:

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Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

7 August 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Love Louisa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the songs in "The Band Wagon" are not original to the movie. Its most famous song came about when producer Arthur Freed was concerned that there was something missing from the film. Freed asked Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz to come up with something similar to Irving Berlin's "There's No Business Like Show Business." So, Schwartz and Dietz left, and 45 minutes later they came back with "That's Entertainment." See more »

Goofs

As Tony Hunter walks down the train platform and into Grand Central Terminal in the song "By Myself" there is no engine at the front of the train. See more »

Quotes

Jeffrey Cordova: Order me a corned beef sandwich, will you? Lean, now. No fat. No grizzle. Oh, and a cream soda and a pickle!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Secret Voices of Hollywood (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

National Emblem
(pub. 1906) (uncredited)
Written by Edwin Eugene Bagley
Played by one of the arcade games
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The most sophisticated musical ever made
14 August 2007 | by MOscarbradleySee 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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