7.5/10
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109 user 62 critic

The Band Wagon (1953)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 7 August 1953 (USA)
Trailer
3:10 | Trailer
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)
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

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Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Les and Lilly have their fight in the alley, Les heads for the bar across the street. In the background there is a poster for the musical "Every Night At Seven". This was the title of the musical that Fred Astaire and Jane Powell starred in in the movie Royal Wedding (1951). See more »

Goofs

As Tony leaves the train, he walks on a red carpet past a Santa Fe coach car into Grand Central Depot. The New York Central only used the red carpet for the 20th Century Limited, which did carry some Santa Fe cars for through passengers. But both trains carried exclusively Pullman (sleeping car) passengers and coaches were not carried on either train at this time. See more »

Quotes

Tony Hunter: This girl, Gerard, its not just her dancing. On top of everything, she's too tall for me. This girl is a giantess!
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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

 
Last of the great Hollywood musicals
22 December 1998 | by laticsSee all my reviews

Just saw this again, for the first time in 10 years. What a show! This is unquestionably the last of the great line of MGM – and, therefore, Hollywood – musicals . . . the last real flowering of Arthur Freed's genius at holding together a team of top production talents which had produced such a fine string of musicals. Not a dull spot in the entire movie and tremendous style in Minnelli's direction. Nice to see Jack Buchanan getting a last chance in the spotlight – his top hat routine with Astaire is one of the highlights of the movie. Astaire himself, playing the fading musical star which he was by 1953, has a magnificent opening with two contrasting numbers – the wistful By Myself and the exuberant Shine on your Shoes – tailored to set up his character perfectly. The Girl Hunt ballet is, of course, the dancing highlight of the movie and it is here that the utterly wonderful Cyd Charisse comes into her own. Apart from being arguably the best female dancer in Hollywood history, she was certainly the most beautiful: the scene in the ballet in which she appears on a bar stool and slips off her coat to reveal a dramatic red dress oozes with as much sex appeal as any movie moment I've ever seen.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,537
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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