7.6/10
8,640
104 user 59 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.

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:

M-G-M's Top Technicolor Musical! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

Betty Comden and Adolph Green made the characters played by Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant a married couple because they felt that the audiences would not accept a male/female writing team who weren't married to each other, even though the characters were based on Comden and Green, who were themselves not married to each other. See more »

Goofs

About halfway through "Louisiana Hayride", a crew member can be clearly seen for 2-3 seconds, creeping off to the left of screen See more »

Quotes

Tony Hunter: Do you know what those are on those benches? People. Happy people. Would you believe it, they don't even care if we have a damnation scene in our show or not.
Gabrielle Gerard: Neither do I.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in 3rd Rock from the Sun: Shall We Dick? (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Triplets
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Performed by Fred Astaire, Nanette Fabray and Jack Buchanan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Now that's entertainment!...
28 March 2005 | by Neil DoyleSee all my reviews

Last night's viewing changed my mind...this really is one of the great MGM musicals.

Strangely, this never held the same appeal for me as some of the other technicolor musicals of the period, but watching it last night for the first time in years, I appreciated what a really fine actor/dancer FRED ASTAIRE was and what a gorgeous dancer and woman CYD CHARISSE always was.

Mix in the great supporting cast--JACK BUCHANAN who does a neat tap routine matching Astaire every step of the way and hamming it up appropriately, and those two devils--NANETTE FABRAY with her quick smile and Oscar LEVANT with his quick wit and you realize that Comden and Greene were two of the best comedy writers the screen had, this side of Dorothy Parker.

The two musical highlights for me were "Triplets" (smashing good job by Astaire, Fabray and Buchanan) and the Astaire/Charisse Central Park dance sequence that flows to the music of "Dancing in the Dark".

Summing up: If you love MGM musicals, you owe it to yourself to see this one for the magic of Astaire and Charisse together, not to mention all the other plus factors--costumes, scenery, backstage plot and those marvelous songs that come one after another to delight eye and ear! And give Jack Buchanan a hand for squeezing every bit of ham from a role that calls for it, in spades!

Almost forgot: the opening "Shine on Your Shoes" number set in Times Square is a howl! The only black seen anywhere is the shoeshine man himself.


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