7.5/10
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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

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

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

Theater people never wish each other "Good Luck" (as Gaby and Tony do in the alley before opening night). They're superstitious that this will bring bad luck instead. That's why they always say "Break a leg". See more »

Quotes

Gabrielle Gerard: Are we really supposed to open tomorrow night?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

You and the Night and the Music
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by chorus
Danced by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse
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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