7.6/10
8,594
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.

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

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An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Tony Hunter
... Gabrielle Gerard
... Lester Marton
... Lily Marton
... Jeffrey Cordova
... Paul Byrd
... 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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M-G-M's Top Technicolor Musical! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

7 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Love Louisa  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie reflects two real-life situations. In the movie Tony Hunter (Fred Astaire) is washed up. In real life Astaire's career was at a standstill. In the movie much is made of whether Cyd Charisse's character is too tall for Fred's character. This was also true in real life. Whenever Cyd and Fred are together she is in shoes with low heels. The sole exception is in "The Girl Hunt Ballet". Here she is wearing medium height heels. Fred is wearing a hat which offsets and hides the height difference. See more »

Goofs

During the "I Love Louisa" number, at 1:16:35 into the movie, as Lester is accompanying Tony on the piano, he plays a two-handed chord on the piano, but also raises one hand in gesture at the same time. See more »

Quotes

Tony Hunter: What's happened to 42nd Street? I just can't get over it! I just can't understand it? I mean, this used to be the great theater street of the town. The New Amsterdam - I had one of my biggest successes there. It ran a year and a half. Noel Coward and Gertie were over here in "Private Lives".
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Connections

Featured in 42nd Street: River to River (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

That's Entertainment
(1953) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Performed by Jack Buchanan, Nanette Fabray, Oscar Levant and Fred Astaire
Reprised by Jack Buchanan, Nanette Fabray, Oscar Levant, Cyd Charisse (dubbed by India Adams) and Fred Astaire in the finale
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User Reviews

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