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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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,537
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

The title is from an original 1931 Broadway musical, by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, which starred Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele Astaire. Only the title and some of the songs were borrowed for this film, and the stories are entirely different. The exact same thing occurred later with Fred Astaire in Funny Face (1957), in which Astaire and his sister Adele Astaire had originally appeared on Broadway in 1927. The only opportunity Astaire had to recreate a role on film that he had originated on Broadway was in The Gay Divorcee (1934), from Broadway's "Gay Divorce". 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: Listen, you kids, you go on over to Sardi's and I'll see you later. Driver, take them on over. Order me a steak. See you in a few minutes.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Dancing in the Dark
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Danced by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse
See more »

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User Reviews

Fred and Cyd dance in the dark - perfection!
6 July 2003 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Perhaps the finest hour of Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse together (although Silk Stockings comes a close second); the 'Dancing in the Dark' sequence says it all about both this film, and the two impeccably classy stars.

There are, of course, other highlights - Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray's acidic writers; Jack Buchanan's overblown producer; Fred's dance with the shoeshine boy, Le Roy Daniels; anything featuring Cyd Charisse - and those wonderful musical numbers, ranging from the anthem 'That's Entertainment' to the hilarious 'Triplets'.

'The Band Wagon' sends up the old film staple plot "putting on a show" and does it brilliantly, thanks to the crackling Comden/Green script. One of MGM's best musical efforts, hugely enjoyable.


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