The Band Wagon Overview:

The Band Wagon (1953) was a Comedy - Musical Film directed by Vincente Minnelli and produced by Arthur Freed and Roger Edens.


Fading movie musical star Tony Hunter (Astaire), down and out in Hollywood, decides to try his luck on the Broadway stage. Unfortunately, the simple hoofer discovers that a pretentious director has control of the project, and that instead of good humor, happy songs, and a tapping chorus line, there'll be lengthy speeches, heavy drama, and lots of deep soul-searching. Even worse, Tony's expected to dance with a classical ballerina (Charisse). The play, to no one's surprise, lays an egg. But now Tony takes charge, and he's out to prove the show must go on - his way! Some of the dazzling Astaire-Charisse dance numbers include "Triplets," "Girl Hunt," "Dancing in the Dark," and "That's Entertainment."

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


The Band Wagon was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1995.

Academy Awards 1953 --- Ceremony Number 26 (source: AMPAS)

Best Costume DesignMary Ann NybergNominated
Best Music - ScoringAdolph DeutschNominated
Best WritingBetty Comden, Adolph GreenNominated

BlogHub Articles:

The Band Wagon (1953) with Fred & Cyd

By 4 Star Film Fan on Jun 18, 2020 From 4 Star Films

Some may recall the opening titles of Top Hat (1935). They play over a man’s hat only for the head under it to move as the names subside, and we find Fred Astaire under its brim in his coat and tails. Now, well nigh 20 years later, the same imagery is being called upon. There’s an auctio... Read full article

Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969) + The Band Wagon (1953) redux

By Beatrice on Apr 27, 2020 From Flickers in Time

Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (Du bei dao wang) Directed by Cheh Chang Written by Cheh Chang Hong Kong/1969 IMDb link First viewing/Amazon Prime Just a fun wuxia movie to distract nicely from Lockdown. This is a sequel to The One-Armed Swordsman (1967). ?At the end of that film, our hero (Jimm... Read full article

The Band Wagon (1953)

By Beatrice on Nov 1, 2015 From Flickers in Time

The Band Wagon Directed by Vicente Minnelli Written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green 1953/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Repeat viewing/from my DVD collection #266 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die I have loved this movie for decades. ?Yesterday’s viewing did nothing to change my opinio... Read full article

Why I never joined The Band Wagon...

By BG Voita on Jan 18, 2015 From Classic Reel Girl

When I signed up to write an anti-Band Wagon post, I was a little nervous. Images of angry dancing gods Down to Earth-style floated in my head. How dare I speak badly about the pairing of two dancing greats: Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire. I have revisited The Band Wagon (1953) many times ov... Read full article

The Band Wagon (1953)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Aug 7, 2014 From 4 Star Films

Going into this film I must admit that despite hearing good things, I had zero expectations. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this Minnelli musical, because it was a deft and often beautiful production. Channeling the same vein as Singin’ in the Rain and The Red Shoes, this film is a s... Read full article

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Quotes from

Lester Marton: I can stand anything but failure!

Jeffrey Cordova: [pitching his idea for the show] Exploiter of children! Purveyor of evil!

Tony Hunter: The city was asleep. The joints were closed. The rats and hoods and killers were in their holes.

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Facts about

Many of the props, sets, and costumes for the huge production number that goes wrong in rehearsal in Boston are from Lovely to Look at, Ziegfeld Follies and An American in Paris.
The original Broadway show, "The Band Wagon," opened on June 3, 1931, at the New Amsterdam Theater and ran 260 performances. It marked the last Broadway show to feature Fred Astaire and his sister Adele Astaire, who left the act shortly thereafter to get married. The cast also featured such future film luminaries as Helen Broderick (mother of Broderick Crawford), Frank Morgan and Tilly Losch. A musical revue (rather than a book musical), only three of its' Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz songs were retained for the film: "I Love Louisa," "Dancing in the Dark," and "New Sun in the Sky."
Three other Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz numbers, which can be heard on the Rhino soundtrack CD, were deleted from the movie: "Sweet Music," sung by Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant (NOTE: the melody is played in the background); "You Have Everything," danced by Fred Astaire; and "Got a Bran' New Suit," performed by Astaire and Nanette Fabray (with Oscar Levant on piano).
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Best Writing Oscar 1953

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National Film Registry

The Band Wagon

Released 1953
Inducted 1995

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Also directed by Vincente Minnelli

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Also produced by Arthur Freed

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Also released in 1953

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