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Band Wagon, The (1953)

Fred Astaire and Michael Kidd choreographed this gem of a Hollywood musical produced by MGM.

The Band Wagon began as a revue which opened in 1931 on Broadway starring Astaire and his sister Adele.

bandwagon

In the film version, Astaire plays Tony Hunter, a has-been Hollywood song and dance man, who heads to New York to try and revive his career.

His old friends, Lester and Lily Marton (Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray) have an idea for a light-hearted pop musical and have asked Tony to star in it.

They ask Jeffrey Cordova (Buchanan) to direct it because his Broadway successes will attract backers. However, Jeffrey decides to turn the show into ‘meaningful’ theatre and hires top ballerina Gaby Gerard (Cyd Charisse) as Tony’s co-star.

This is a disastrous move: She thinks he’s too old, he thinks she’s too tall, their styles don’t blend and, at the off-Broadway try-out, the backers withdraw. However, washed-up Tony takes the helm and things start to come right.

bandwagon_010A spoof of the ‘Hey kids, let’s put on a show’ musical, The Band Wagon includes some of the best of the great songs by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, such as Triplets and Dancing In The Dark.

The unforgettable That’s Entertainment was specially written for the finale.

Tony Hunter
Fred Astaire
Gaby Berard
Cyd Charisse
Jeffrey Cordova
Jack Buchanan
Lester Marton
Oscar Levant
Lily Marton
Nanette Fabray
Paul Byrd
James Mitchell
Hal Benton
Robert Gist
Colonel Tripp
Thurston Hall
Movie star
Ava Gardner
Shoeshine boy
LeRoy Daniels

Director
Vincente Minnelli