The Band Wagon (1953) marked the culmination of a series of near-autobiographical pictures Fred Astaire made for MGM following his return from premature retirement in the late '40s. Astaire plays Tony Hunter, a fading film star (his big hit: Flying Down to Panama) who decides to return to his former glory, the Broadway stage. (In 1931, Astaire had starred on Broadway with sister Adele in The Band Wagon, a revue that lent some of its songs to this film.) His playwright-songwriter friends (Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant) hook him up with Broadway's hottest director, Jeffrey Cordova (a nicely hammy Jack Buchanan), who proves that the "new" theater traditions can be an awkward fit with the old. Hunter also finds himself at odds with his prima ballerina leading lady (Cyd Charisse), one of his chief worries being that she seems a little tall. Along the way, producer Arthur Freed, director Vincente Minnelli, choreographer Michael Kidd, and songwriters Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz treat us to some quintessential MGM numbers: Astaire's solo ode "By Myself," the flashy arcade romp "A Shine on Your Shoes," Astaire and Charisse's romantic duet "Dancing in the Dark," the faux-German drinking song "I Love Louisa," the manic trio "Triplets" (with Astaire, Fabray, and Buchanan in matching baby outfits), the Mickey Spillane-esque "Girl Hunt Ballet," and the classic show-biz anthem "That's Entertainment." Even if its ending and obligatory romance fall a little flat, The Band Wagon is one of the classic backstage musicals, a grandiose MGM spectacle that also manages to poke some fun at how grandiose MGM pictures had become. --David Horiuchi
The DVD was in excellent condition and delivered on time.
Enjoyed this classic musical. Astair and Cyd Charisse! It doesn't get much better than that! Read more
This is one of my favourite musicals, with lots of Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire. The musical numbers are a mix of beauty and riotous humour. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2010 by Dana Shaw
Astaire & buddies decide to put on a travelling show. This somewhat defiant response to Gene Kelly's forward looking & somewhat cynical Singin in the Rain, provided a big... Read morePublished on June 1 2004 by J
This movie came out a year or two after Singing in the Rain. Fred meant it to be his answer to that movie. Many people remember the Gene Kelly movie but not this one. Read morePublished on May 21 2004
The Band Wagon is a very good movie!
It's list of musical numbers include, That's Entertainment!, The Girl Hunt, and Triplets. Read more
No movie musical comes close to the Band Wagon. The film is physically stunning and varied in terms of musical numbers. In fact, it's fantastic in every department. Read morePublished on April 2 2004
In my opinion, I think that 'The Bandwagon' is one of the best and certainly the funniest musicals of all time. Cyd and Fred sparkle on screen. The plot is classic, but wonderful. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004
A muddled Fred Astaire musical, which starts out with a brilliant opening sequence wherein Tony Hunter, a thinly-veiled Astaire stand-in, returns to a modern, new, 1950s New York,... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2003 by DJ Joe Sixpack