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The Band Wagon

The Band Wagon(1953)

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  • The Bandwagon - That's Entertainment.....

    • ja661
    • 12/11/19

    I struggle with old musicals - they try to be realistic while breaking into song and dance. John below had it pretty much right. It's Astaire's show - part of the problem is Fred Astaire isn't and never was an ACTOR. He was a dancer and a personality PERIOD. (Albeit one of the - if not - the best dancer on screen). Never really got it with Cyd Chariss - but then after Ginger Rogers, they were all pretty much the same: Cyd, Leslie, Barrie..... Jack Buchanan was good, I enjoyed his performance and Oscar Levant was fun. The thing that makes THE BANDWAGON more bearable is there are enough good songs in the picture that are known and spread out that you come into the house and wait for the next good number. When the numbers run out, the shows over. 75/100.

  • Ehh.. Trying to get aboard the Band Wagon

    • John
    • 3/29/19

    Just some thoughts. The film misses the mark yet keeps you watching. Plot is better than average for a musical. Score is forgettable but for the obvious two or three standards. Hyper-kinetic Nanette Fabray, RIP, overacts in every scene she is in. Dial it back abit and stick to TV. Charisse, a leggy, beautiful dancer indeed, is always dull as a leading lady. Production values are sloppy. You can catch the shadow of the camera in a few scenes. Distracting. Outdoors this is acceptable, but this was shot on a studio soundstage. First film that Oscar Levant is not continually crabby. It is Fred's show and he gives his usual impeccable performance. However, in my estimation, Jack Buchanan steals the film from everyone with his vainglorious, yet controlled performance. Oddly, I think he pairs better with Astaire than Charisse and has better moves in some numbers than the Master. Yet, I am determined to like this film with repeated viewings and to find its heart which all successful musicals have and must have.

  • On the Band Wagon

    • Nina
    • 3/11/19

    Very funny and clever satire on Broadway musicals with the priceless bonus of Fred Astaire dancing with Cyd Charrisse. What could be more fun? Jack Buchanon was terrific as the director.

  • Fred ueber alles

    • Anthony
    • 3/11/19

    The best musical ever made is neither Singin' in the Rain nor Bandwagon, it's Swing Time. I could never abide Gene Kelly constantly flashing his capped and impossibly white choppers every time the camera moved in for a close up. So unnatural. I also dislike a style of dancing that calls for you to go bounding madly across the stage and leaping from one precipice to another like Tarzan in tights. Astaire was the personification of style and grace and class. Contemporary dancers still reverently refer to him as The Master. His chemistry with Cyd is nugatory. which really harms Bandwagon. She may have been a better dancer than Ginger, but Ginger was good and she looked right with Fred and together they entered history.

  • The Band Wagon

    • Albert
    • 1/20/18

    The best musical ever. I can watch it once a month. Anyone who pans this movie obviously doesn't like musicals, how can you not like Fred Astaire and Cyn Charise. Love it.

  • bandwagon

    • kevin sellers
    • 2/3/17

    Fairly good musical. I mean, it's no "Singin In The Rain" or "Meet Me In St. Louis," but neither is it "Thoroughly Modern Millie" or "At Long Last Love." It has at least one song for the ages ("That's Entertainment") and several great dances, choreographed by Michael Kidd and performed either by Fred Astaire alone (the shoeshine number, which is a veritable primer on American postwar exuberance) or by Astaire and Cyd Charisse (the seduction dance in a Central Park of the mind, which is pure sensuous romanticism, and the one in the 20s speak which prefigures "Chicago" by 22 years). The downside is obvious from the first scene on the train. Flat script by Comden and Green, with a general absence of humor or involving characters. Throw in Charisse's usual dull acting, which is the cost of doing business with her dancing, and you can see why this one rates, at best, a generous B minus. P.S. Call me crazy, but if they ever remake this film (dubious) somehow I doubt if the scene where Tony teaches Gabrielle how to smoke will make the cut.

  • The Band Wagon

    • Michael Whitty
    • 11/30/16

    A slick and colorful musical as Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse light up the screen with impressive dance numbers. British star Jack Buchanen has some fun and dance with Fred and Oscar Levant lends a helping hand. Remembered for "Dancing in the Dark" and "That's Entertainment" songs this was during the 50s when the M-G-M musical was still going strong.

  • A Whitman's Sampler of a movie

    • Ted
    • 2/18/16

    The good-bad dichotomies in these reviews are amazing. I think (thought?) this film had something for everyone. Certainly for me it is like looking at an album of delights. The scenes go by, some better than others, but each tasty in it's own way. Overall there is a kind of magic in the almost silly way the scenes are tied together. It is a grown-up child's movie. Fred Astaire is consistently superb. Cyd Charisse who never seemed to have a personality of her own was oddly refreshing in not being as definite as Ginger Rogers or Leslie Caron. I understood why Nanette Fabray was so popular during that era although the triplets stunt and Louisiana Hayride were, for me the coconut creams to skip. The whole acting, singing, non-dancing crowd were solid. Actually, I like every time this film comes on. It is like a circus where I can go get popcorn during the clowns, then come back to enjoy something different in its own way. This is really a very sophisticated, "C'mon kids, lets put on a show!" film. Just imagine all that color, conflict, movement, change, variety and resolution going on at 10 times life size. What's good is very good here. What's bad is not so bad.

  • I couldn't believe it

    • Donna
    • 4/18/14

    Fred Astaire is my all time favorite dancer but I never thought I would see him in a dud of a movie such as this. Although Fred's dancing was perfection as always, the story line and singing numbers especially with Nanette Fabray were cheesy and corny to the point of nauseating. The acting was wooden at best. I don't know how Fred managed to get involved in this bomb. I don't understand what people see in this movie at all.

  • The Band Wagon

    • Rigo
    • 3/16/13

    In my opinion The Band Wagon is the best musical ever made. Fred Astair and Cyd Charisse are wonderful in the beautiful "Dancing In The Dark." If you like musicals don't miss this one.

  • Such a let down

    • Jezebelle
    • 9/16/12

    This movie jumps to the top of my "Do not recommend/ever watch again" list. Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse had NO chemistry. The story line could have been good but the execution of it ruins the movie. I don't feel the love and although Cyd Charisse is, I'm sure, a great dancer she didn't look like she was floating on air, as all dancers should. Not Vincente Minnelli's best work.

  • The Band Wagon

    • Linda
    • 9/4/12

    I really should buy this movie as it's one of my absolute favorites! Love it when Fred and the shoe shiner sing and dance. I got shine, I got shine, I got shine on my shoes.......One of the best scenes of all time! Of course there are quite a few more, but I don't want to give it away if you haven't seen this. DEFINITELY A MUST SEE!!

  • The Band Wagon

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 7/29/12

    This musical cannot helped being compared to the equally iconic "Singin' in the Rain." Astaire plays a character so painfully familiar to his off-screen self, Charisse is in top form & Buchanan steals the film as an Orson Welles-like director. This is a visual masterpiece from the production design to the Oscar-nominated costumes, the film's score was also nominated & it's good. Minnelli's presence is in every perfectly-realized scene. I give it a 4.5/5.

  • Perhaps the best musical!

    • Rich
    • 7/25/12

    I have always been torn between Singing in the Rain and Bandwagon as the finest of all the MGM musicals. I am shifing heavily to Bandwagon. Watch and make your own decision.

    • 8/17/11


    • Susan
    • 6/27/11

    I always love(d) the Astiare movies. Gene Kelly is good, but Astaire has that "something" I really like. This movie is really in two parts: PART I: with JIM MITCHELL (Palmer Courtland from the now defunct "All My Children" who is as handsome as he is good in this rold) as Cyd Charisse (Gabby)'s boyfirend and coreagorpher. And, in the story (by Levant, etc.) gets turned into a FAUST story with funny scenes (like "Give me that whole iceberg" when Astaire is practicing with Cyd and he comes ranthing out shouting the lines!).PART II: The play is a failure ("laid an egg"). Asiaire backs it with his valueable paintings (which he makes funny remarks in part I about to "Gabby), and it turns out to be a success!I laugh, cry (whenever I see Astaire) and have such fun watching it, I have to say it is far beyond (in my book) "An American in Paris" which the plot has nothing really to do with the dance sequece. My second favorite musical movie is GIGI, and that is about that!

  • Strictly Carriage Trade

    • James M.
    • 6/26/11

    This is the champagne, the Duisenberg, the crpe Suzette of MGM musicals. It's a surreal story from start to finish, replete with gentle but tongue-in-cheek humor, a certain amount of resigned cynicism, and a great deal of love. The score by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz is one of the best ever utilized for the movies.Minnelli's penchant for having dream meeting space is very much in evidence here. Add marvelous swing and melody, and one should find in this movie one of the most delightful musicals ever put down on film. In my mind, with Gigi as a close second, this is my favorite musical. It's far better than Singin' in the Rain which - though filled with "moments" of a legendary sort - never gets close to coming together as well as this more mature, subtle, and elegant film. It has a charm and civility virtually absent from films made in recent decades.Astaire, Charisse, Fabray, Levant, Buchannan are all tops in this picture. The dialogue has a wonderful sarcasm and plenty of New York irony. The touching finish is a moving tribute to getting what you want, after all."Kids, you're geniuses!"

  • Another Minnelli Star-Studded Musical Event.

    • Frank Harris Horn
    • 10/7/10

    Oscar-winning director, Vincente Minnelli assembles an extraordinary cast of musical performers including Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray and Jack Buchanan in this movie version of Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz's 1931 Broadway musical as brilliantly adapted by Adolph Green and Betty Comden. Astaire is a "washed up" movie star, who hopes to make a comeback by trying his luck on Broadway, under the direction of a maniacal genius (Buchanan). A sophisticated backstage musical improves with each viewing. Featuring an array of Dietz and Schwartz's songs including "That's Entertainment", "A Shine on Your Shoes", "Dancing in the Dark", "La Femme Rouge", "A New Sun in the Sky", "Up in Smoke", "Triplets", "I Love Louisa", "The Girl Hunt", "Louisiana Hayride" and "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan". With James Mitchell, Robert Gist, Ava Gardner, Thurston Hall, Jack Tesler, Dee Hartford, Douglas Fowley & Roy Engel.

  • The Band Wagon (1953)

    • James Higgins
    • 3/11/10

    65/100. This is the kind of musical I have a hard time stomaching. All this singing in place of talking, and overblown and way too colorful musical numbers, a color so vivid it doesn't look natural. There are indeed some classic numbers in this film, but I just didn't think the film was ever going to end. Excellent sound, and the score is amazing. Nominated for there Oscars: best costume design, score and writing (story and screenplay). The costume design was good, but don't see it is Oscar good.The cast is fine, Fred Astaire is certainly talented, Cyd Charisse is wonderful but I thought the supporting cast was a little weak. I was never that crazy about Vincente Minnelli's musicals.

  • Forgotten classic?

    • Jarrod McDonald
    • 2/13/10

    With all the repeat showings of this film, I'm suprised nobody else has written any review or comments about 'The Band Wagon.' It's truly a fun MGM musical of the mid-50s. And even better: it's directed with style by Vincente Minnelli. It definitely matches Minnelli's 'Meet Me in St. Louis' and his 'Designing Woman' in terms of technical virtuosity and art design. Some of the sequences in this film are truly eye-catching. And the performances are great too. Who can resist a rendition of 'That's Entertainment!' or 'Triplets.' I especially liked Nanette Fabray and James Mitchell in this film and thought they made significant contributions that helped both Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. In my opinion, this musical is very reminiscent of 'Singin' in the Rain' but instead of poking fun at Hollywood, it pokes fun at Broadway, with some clever inside jokes.

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