The Band Wagon (1953)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

USA, 1953Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Story and Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , , .  Production Design by , Cedric Gibbons.  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Vincente Minnelli outdid his own An American In Paris with this brilliantly photographed and staged musical, probably the best from Fred Astaire‘s later career period. Astaire plays a has-been movie star who is given the chance to make a comeback when his good friends (, ) write a Broadway musical and ask him to star in it. The show should go well, but first he has to put up with a snotty prima donna (), her Svengali-style choreographer boyfriend () and a melodramatic producer/director () who has totally different ideas for the show than originally planned (a modern musical version of Faust to be exact). No one knew colour like Vincente Minnelli, and this is one of the best examples–the song and dance numbers are beautiful and Charisse’s dancing couldn’t be better.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Story and Screenplay; Best Costume Design-Colour; Best Scoring of a Musical Picture

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