The Band Wagon

The Band Wagon is a 1953 American musical-comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. It tells the story of an aging musical star who hopes a Broadway show will restart his career. However, the play's director wants to make it a pretentious retelling of the Faust legend and brings in a prima ballerina who clashes with the star. Along with Singin' in the Rain (1952), it is regarded as one of the finest of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals, although it was only a modest box-office success on first release. The songs were written by the team of composer Arthur Schwartz and lyricist Howard Dietz. (Schwartz was a prolific Hollywood composer who teamed with numerous lyricists over the years, while Dietz, a studio publicist, generally collaborated with Schwartz.) Some of the songs in the film had been created for the original 1931 Broadway musical by Schwartz and Dietz which was also called The Band Wagon, with a book by George S. Kaufman and starring Fred Astaire and his sister Adele. The movie's dances and musical numbers were staged by Michael Kidd. The song "That's Entertainment!", which Schwartz and Dietz wrote specifically for the film, was a hit and has become a standard. Another song orchestrated by Conrad Salinger, "Dancing in the Dark", is considered part of the Great American Songbook and was from the original Broadway production. Astaire's early number in the film, "A Shine On Your Shoes" was actually written for a 1932 Broadway revue with music and lyrics by Dietz and Schwartz called Flying Colors. It had originally been performed by the dancing team of Buddy and Vilma Ebsen. In the movie version of The Band Wagon, the song was reworked to show off Astaire's musical talents. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Color, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay. Screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who received the nomination for the screenplay, patterned the film's characters Lester and Lily Marton after themselves, although the fictional characters were a married couple and Comden and Green were not romantically involved. In 1995, The Band Wagon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2006, this film ranked #17 on the American Film Institute's list of best musicals.

Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
7.6
Rotten Tomatoes:
100%
PASSED
Year:
1953
112
154 Views

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