The Band Wagon

  • U
  • Vincente Minnelli (1953)
  • US
  • 107 min
The Band Wagon
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

This clever and witty backstage musical has Fred Astaire playing a Broadway star who's out of step with the very modern musical he has been hired to headline. It boasts brilliant direction from Vincente Minnelli and fabulous production design, and to many marks the peak of Astaire's screen work. The star is stunning as he partners the gorgeous Cyd Charisse in Dancing in the Dark (Gene Kelly's own favourite Astaire number) and the Mickey Spillane parody The Girl Hunt ballet superbly choreographed by Michael Kidd and Oliver Smith. Its great Arthur Schwartz/Howard Dietz score is accompanied by an original screenplay from writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green (the Singin' in the Rain team), and in the movie Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray effectively play Green and Comden themselves. The result is as good as musicals get.

Plot Summary

Musical starring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Jack Buchanan. Hollywood star Tony Hunter has not made a movie for three years. But with a little persuasion from his old friends Lester and Lily Marton, he agrees to take on the lead in a new Broadway show. The producer is Jeffrey Cordova, whose idea is to make this the first high-brow musical on Broadway. The results are comic, tuneful and romantic.

Cast and crew


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


Vincente Minnelli

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on video and DVD
Certificate U