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Thumbnail for The Band Wagon (1953) The Band Wagon (1953)

Basics Critics:86Viewers:71Rusty:76
Category: Comedy, Music/MusicalNotable as: Musical comedySub-Category: Musical, Musical comedy, Backstage Musical, ComedyRuntime: 111 - 113 minutesColor: TechnicolorLanguage: EnglishCountry: United StatesDirector: Vincente MinnelliScreenwriter: Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Alan Jay Lerner, Norman CorwinMusic: Adolph DeutschCinematography: Harry JacksonStars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Jack Buchanan, Ava Gardner, James Mitchell, Robert Gist, Nanette Fabray, Don Beddoe, John Lupton Producer: Arthur FreedStudio: Metro-Goldwyn-MayerAwards won: National Film RegistryAward nominations: Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color
Academy Award for Best Original Musical Score (Adolph Deutsch)
Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Betty Comden, Adolph Green)
Award details: (details at IMDb)

The Band Wagon is a 1953 musical comedy film that many critics rank, along with Singin' in the Rain, as the finest of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals, although it was only a modest box-office success. It tells the story of an aging musical star who hopes a Broadway play will restart his career. However, the play's director wants to make it a pretentious retelling of Faust, and brings in a prima ballerina who clashes with the star. The songs were written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, and some were created for the original 1931 Broadway musical 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.

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