The Band Wagon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Band Wagon Reviews

Page 1 of 12
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ July 28, 2017
Fred Astaire was 54 when he made 'The Band Wagon' with Cyd Charisse (who was 31), and he supposedly loved the role in 'The Band Wagon' because it allowed him to show what it was like to be in productions as an older dancer. The first half of the movie is engaging, as a musical is put together starting with a script from writers played by Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray pitched to a bombastic producer played by Jack Buchanan. Astaire and Charisse's characters initially don't like one another, and the scene where they're all assembled at a gathering of Buchanan's to raise funds as he pitches his vision of the musical to the horror of the writers as well as touting stars who already 'want out' is fantastic. I loved the performance of 'That's Entertainment', which has since become a musical standard. Charisse and Astaire do have some great dance moments with one another, but performances overall are a little uneven. And, as the musical within the movie is reworked in the second half, it becomes a little hodgepodge, and it's hard to fathom how a hayride, a performance on triplets, and a film noir like number fit together (hint: they don't). There are some bright spots and the film is reasonably entertaining, but there is a lack of cohesion that separates it from the truly great musicals of the era.
January 14, 2017
Vincente Minnelli's definitive backstage musical is quite possibly the best original movie musical ever made; at the very least, it is certainly the pinnacle of the MGM/Arthur Freed era. A witty Comden & Green screenplay, paired with a catalogue of Dietz & Schwartz tunes, strings together a series of memorable musical numbers: "A Shine On Your Shoes," the novelty tune "Triplets," the witty spoof of pulp fiction "The Girl Hunt Ballet," and the iconic "Dancing in the Dark." A masterpiece.
½ February 23, 2016
Another feel good romantic comedy musical. I loved the ballerina dancing with Astaire, it made for something a little different.
½ September 23, 2015
I really love MGM's Technicolor musicals of the 1950s. My favourite is probably "Singin' in the Rain". Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's choreography really cannot be beat. This one is a close second. The ensemble cast is weaker and even with Fred Astaire, the dancing does not touch Kelly's work, but Vincent Minnelli's use of Technicolor is simply stunning. This is some of the purest cinema entertainment you can find.
½ August 12, 2015
Maybe just as good as Singing in the Rain, if not better. This is perhaps Vincent Minnelli's best film with great dances by Fred Astaire, both solo, and with Cyd Charisse. Once again, I think that Fred Astaire did better work with Cyd Charisse and even Rita Hayworth than with Ginger Rogers. Perhaps those films came later, so they might be more modern and more suitable to our times.
½ August 2, 2015
This is entertainment? Fred Astaire isn't enough this time. There are a couple of fun songs that I enjoyed, but it's a generic musical with a boring plot. (First and only viewing - 8/2/2015)
½ April 16, 2015
A washed up actor goes back to the stage to star in a flop before finding his big comeback break, both in love & life, in this musical starring Fred Astaire (who isn't as good as Gene Kelly.)
April 6, 2015
"The Band Wagon" es un elegante musical en el que Fred Astaire interpreta a un actor de cine en declive que es invitado por sus amigos compositores y guionistas (un simpático Oscar Levant y una preciosa Nanette Fabray) para participar en un musical de Broadway que va a ser dirigido por un genio petulante (un gran Jack Buchanan). Los números musicales son encantadores, especialmente el número de los trillizos. Una bella película en todos sus aspectos.
November 23, 2014
Just like Singin' in the Rain, I never enjoyed it.
September 16, 2014
The picture is a wild contemplation on modern entertainment against classic entertainment, celebrating the classic while tearing modern entertainment a new one.
July 11, 2014
nearly as good as singing in the rain ?
June 12, 2014
Fred Astaire plays a movie star whose career is in a slump, so he decides to go to Broadway. Lucky for him he has friends who have written a musical just for him. But in the mix is a pretensious theater director and a "tall" co-star, who give's Astaire's character (named Tony), a run for his money.
The show goes through terrible reviews due to the director's pretension; eventually, all of the egos have to put aside and a great hit is eventually made.
"The Band Wagon" follows the typical musical style at the time. There are the comedic one-liners, the love story that comes to fruit on the side, and the witty supporting characters. But the music, is what separates "The Band Wagon" from any other musical. Featuring a wonderful song with some of Fred's finest dancing, called "Shine on Your Shoes". Then, there is the beautiful "Dancer in the Dark" sequence between Astaire and Cyd Charisse (who plays Gaby, his love interest) that dazzles and exudes love and elegance.
But, the most influential song of this movie's time, "That's Entertainment", which became (and still is) Hollywood's signature song, is the brightest spot of this gem.
Fred Astaire dancing and singing, an entertaining plot, and plenty of comedy- now "That's Entertainment".
May 18, 2014
girl hunt in Jazz &
Dancing in the dark
& the creepy take on "You and the night and the music"
May 18, 2014
I studied this film at university. It is routinely listed by a variety of film connoisseurs in their 100 best ever. Not quite so sure about that but it does manage to combine the cheesy adoration of dumbed down maiin stream culture with some pretty clever one liners like it summary of Hamlet "a ghost and a prince meet, and everyone ends in mince meat" & "She was trouble, I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her, but she was my kinda gal."
April 22, 2014
Enjoyed Fred's performance, as always!
½ April 18, 2014
Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse!!! Need I say more?
½ February 3, 2014
The last of the great MGM musicals, Band Wagon, is a meta mix of styles from old to new; traditional to modern; revue to plot & character.

This modernisation is told in the story of Tony, a has-been star returning from Hollywood to New York to star in a musical written by his husband & wife writing friends. This pair are semi-autobiographical characters from the real pens of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. They based a lot of the plot on their own experiences of dealing with difficult directors. The real life pairing were just platonic friends, but wrote Lester & Lily as a married couple as their genuine friendship was considered to be unbelievable in a film.

The director Vincente Minnelli shows off his skills to the extreme here. The smorgasbord of styles are all exquisitely filmed and the cast seem to be having a ball. By far the best sequence is the noir parody, Girl Hunt: A Murder Mystery in Jazz. Michael Kidd's choreography is brilliant as the action enfolds with jazz hand fighting and Fred Astaire delivers some great corny lines. "She came at me in sections. More curves than a scenic railway." The 'she' is Cyd Charisse who adds a whole spate of glamour (and a fine set of pins) to the proceedings.

A true classic musical.
December 12, 2013
Classic Fred Astaire!
December 11, 2013
best of the freed unit at MGM
½ November 12, 2013
I used to hate musicals, and I'm not sure if I have reached an age where it is now easier to sit back and enjoy the benign silliness of them, or if I have just been watching a lot more good ones lately.
Page 1 of 12