Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“The Band Wagon”

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in “The Band Wagon” (MGM, 1953)

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in “The Band Wagon” (MGM, 1953)

“The Band Wagon” (MGM, 1953). Fading movie musical star Tony Hunter (played by Fred Astaire) leaves Hollywood for New York to star in a new Broadway play. After a disastrous preview along with constant bickering and infighting among the cast and crew, they all ultimately decide to put aside their differences and work together to create a hit show. If you’ve never seen this film, give it a try. Next to “Singin’ in the Rain,” this is probably my favorite MGM musical. The plot may be a touch dozy, but all of the musical numbers are beyond fantastic and really show the excellence of the MGM hit machine, not to mention the tremendous skills of the entire cast and creative team led by the great director Vincente Minnelli. The sublime “Dancing in the Dark” sequence with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse (pictured above) is the best thing ever. Also stars Jack Buchanan, Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant. Songs by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, including the now-classic showbiz theme “That’s Entertainment.” Written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. “It’s going to run for a long time. As far as I’m concerned, it’s going to run forever.”

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