Wednesday, December 12, 2012

254. The Band Wagon

The Band Wagon
Directed by Vincente Minnelli

We finally get a break from slightly ridiculous melodramas with this slightly ridiculous musical.  A ridiculous musical is so much more fun.

This is a very typical Technicolor musical.  Fred Astaire is an aged "song and dance" man who is trying to put on a new show with an upcoming ballerina.  Angry tap numbers ensue.

So the plot isn't very original.  Still, this film is just plain fun; we get great musicals numbers, shameless optimism, and catchy songs.  It actually reminded me of the old Busby Berkley films I used to watch with the whole "the show must go on" mentality.  Of course, the numbers aren't as good as Berkley numbers but that is an absurdly standard.

In addition, there is a really cool surreal film noir scene which, while really weird, is entertaining.  And that's the whole point of this movie, merely to entertain.  And quite frankly, that is a relief after the emotional roller coaster I have been expected to ride with these last couple of films.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The movie reflected real life in that Fred Astaire really did feel washed up and was considering retirement.

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse are the exact same height and weight.


  1. I was nervous about this movie because the picture in the book is so stupid. And at the beginning I didn't think I would like it, but once the sexual tension started it grew on me. And Astaire is of course so likeable. The film noir sequence alone makes this worth the watch.

  2. Amanda, I decided to cooy in a section from my own review that pretty much sums up my impression of this movie:

    "I fail to see the point of the conventional show. We are shown a performance from each act and they are all so different from each other that nothing ties it together. What is this show? Random song parade? Individually the acts are fine I suppose, but they leave me unimpressed. I would much rather have watched Cordova’s’ Faustian version. A musical in hell with explosions, there is something you do not see every day."

    1. Hahaha nice. I love binge reading your blog.