The Band Wagon and last month's Best Picture Oscar winner, Birdman, have key elements in common. Like Michael Keaton's character in Birdman, Fred Astaire's Tony Hunter is a middle-aged movie star who had a big hit 20 years ago. He was the top song and dance man in movie musicals -- like Astaire himself, star of Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), Shall We Dance (1937) and several others. But Tony hasn't made a movie in a few years and the columnists consider him washed up. Dapper Tony Hunter leaves Hollywood and heads to New York City where he's to star in a colorful Broadway musical comedy. He's a bit insecure about his talents, but he needn't be. This Broadway show will be the chance for Tony to challenge and reinvent himself as an entertainer.
Cordova turns out to be a regular guy and a team player. After he louses up the production with his overly-artsy ideas and intellectual excess that dumbfound audiences in out-of-town previews, he humbly hands the directorial duties over to Tony knowing that he can handle the jobs of both star and director. Jeff willingly becomes just a cast member eager to make the show a hit. Tony puts his own money into the show when backers pull out after the disastrous out-of-town preview. Before this happens, Cordova not only restores Tony's confidence but tells him that he could make a stunning comeback in this revue. Jeff's philosophy is that they're all entertainers. Jack Buchanan (far left as Cordova) co-stars with Fred Astaire, Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant.
Middle-aged Hollywood actors Tony Hunter and Riggan Thomson will both have memorable moments in Times Square when they transfer to Broadway.
Cyd Charisse was born March 8th. She passed away in 2008 at age 86.