The Suit; The Dancing Feet; The Legs: The Band Wagon (1953)


So proclaims the almighty trailer, and LO! Here we are, blinking like newborn babes…

Now that the sun shines once again (global warming, anyone?), and the glow is restored to our hearts, we can discard wetsuits and snorkels and walk around town with a spring in our step, and our eyes, yes our eyes see in COLOUR once more. Where once London town was soley a mix of grey, sullen brutalist architecture and Dickensian dark corners now there is GREEN (a Charisse-y chartreuse?) and RED (the spangling dress of a femme fatale?) and we at Video City turn like sunflowers to our screens and we reach and lift towards the source for we have seen that there is no colour like the vibrant glory of:

band_wagon_pub_photoTHE BAND WAGON (1953) – dir. Vincente Minnelli (Gigi, American in Paris, Bad and the Beautiful).

A musical comedy about an aging Broadway star (Fred Astaire) who hopes to revive his career with one more smash hit until the pretentious producer threatens to ruin it all in an attempt to make ‘high art’. Cue the ballet dancer to clash (oh so beautifully) with Fred’s down-to-earth tap…

Just as much fun, nay, perhaps even more fun than Singing in the Rain (maybe even just because you haven’t seen it a hundred times with your gran, chewing over Christmas cake, with a cracker-crown on your head, trying to get into the spirit of it). Just as beautiful, bold and brassy; just as vibrant and jazzy, nay, perhaps more so than Singing in the Rain, because a) this has the Minnelli touch and b) this has Fred Astaire and, let’s face it, no-one cocked a hip quite like him (no, not even John Wayne) and no-one’s shoes were ever shinier…:


Plus, Happy Birthday Cyd Charisse. Your legs began at your armpits, just where they should.

cyd_charisse-Bandwagon_2“Cyd Charisse is a terrific dancer, a wonderful partner. She has precision plus – beautiful dynamite, I call it … When you danced with her, you stayed danced with her.'”
Fred Astaire, Steps in Time (1959)

Screen-Shot-2014-03-04-at-10.56.55-PM-600x375“She looked like a woman who liked to shock priests with wicked confessions.”
Gene Kelly

posted by Dixie Turner