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Enjoy the most memorable moments from the classic M-G-M musicals.

  • Aug 10, 2009
Rating:
+5
The roster of performers who appear in M-G-M's spectacular 1974 retrospective "That's Entertainment" reads like a "who's who" of the motion picture business up to that point in time.  Originally conceived as a television special,  M-G-M executives decided to create a full-length motion picture when they discovered a veritable treasure trove of footage in their vaults. M-G-M was in dire financial straits at the time and "That's Entertainment" was definitely a huge roll of the dice by the studio.  Since it had never been tried before no one had any idea how movie buffs would react to a compilation film.  As it turned out it was an overnight sensation and audiences flocked to theaters  to relive the best moments of the most beloved M-G-M musicals.  It is easy to see why.

Although the overwhelming majority of these films were made before I was born I must tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed "That's Entertainment" .  Interspersed with some of the most memorable scenes from the great M-G-M musicals are recollections and commentary from some of M-G-M's biggest and brightest stars including Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Donald O'Connor, Elizabeth TaylorBing Crosby, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. There are so many captivating scenes in this movie that you could not possibly list them all.  Among my favorites routines are Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing up a storm from the film "Broadway Melody of 1940"Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly teamed up for a series of films for M-G-M in the 1940's.  There is a terrific scene from "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" included here.  Two of the most incredible bits you will ever see on film are from a motion picture called "Royal Wedding".  In the first scene Fred Astaire dances with a hat rack!  Fred pulls it off with all of the grace you might expect from one of the great dancers of all-time.  In the second scene, Fred appears to be dancing on the walls and ceiling of a room.  Films buffs continue to debate how in the world this was filmed.  Then there is Donald O'Connor doing "Make 'Em Laugh" and Gene Kelly's unforgettable performance of "Singin' In The Rain".  And the list goes on and on and on..........

"That's Entertainment" offers more than two hours of classic entertainment from Hollywood's Golden Age.  You will see clips featuring 125 stars culled from nearly 100 films.  Younger people will come to understand why M-G-M musicals were so wildly popular back in the day.  M-G-M found that it had so much great material in its vaults that a very fine sequel was made a couple of years later and a third and final film was released shortly after that.  Much to my surprise I have discovered that "That's Entertainment" is a film tha I can enjoy again and again.   It is that good!   Very highly recommended!   
That's Entertainment 1 That's Entertainment 2 That's Entertainment 3 Thats Entertainment 4

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August 13, 2009
My mother dragged me to see TE when I was 12 y/o... I left mesmerized. A great review! M
 
August 10, 2009
I've seen this movie and I love it too......excellent review of a fine film!
 
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About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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It's ironic that MGM, in such dire financial straits in 1974 that it was selling its fabled back lot and auctioning off artifacts from past movie triumphs, enjoyed one of its biggest box-office hits with That's Entertainment, a compilation of musical highlights from the studio's golden days. Onscreen hosts Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Peter Lawford, Liza Minnelli, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney, James Stewart, and Elizabeth Taylor introduce the various film clips while standing on what was left of the MGM lot (Rooney delivers his comments from the Andy Hardy street). The vignettes, in both color and black-and-white, include generous slices of such classic MGM songfests as The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, and Gigi. The film includes the montage of Mickey Rooney's "Let's put on a show!" speeches, Clark Gable hoofing to "Puttin' on the Ritz" in Idiot's Delight, and James Stewart (!) serenading Eleanor Powell from Easy to Love. Assembled by Jack Haley Jr., That's Entertainment proved such a hit that the 1976 sequel, That's Entertainment II, was a foregone conclusion. - Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
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