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That's Entertainment! (1974)

Various MGM stars from yesterday present their favourite musical moments from the studio's 50 year history.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'The Band Wagon'
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Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'Going Hollywood'
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Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clips from 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' - 'Singin' in the Rain' and 'An American in Paris'
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Himself - Co-Host / Narrator - Clip from 1947 version of 'Good News'
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Herself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'In the Good Old Summertime'
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Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'Singin' in the Rain'
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Herself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'Singin' in the Rain'
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Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clips from 'Babes in Arms' - 'Girl Crazy' - 'Babes on Broadway'
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Himself - Co-Host
...
Himself - Co-Host
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Herself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'Cynthia'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Clip from 'Words and Music' (archive footage)
Kay Armen ...
Clip from 'Hit the Deck' (archive footage)
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Clips from 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'The Harvey Girls' (archive footage)
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Clip from 'The Great Ziegfeld' (archive footage)
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Storyline

MGM musical numbers from the introduction of sound in the late '20s through to the 1950s, possibly with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Judy Garland getting the most coverage. Linked by some of the stars who worked at MGM handing the commentary on one to another. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

More than a movie. It's a celebration. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

21 June 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

That's Entertainment: 50 Years of MGM  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (35 mm optical prints)|

Color:

(Metrocolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was among the last MGM films shot on the studio's renowned back lot, of which there were actually six distinct satellite parcels of land west and south of the main lot, or Lot 1. Lot 2, the last of them to serve as a working back lot, was in use until late 1978. Development for residential housing on Lots 3-6 began the year "That's Entertainment!" filmed its new material with the studio's stars strolling the various standing sets, which had been allowed to deteriorate for well over a decade before their demolition. This is particularly noticeable in the train station set where Fred Astaire gives his introduction, and Bing Crosby refers to the English Lake area as looking rather "scruffy". On the other hand, the entire purpose of the film is nostalgia, and the use of the 'scruffy' facade, clearly aged and unused, helps to set the tone as one of a brief return to the glamor of the past, even though it was all make-believe. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, Frank Sinatra says The Hollywood Revue of 1929 is the "first all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing movie ever made,". In fact it wasn't, the first was The Broadway Melody, which was released in February, nine months before "The Hollywood Revue" was ever released. Indeed, by the time of That's Entertainment III (1994), narrator Gene Kelly was now calling The Hollywood Revue of 1929, "one of the first all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing movies." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Sinatra: [narrating] The year is 1929; the singer, Cliff Edwards, also known as Ukelele Ike. The film: "Hollywood Revue"; it is the first all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing movie ever made. In the years that followed, "Singin' in the Rain" would become a theme song for MGM.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits, some video releases include the film's original instrumental exit overture. See more »

Connections

Features To Please a Lady (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

By Myself
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Performed by Fred Astaire
From The Band Wagon (1953)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More stars than there are in heaven...
22 January 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There is nothing in this film--or more accurately, documentary--that doesn't do *exactly* what the title promises. It's hard for it to fail, really, considering the material it's working with. THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! sets out to be a joyous celebration of everything that was fun and sparkly and happy-making in the MGM musical, with the added bonus of having the stars (the BEST, brightest, eternal ones) that were there themselves telling us all about it.

Well, it works. No two words about it. These clips of song-and-dance routines that will stay with us forever were made with one sole purpose--to entertain. And entertain they do. From 'Singin' In The Rain' through to 'Showboat', 'High Society', 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers'... the film is a catalogue of the best and brightest of MGM musicals, and the stars. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly deliver tributes to each other, Liza Minelli and Mickey Rooney talk about the magic that was Judy Garland, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds and Peter Lawford--with a lovely stint by Bing Crosby and a hilarious interlude by James Stewart--bring us through the decades singing and dancing. The clips picked were great, of course. How could you go wrong with segments dedicated to Astaire, Kelly and Garland? The clips were all perfect, with some rarer items popping up like Cary Grant singing 'Did I Remember?' and enough of the classic ones to make one feel like pulling out all the tapes and watching them through again.

There are a couple of things that keep me from giving this documentary top marks. Firstly, a general complaint that really isn't quite fair: seeing these clips just don't compare to watching them in their original films and the proper contexts. I hope that people who watch this film as an introduction to movie musicals actually go out and rent them afterwards, because there really isn't anything more brilliant than SINGIN' IN THE RAIN or ON THE TOWN. Secondly: it would have been much more engaging if the actors invited to speak on the programme hadn't so evidently been reading off pre-written scripts. Some fared better than others, with Taylor being the spaced-out worst, and Stewart acquitting himself admirably with his trademark drawl and charm. Astaire and Kelly are both still immeasurably attractive onscreen, but even they can't quite pull off the image of camaraderie the words they speak impart to their previous relationship. (Not to say that they were rivals--the opposite extreme isn't true either. They were simply professionals, and acquaintances.) It'd have been just that much more fun if these legends had been allowed to speak off the cuff.

All said, if you want to introduce someone to the magic that was the movie musical, there's really no need to go further than THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT!. It's a catalogue of stars and talent, song and dance, and extensive proof that we won't ever see the likes of all this again. More's the pity for those of us who weren't there when film history happened, all to the songs of Berlin and Gershwin and the toe-tapping of Astaire and Kelly...


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