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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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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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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}

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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,890,200
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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

Color:

(Metrocolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Much of the film's success is due to the intricate sleight-of-hand editing of Bud Friedgen and David E. Blewitt, who cleverly streamlined each number to a running time between one and three minutes. In some cases, this was a daunting task, as in the mammoth "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" sequence, which lasts nearly eight minutes in The Harvey Girls (1946) and was truncated to a seamless two minutes and thirteen seconds for the compilation. One can surmise that the only reason the team was not Oscar nominated is because voters were not familiar enough with the original footage to fully appreciate the meticulous editing that took place (indeed, only four numbers are shown in their entirety in That's Entertainment!: Judy Garland and Van Johnson's introduction of Liza Minnelli to "In the Good Old Summertime;" Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor's prologue of "Singin' in the Rain" [note the removal of the credits on their umbrellas!]; Kelly's iconic song and dance to the same song; and Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell's tour de force tap routine to "Begin the Beguine"). Friedgen and Blewitt were so integral to the anthology that they were retained for That's Entertainment, Part 2 (1976) and elevated to co-director status on That's Entertainment! III (1994). See more »

Goofs

During his narrative section, Donald O'Connor says that Esther Williams was discovered while working as a model in a Los Angeles department store, when in fact Williams was a salesgirl at I. Magnin. 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.
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Crazy Credits

Before Leo the Lion roars at the beginning, the words "Beginning our next 50 years" appear in the lion's traditional place in the MGM logo, which itself has been modified to indicate the company's golden anniversary. See more »

Connections

Features Strike Up the Band (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

The Babbitt and the Bromide
(1927) (uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Danced by Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire
From Ziegfeld Follies (1945)
See more »

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User Reviews

It Sure Is, and We'll Never See the Like Again!
30 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

For anyone who longs to experience some of the great movie musical moments again, "That's Entertainment" is a Godsend. For anyone who hasn't seen many, or any, of the great MGM musicals and wants to know what made them great, "That's Entertainment" is a revelation. Either way, it's an entertainment extravaganza that can't be beat, and it's easy to see why it was the surprise movie hit of 1974.

In fact, I remember the first time I saw it. I was sixteen, and I saw it at a matinee showing, with my Mother, at the now-defunct Cooper Theater in Denver, Colorado. I think what amazed us the most about the film was that, after almost every number, the audience burst into prolonged applause. You'd think it was a concert instead of a movie! But that's the appeal that these timeless musical moments have. You don't just watch this movie, you're PART of it.

As Frank Sinatra says at the outset of the film, "You can wait around and hope, but you'll never see the like of this again."

An affectionate tribute to the great movie musicals that became a great movie musical itself. See it! See it! See it!


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