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That's Entertainment! 50 Years of MGM provides fascinating footage of the compilation's premiere
tavm15 June 2010
Shown as an extra on the That's Entertainment! HD DVD, this TV special was originally shown as part of "ABC's Wide World of Entertainment". It was hosted by George Hamilton-a former M-G-M player himself-and his then-wife, who now is known as Alana Stewart. They're at the premiere of the studio's tribute to their great musicals compilation film meant to celebrate 50 years of service to the industry. Among the stars from many of M-G-M's classics they interview: Johnny Weissmuller who recounts an amusing story of trying to meet Clark Gable as he auditions for Tarzan, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Fred Astaire, Donald O'Connor who joins Fred, and Liza Minnelli who recalls how, when making her debut in her mother Judy Garland's In the Good Old Summertime at a toddler age, leading man Van Johnson's hands felt cold on her behind because she wasn't wearing any underwear! Then after that and many classic clips-which looked shoddy-we're treated to a picture taking ceremony as Liza and Sammy Davis, Jr., announce many names as they come on stage. One name mentioned, Adele Astaire, had never appeared in a picture introduced by Leo the Lion or any other studio logo-in fact, had retired from show business after getting married in the early '30s-but, I'm guessing, was there because her former professional stage dancing partner, brother Fred, invited her and insisted she be part of it. No matter, a good time was had by all and it's fascinating to see George Burns among the stars joining in the picture taking ceremony nearly a year before his comeback in the studio's The Sunshine Boys. A fascinating document.
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