A documentary film about dancing on the screen, from it's orgins after the invention of the movie camera, over the movie musical from the late 20s, 30s, 40s 50s and 60s up to the break dance and the music videos from the 80s.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
The film came under fire for its curious lack of pacing, which can be attributed largely to Jack Haley, Jr.'s decision to utilize only five celebrity hosts to cover nearly one hundred years of dance history. Whereas he had delegated one narrator per theme in That's Entertainment! (1974), Haley inexplicably doubled up three of his five hosts in this sequel. Mikhail Baryshnikov is called upon to toast the world of ballet and Liza Minnelli celebrates the best of Broadway, while Gene Kelly narrates two segments, one exploring the early history of dance, and the other looking toward the future. Similarly, Sammy Davis, Jr. presents the ballroom duets of Astaire and Rogers in addition to the work of pioneering individualists such as Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, Eleanor Powell and The Nicholas Brothers, while Ray Bolger unfolds the starry roster at MGM, followed by a section celebrating the later work of Astaire and Kelly. It is generally believed that the film would have flowed more fluidly had Haley spread the wealth of material between eight hosts. See more »
Dancing on film is nearing its 100th anniversary - and the innovations through the years have been remarkable. Now, its no secret, dance follows music - and, as music changes, dance changes with it. The music of the 80s has had a profound influence on movie dancing - and the changes we've seen continue to hold an exciting promise for the future.
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Being a dancer, well, former dancer, I loved seeing this film when it originally came out. Felt it was a little short and still concentrated heavily on MGM. Not wanting to take out the fact that MGM WAS the greatest producer of musicals in Hollywood, but there were some others just as good and memorable from other studios. Glad it is now on DVD, and watching the extras (very poorly put together BTW)I can see that in it's original form, this film would have rated a 10 from me. Kelly says that the film originally ran well over 2 hours and is now down to just over 90 minutes. There must have also been problems in securing rights from different studios, as a lot seem to be poorly represented (20th) or not at all (Columbia). My only other complaint, and would have given more time for others, is that they almost show the entire number to represent a dancer or film. Some of the clips in That's Entertainment we a little too short, but there could have been a happy medium. I would have given up looking at the Jets for that length of time if I could have seen other BDWY to HWYD transfers as Hello, Dolly! / Mame / Grease / Guys and Dolls and especially a rarely seen film like Where's Charlie? But all in all, when the music stops and the dance is over, the fiddler has been paid and the memories linger.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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