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That's Entertainment! (1974)

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4:12 | Trailer
Various MGM stars from yesterday present their favourite musical moments from the studio's 50 year history.

Director:

Jack Haley Jr.

Writer:

Jack Haley Jr.
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'The Band Wagon'
Bing Crosby ... Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'Going Hollywood'
Gene Kelly ... Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clips from 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' - 'Singin' in the Rain' and 'An American in Paris'
Peter Lawford ... Himself - Co-Host / Narrator - Clip from 1947 version of 'Good News'
Liza Minnelli ... Herself - Co-Host & Narrator
Donald O'Connor ... Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clip from 'Singin' in the Rain'
Debbie Reynolds ... Herself - Co-Host / Narrator
Mickey Rooney ... Himself - Co-Host / Narrator / Clips from 'Babes in Arms' - 'Girl Crazy' - 'Babes on Broadway'
Frank Sinatra ... Himself - Co-Host
James Stewart ... Himself - Co-Host
Elizabeth Taylor ... Herself - Co-Hostess / Narrator / Clip from 'Cynthia'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
June Allyson ... Clip from 'Words and Music' (archive footage)
Kay Armen Kay Armen ... Clip from 'Hit the Deck' (archive footage)
Ray Bolger ... Clips from 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'The Harvey Girls' (archive footage)
Virginia Bruce ... 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:

Boy. Do we need it now. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

That's Entertainment: 50 Years of MGM See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,890,200

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,890,200
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 70 mm 6-Track

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elizabeth Taylor claims to be singing for herself in the "Melody of Spring" sequence from Cynthia (1947), self-deprecatingly commenting that "I was certainly no threat to Jane Powell or Judy Garland, as you'll see." In fact, Taylor was dubbed in the film, and the ghost singer is one of very few whose name has never come to light. 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

Producer Jack Haley Jr.'s credit appears over a still image of his father, Jack Haley, as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some video releases include instrumental exit music that plays after the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Followed by That's Entertainment! III (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Reckless
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Jean Harlow and others
From Reckless (1935)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"As timeless as the day you and I first saw it"
30 May 2008 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

How times change! Just last year, I declared with complete resolution the utter pointlessness of the movie musical. I considered myself immune to the charms of the genre, lest I have to admit to my friends that my weekend involved watching two skilled performers dancing across a stage. 'Singin' in the Rain (1952)' was the first picture to chip away at my cocoon of ignorance, and the farcical comedic trappings of 'Top Hat (1935)' sealed the deal. It was only then that I rediscovered the delights of childhood favourites 'Mary Poppins (1964)' and 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971),' and I've since enjoyed the glamour and spectacle of three more Astaire/Rogers pairings, George Cukor's 'My Fair Lady (1964)' and the unspectacular but solid 'An American in Paris (1951)' and 'High Society (1956).' Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, one studio stood above all others when it came to producing musicals, and, even today, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) continues to be identified with the glossy Technicolor masterpieces remembered so fondly by film-goers.

'That's Entertainment! (1974)' is the first in a trilogy of documentaries tracing the history of MGM as a producer of musicals, telling the story through the compilation of classic musical numbers. What might have been a simple, inconsequential clip-show is offered a vital touch of class through the participation of some of cinema's most beloved stars, including Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Mickey Rooney, Jimmy Stewart, Bing Crosby, Peter Lawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Liza Minnelli (representing her mother, Judy Garland, who prematurely passed away in 1969), and also some guy named Frank Sinatra. As temporary co-host, each performer offers a carefully-scripted running commentary on the sequences being shown to us, on occasion tossing in details of their own experience. Particularly fascinating is a clip of the 1936 musical 'Born to Dance,' in which Jimmy Stewart demonstrates, for the first and only time, what happens when he is forced into performing a musical number – but at least it's not quite as embarrassing as Clarke Gable's cheesy rendition of "Puttin' on the Ritz!"

The most memorable feature of this documentary is how it includes not only the classic musical moments that we all remember, but also a variety of selections that were, as a newcomer, completely unknown to me. I've already developed a list of movie moments that I must experience in their unabridged versions, including Gene Kelly's duet with Jerry Mouse in 'Anchors Aweigh (1945)' and Fred Astaire's mind-boggling waltz across the ceiling in 'Royal Wedding (1951),' which employed a rotating set that inspired a similar sequence in Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).' The actors' introductions, filmed on the soon-to-be-demolished MGM back-lots, are informative and entertaining, though it's rather saddening to see their weathered faces and to know that their glory days were, even then, lost in the past. But perhaps "lost" is the wrong word, because each of these magical musical moments linger in both our memories, and, even when these fail us, in the magnificence of celluloid. Entertainment doesn't get much better than this.


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