Friday, August 15, 2008

That's Entertainment

I admit - I kind of like a good musical now and again. I'd wanted to see this for years and when it was on PBS the other night, I decided to give it a shot. Basically, it is a movie made up of clips of old musicals from 1928- 1958. The old ones were pretty boring. The Judy Garland ones were pretty boring. But the Fred Astaire clips were astounding. As were the Gene Kelly ones. I could do without Seven Brides for Seven Brothers though. I read while this was on and only gave my full attention to it about half of the time.

I think I'm kind of obsessed with Esther Williams now. I couldn't find the clip that they showed but I did fine one close enough.
Other interesting aspects: I really liked the 15 minute segments that each narrator received. Each was decked out in their best 70's regalia. Sinatra's tie was humongous, Elizabeth Taylor was a freak, Mickey Rooney is a nutjob. There was also Gene Kelly looking dapper and Bing Crosby as well. The movie came out right after Watergate and America needed some good 'ol nostalgia. This movie was a big hit and spawned an immediate sequel.

I don't think I'll ever get over that completely bizarre clip from a Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movie that featured an entire chorus of dancing men done up in blackface. This was presented in 1974 with nary a commment from the narrators.

Directed by Jack Haley, Jr.


Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with you. When I first saw this movie on the big screen in 1974, at the age of 13, I fell instantly in love with Judy Garland. Compared to Judy everything else in this movie seemed boring to me, at the time. Over the years I have come to apreciate other performers as well though, but to me, and to countless others, there will never be anyone else as exciting to watch on the screen, as Judy Garland. Remember she was MGM's biggest star for many years. People thought MGM stood for "Money Garland Made".
This movie, and the two follow ups, are great tributes to her timeless talants.

Gamera said...

Rebuttal, Mr. Listmaker?

msdee said...

I LOVE this movie!! I watched it on TV with my dad for the first time when I was a teen and along with the info provided by the narrators my dad inserted a good amount of trivia of his own. I must have seen it at least twelve times since.

If I'm not mistaken this one contains the Donald O'Connor's dance routine with a sofa. My all time fave. I can watch it over nd over again. That routine and Gene Kelly's Singin' In The Rain dance number is why Singin' in the Rain is my #1 favorite movie but if it hadn't been for That's Entertainment I would not have known about it. I think I've seen every one of the musicals honored in this movie.

In my opinion,the follow-ups to That's Entertainment were not as good.

Listmaker said...

i will add judy garland to religion and politics as topics not to bring up at a party.