That's Entertainment!  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

That's Entertainment! is a 1974 compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate its 50th anniversary. It was followed by two sequels and a related film called That's Dancing!.

The film, compiled by its writer-producer-director, Jack Haley, Jr., under the supervision of executive producer Daniel Melnick, turned the spotlight on MGM's legacy of musical film from the 1920s through the 1950s, featuring performances culled from dozens of the studio's famous films. Archive footage of Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell, Lena Horne, Esther Williams, Ann Miller, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Jeanette MacDonald, Cyd Charisse, June Allyson, Mickey Rooney, Mario Lanza, William Warfield, and many others was featured.

The various segments were hosted by a succession of the studio's legendary stars: Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney, Bing Crosby, James Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, and Liza Minnelli (representing her mother, Judy Garland).

Most of the hosts were filmed on MGM's famous backlot, which looks disturbingly ramshackle and rundown in this film, because MGM had sold the property to developers and the sets were about to be demolished (several of the stars, including Bing Crosby, remark on this during their segments). The most notable degradation can be seen when Fred Astaire revisits the ruins of a train station set that had been used in the opening of The Band Wagon two decades earlier, and when Peter Lawford revisits exteriors used in his late-40s musical, Good News. That's Entertainment! was the last major project to be filmed on the backlot.

The title of the film derives from the anthemic song "That's Entertainment!", by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, which was introduced in the 1953 MGM musical, The Band Wagon. The title is usually expressed with an exclamation mark, but it is also correct to refer to it without (see the DVD cover).




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "That's Entertainment!" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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