That’s Entertainment (1974)

“Musicals were fantasy trips for the audiences of their day. For instance, boy meets girl; boy loses girl; boy sings a song and gets girl. The plots were that simple. ” – Frank Sinatra

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Cable in the 90’s and 7 Feb 2021)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary about the history of music and musicals from the dawn of film through the early 1970’s.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing over 20 years ago and forgot that it existed.

I only remembered the overall premise, but knew that I enjoyed watching the various musical bits.

I was recently reminded of it by my good friend Richard from Kirkham: A Movie A Day and decided to revisit it and see if my memory of the film stood up.

Fun film that is able to rehash the days of musicals from MGM.

They are able to bring us some very enjoyable dancing and singing clips that have helped establish the studio as one of the most profound movie musical distributors over the years.

The way that they have a plethora of narrators is a bit jarring tho especially since each of them have just one or two scenes before they pass the baton along to someone eךse.

The way that they each need to pander to the next narrator is also a bit strange because it takes away from things since its obvious that these stars are just reading cue cards instead of talking about their counterparts from their hearts.

The clips are great, but the rest seems too much like fluff.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Norma Shearer made an agitated phone call to MGM senior executive Paul Rosenfeld, insisting that her reaction shots to Clark Gable’s ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ (from Idiot’s Delight (1939)) be deleted. Unfortunately, it was too late to make any changes and the shots remained in the film. Shearer explained to Rosenfeld in a letter, “I am presented as no more than an extra without screen credit while others who are dancers and singers perform triumphantly as stars of this production.” When Rosenfeld offered to arrange a screening for Shearer, she declined saying, “I would be devastated to see myself as such an insignificant part of the whole…It is a little too late to do anything now except to express to you my wounded pride.” (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


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