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Monday, 31 December 2012

That's Entertainment Part II (1976) - Star of the month... Frank Sinatra

Due to popular demand, and the success of 'That's Entertainment' (1974), we are presented with 'That's Entertainment, Part II' (1976), with even more music and even more entertainment.

In a slightly different format to the first film, 'That's Entertainment, Part II' is hosted solely by Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, and includes newly filmed musical numbers of the duo. This film also extends beyond the MGM musical, and presents clips from MGM comedies and dramas.

Designed by Saul Bass, the opening title sequence pays homage to the range and style of title sequences from films from the 1930s and early 1950s.

Highlights from 'That's Entertainment, Part II'

  • Overture - As with the first film, an overture plays
  • That's Entertainment - Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly perform a newly filmes version of 'That's Entertaiment' with new lyrics
  • The Stateroom Scene from 'a Night in the Ioera'
  • Tributes to Cyd Charisse, Lena Horne, Leslie Caron and Marge/Gower Champion
  • From This Moment On - from 'Kiss Me Kate' (1953)
  • Black and White Montage -  clips from black and white musicals such as Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy and Jimmu Durante
  • Slapstick comedy montage of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and Jack BEnny
  • Good Morning from 'Singin in the Rain'
  • Triplets from 'The Bandwagon'
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from 'Meet Me in St. Louis' (1944)
  • 10 Cents a Dance - Doris Day's first appearance in a 'That's Entertainment' film
  • Special tribute to Frank Sinatra
  • Immortal stars and lines, featuring Greta Garbo "I vant to be alone", WC Fields in 'David Copperfield', Jean Harlow and Marie Dressler in 'Dinner at Eight' and Clark Gable in 'Gone With the Wind'
  • Travel Talks montage
  • France montage - Maurice Chevalier, Dinah Shore singing 'The Last Time I Saw Paris;' in 'Till The Clouds Roll By' (1943), 'I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise' and Gwen Verdon's can can
  • There's No Business Like Show Business from 'Annie, Get Your Gun' (1952)
  • Tribute to Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy - both on their own and together
  • Cypress Gardens Waterski Spectacular - what better way to close the film than with Esther Williams
  • That's Entertainment (finale) - from 'The Bandwagon' (1953)
  • Exit Music 

Featured performers (in alphabetical order):

Bud Abbott, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Mary Astor, Lew Ayres, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Freddie Batholomew, Wallace Beery, Robert Benchley, Constance Bennett, Jack Benny, Nacio Herb Brown, Jack Buchanan, Billie Burke, James Cagney, Sammy Cahn, Louis Calhern, Leslie Caron, Gower Champion, Marge Champion, Cyd Charisse, Maurice Chevalier, Ronald Colman, Gino Corrado, Lou Costello, Jeanne Coyne, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, Dan Dailey, Doris Day, Robert Donat, Fifi D'Orsay, Tommy Dorsey, Melvyn Douglas, Tom Drake, Marie Dressler, Margaret Dumont, Jimmy Durante, Nelson Eddy, Cliff Edwards, Nanette Fabray, W.C. Fields, James A. Fitzpatrick, Bob Fosse, Arthur Freed, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, Betty Garrett, Greer Garson, Hermione Gingold, Cary Grant, Charley Grapewin, Fernand Gravey, Kathryn Grayson, Carol Haney, Oliver Hardy, Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Sterling Holloway, Lena Horne, Betty Hutton, Harry James, Allan Jones, Buster Keaton, Howard Keel, Grace Kelly, June Knight, Miliza Korjus, Hedy Lamarr, Lassie, Stan Laurel, Vivien Leigh, Oscar Levant, Myrna Loy, Jeanette MacDonald, The Marx Brothers, Chico Marx, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Roddy McDowall, Ann Miller, Robert Montgomery, Esther Muir, Dave O'Brien, Donald O'Connor, Maureen O'Sullivan, Walter Pidgeon, Eleanor Powell, William Powell, Tommy Rall, Debbie Reynolds, Ginger Rogers, Mickey Rooney, Christian Rub, Al Shean, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern, James Stewart, Lewis Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Taylor, Marshall Thompson, Franchot Tone, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, USC Trojan Marching Band, Bobby Van, Gwen Verdon, Ethel Waters, David Wayne, Johnny Weissmuller, Esther Williams, Ed Wynn, Keenan Wynn, Robert Young

Fred Astaire & Gene Kelly in their second
and last appearance together

Did you know...

  • This was Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire's first appearance together in over 30 years - they last appeared together in 'Ziegfeld Follies' (1945)
  • In this film, Gene Kelly is 63 and Fred Astaire is 76 - the level of stamina they still have is impressive
  • This was Gene Kelly's last directing credit
  • This was the last time Fred Astaire danced on film
  • 18 years later, this was followed by 'That's Entertainment III' (1994), which also featured Gene Kelly
  • During the clip of 'From This Moment On' from 'Kiss Me Kate' (1948), Gene Kelly identifies Ann Miller, Tommy Rall, Bob Fosse, Carol Haney and Bobby Van, but does not identify Jeanne Coyne - Coyne was Kelly's second wife and had died from leukaemia three years earlier
  • The song "Good Morning" from 'Singin' in the Rain' (1952), was originally to appear in the first 'That's Entertainment' (1974), but cut before release 

Closing remarks

'That's Entertainment, Part II' is an entertaining compilation of film clips. I personally find this to be the least enjoyable of the three films. Sadly Part 2 does not feature any clips of MGM greats June Allyson and Mario Lanza. A notable musical number which would have been ideal for inclusion is Ann Miller's show stopping 'Too Darn Hot' from 'Kiss Me Kate' (1953).

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