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That's Entertainment - The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

4.5 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Includes That's Entertainment, That's Entertainment Part 2, and That's Entertainment III.

In an era when we have an unprecedented number of movies and other diversions at our fingertips, is there still a need for a clip show like That's Entertainment? Certainly, because the film series, beginning in 1974, was an unabashed peddler of glorious nostalgia, not only collecting many of the most memorable moments in the magical history of the MGM musical--and therefore in the history of film--but bringing in many of the original stars to introduce them decades later. And another few decades after the series was released, the nostalgia is that much greater since many of those stars are now gone. In addition, the sheer number and variety of clips (though they're often too short) would be hard to match in any collection or in the span of an evening's viewing. Where else could you enjoy Gene Kelly singin' in the rain and also James Stewart crooning "Easy to Love"? Or follow fun trends like the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland "let's put on a show" pictures, of which Rooney says "only our names seemed to change"? Following the surprising box-office success of the initial film, Part 2 was released in 1976 and it still had plenty of famous and obscure clips (remember Bobby Van?), and even a nod to the nonmusical films of the era such as the Hepburn-Tracy pictures. It topped everything off with the irresistible pairing of hosts Kelly and Fred Astaire, who share a dance--for only the second time in their careers--at the ages of 64 and 77, respectively (and a more graceful 77-year-old you never will see!). The third film wasn't made until in 1994 (host Kelly is strikingly older), but it offered more of the usual fare plus a variety of cut numbers by such stars as Judy Garland, Lena Horne, and Debbie Reynolds. A half-century later, Hollywood's valentine to the movie musical was still shining strong.

The DVD trilogy set offers all three films with the choice of widescreen anamorphic or full-screen formats (don't worry, the clips are in their original aspect ratio). There's also a two-sided fourth disc with supplemental material, most interestingly the "musical outtakes jukebox," a 16-song, 49-minute collection of numbers that were cut from musicals of the era. None of the selections are Great Songs, but it's hard to discount any musical number from the MGM vaults, for example, three selections by Garland and two by Horne (only one of which, Garland's "Mr. Monotony," appears in TE3, and there in a slightly shorter form). The rest of the content is behind-the-scenes documentaries, the most significant being "That's Entertainment: The Masters Behind the Musical" (37 minutes, profiling the talent behind the films such as Arthur Freed and Michael Kidd), "That's Entertainment III: Behind the Screen" (1994, 53 minutes), and vintage black-and-white footage of MGM's 25th anniversary celebration (10 minutes). Not included in the set: the 1985 compilation That's Dancing, which was released separately in 2007. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • 1080p high definition, mixed 1.33, 1.85, 2.40, and 2.55 aspect ratio
  • Dolby TrueHD English 5.1, Dolby Digital English 5.1, Dolby Digital French 2.0 (parts 1 and 2 only), Dolby Digital Spanish 1.0
  • Bonus documentaries including premiere night coverage and salutes to the great behind-the-camera talents
  • TV specials
  • Making-of featurettes
  • Extensive video jukebox of rare, star-packed musical outtakes from classic films

Product Details

  • Actors: That's Entertainment!
  • Format: Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 377 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WC3AJE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,850 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "That's Entertainment - The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Upon its release "That's Entertainment!" became the biggest and brightest money maker of 1974...and it's no wonder. For a little over two hours one had the enchanted experience of being teleported to a world just this side of over the rainbow. Here is a cornucopia of magical scenes and snippets from MGM's most magnificent musicals. Directed with adroit - if self congratulatory - wit and concision by Jack Haley Jr. (son of Oz's Tin Man), "That's Entertainment!" is the sort of blindingly spellbinding extravaganza that reinforces MGM's once galvanic mottos of "art for art's sake" and "more stars than there are in heaven." At its gala premiere Jack Haley Sr. was heard declaring, "This isn't nostalgia. This is art." Rightly so, by 1974 the MGM musical had been dead for some time and the studio itself was on the verge of a restructuring that would ultimately reduce its holdings to garage sale status. But at least in this film such forgotten treasures were resurrected from oblivion to their rightful place in film history. Variety gave "That's Entertainment!" a glowing review, trumpeting, "That while many may ponder the future of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, no one can deny that it's had one heck of a past!"

Naturally, MGM just had to have a sequel. Two years later "That's Entertainment II" came out. But David Melnick's follow up was decidedly a let down on several levels. First, it removed the star cameos that so poignantly buttressed the original's vintage clips. Second, it presented the footage in a seemingly hap-hazard chronology. And finally, it interrupted the musical performances with a showcase from some of the studio's non-musical performers in a string of disjointed word play that neither enhanced the memory of their original performances or the film experience that was to be had.
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Format: DVD
While this trilogy of MGM musical tribute films have been available on VHS as a boxed set, the sheer quantity of unforgettable musical highlights showcased make them 'naturals' for DVD, with the format's superior 'search' accessibility, and improved picture and sound quality. There should be a 'warning label', though; these movies MAY cause you to start singing and dancing, and turn you into a musical 'junkie'!

Each film, besides offering a spectacular array of showstoppers, has a style uniquely it's own; the first, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! (1974), is the glossiest, with an array of 'guest stars' introducing clips (Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Elizabeth Taylor, Kelly, Astaire, Jimmy Stewart, and more) that is matchless; the second, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT, PART II (1976), provides a last opportunity to see hosts Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly do a bit of singing and dancing together, and expands the 'musical' format to include montages of classic comedy, and tributes to Tracy and Hepburn, and other 'non-musical' MGM stars; the oft-overlooked THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! III (1994) eschews the 'soft-focus' approach of it's predecessors, adding a 'behind-the-scenes' look at the demanding work of creating 'classic' routines, and an unflinching acknowledgement of the prejudices of the era, to the mix of musical highlights.

My only quibble is that the musical output of the other major Hollywood studios tends to be downplayed, particularly in THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT!, implying that MGM had the 'corner' on the market.
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Format: DVD
As a fan of the MGM musicals, I have always loved all three THAT'S ENTERAINMENT! films, especially the first (because it started the resurgence in love for these films), and the third (because it was so innovative and creative in taking us behind the scenes). I've owned them on VHS, I've owned them on LASER DISC, but this new Warner DVD boxed set puts everything that has come before it to shame!

The new 16x9 widescreen transfers are stunning! The colors jump off the screen and the clarity is dazzling.

The 5.1 surround sound is equally amazing. It envelops you!

Best of all is the incredible assemblage of extras Warner has brought forth for the bonus disc TREASURES FROM THE VAULT. You get amazing documentaries (many not seen in years or brand new), vintage TV specials, and 17 additional OUTTAKE MUSICAL NUMBERS that were not included in the original MGM features. What a treat!

It's obvious this package was put together with a great deal of care and passion. Long live the MGM musical, and thanks to this DVD set, that mantra can be a reality!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Very dissapointed in Warner Home Video, this collection, especially Part 111, which has a wonderful John Mauceri overture, just looks, and sounds flat. I own the laser disc box set, and I use it as a reference, the quality and dynamic fidelity of the above stated overture, is nothing short of spectacular, the video quality is first rate. Having bought the previously released dvd box set, mainly for the anamorphic enhancment of segments that apply, this transfer offers no improvement on video, perhaps even less,and the sound, well just imagine putting on a pair of ear muffs. To sum up, save your money.
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