“Forgotten Hollywood”- Fireworks on the Big Screen!

Posted on July 5, 2012 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   My wife Laurie and I spent our 4th of July at a movie theater, enjoying the boffo classic documentary, That’s Entertainment. Produced by MGM in 1974, this feature was hosted on the backlot by Gene Kelly, Liza Minnelli, James Stewart, Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Bing Crosby, Debbie Reynolds, and Peter Lawford. The motion picture was produced by Jack Haley Jr., son of the star who played the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Henry Mancini wrote the music score.

   A fabulous retrospective, scenes showcased talent from what the studio proclaimed: More stars than there are in the heavens. We enjoyed Esther Williams, June Allyson, Donald O’Connor, Judy Garland, Van Johnson, Ann Miller, Mario Lanza, Lena Horne, and  it goes on-and-on. Archival footage includes Jean Harlow and Cary Grant singing; Joan Crawford and Clark Gable dancing!

   The title of the musical was derived from the movie anthem performed in the 1953 MGM classic, The Band Wagon.  This documentary was their very final production on the studio lot, a sad backdrop. Ironically, this moneymaker (the largest motion picture in a decade for the studio), was raking in dividends at the time MGM was in bankruptcy, and the company started to sell the land, parcel-by-parcel. It was so successful, the production spawned two sequels. In 1977, I went to see a questionable double-bill of That’s Entertainment Pt. II and Jaws. I left the movie theater curiously exhilarated and shocked… lol.

   When I first saw the original That’s Entertainment on the big screen almost forty years ago, I was a senior in high school. It was the very first time I realized Hollywood had a Golden Age. It forever changed my outlook about cinema. Show business could be my career calling. What an inspiration!

   And, so it goes…

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 5th, 2012 at 12:04 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Comments are closed.