Part of the joy of watching 'That's Entertainment, Part 2' is seeing the ageing Astaire and Kelly dance together again, with all the skill and the joy they put across in their respective heydays.Part 2 doesn't just rely on clips from MGM musical productions, but also celebrates the dramatic output of this prince of studios - Tracy and Hepburn, Garbo ... - as well as two amusing segments, one on comedy (including the Marx Bros.), and one on films about composers writing songs and melodies.Also of note is the excellent title sequence, where each artiste is represented by some kind of introduction that sums them up (Garbo by a rose, Betty Hutton and Howard Keel branded into wood, Hepburn and Tracy announced by a gong, Nelson and Jeanette as floating petals on a lake). A little peach of a movie, and proof positive that they really don't make 'em like this anymore.
Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire introduce more wonderful numbers from MGM musicals. This time drama and comedy clips have been added.OK--there was no way this could be as good as Part 1. Most of the good material had been used there already. Also Astaire and Kelly were given some dreadful new lyrics to classic songs to sing and their introductions to segments were just terrible. It was NOT a good idea to have them dancing either. And I could have lived without the travelogue of Paris. Still, there's plenty of incredible material here.Among the highlights: Wonderful opening credits (done by Saul Bass); Eleanor Powell tap-dancing; Greta Grabo dancing (!!); Robert Taylor singing (!!!); the Marx Brothers stateroom sequence from "A Night at the Opera" (unfortunately edited); From This Moments On from "Kiss Me Kate"; early Bing Crosby; Abbott & Costello; Tales from the Vienna Woods (which is actually pretty funny); Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"; clips of dramatic and comedic stars; the I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise number; Bobby Van from "Small Town Girl"; etc etc.The clips are put together without rhyme or reason--but that helps. You never know what's coming next. Worth catching but try to see the first one too.
Like its predecessor, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT II offers two hours of film clips from memorable MGM movies featuring the likes of Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, and Doris Day. Unlike its predecessor, which organized the film clips into thematic sequences introduced by different MGM stars, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT just throws the clips out willynilly without much rhyme or reason--and saddles narrators Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly with some of the clunkiest, corniest material imaginable. In consequence, it lacks the cohesion and the excitement of the original.But it still has its charms. Many of the individual clips are knock-outs: Ethel Waters performing "Taking a Chance on Love" from CABIN IN THE SKY, Bobby Van doing the famous "hop dance" from SMALL TOWN GIRL, Judy Garland belting out "I Got Rhythm" from GIRL CRAZY. In addition to such musical treats, the film also offers a look at the Marx Brothers with the famous "State Room Scene" from A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, a sequence of famous lines from famous films (such as Garbo's "I want to be alone"), and an extended tribute to Spenser Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Most viewers will probably feel the film drags due to the uneven way in which the scenes are introduced and edited together, but just about every one will find plenty to enjoy. Recommended with reservations.Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
This film was another excuse to look through those old MGM film vaults and get out some old film reels, to enjoy once more. This excuse cetainly pays off with over 2*hrs of stunning musical/dance performances. It is even more enjoyable than the first, as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly even entertain us with numerous dance numbers during the films intervals - the last time they were to dance together on screen. The clips are indelible as they are precious, which includes rare footage of Greta Garbo dancing!, Robert Taylor singing!, and Esther Williams Skiing!.Overall it is action packed enjoyment throughout, simply bursting through the screen. Fans of musicals and any of the old stars, will relish with the opportunity to see the talented MGM stars in action once more. Lots of MGM glitz and Glamour thrown in too!!!
Following the tremendous success of "That's Entertainment", MGM created a second compilation film for theaters--"That's Entertainment, Part II". Unlike "That's Entertainment!", this followup film is a bit different because it's not just about MGM's singing and dancing but the full range of films--with clips from comedies, westerns and dramas as well--but still the lion's share (so to speak) were of musicals. For me, this was a problem because the range was TOO broad and the rest of the films got the short end of it. In other words, you can't sum up ALL of MGM's classic films (including travelogues and comedy shorts) in only about two hours. Another problem with the film is that instead of the classic actors introducing the clips like they did in "That's Entertainment!", this time they try to entertain as well--such as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly doing a song and dance number near the beginning of the film and some new cartoon bits later in the film. While the pair danced well for old men (Astaire was nearing 80), it also felt a bit creepy and sad--especially when Kelly tried to sing and roller skate in Paris. It took up time they could have been showing other clips plus I wanted to see more MGM stars than just these two fine dancers (and in the previous film it was narrated by several classic actors, not just two). Had the film just been a retrospective of the films of Kelly and Astaire, however, this material would have worked a lot better.It helped that I saw this film only a few days after I saw the other--so it's very clear in my head that there were problems in addition to the narration. For the most part, the dance numbers not as good in "That's Entertainment, Part II" and I assume it's because they'd put the best stuff in the first one--as they didn't realize there's be a second film. Now this isn't to say the dance clips are bad--they're just not quite as good. Oddly, however, the clips from the non-musicals also were occasionally disappointing. There weren't enough of them and represented too few films. To me, put simply, it looked a bit rushed--like they threw clips together without as much thought as in the first film or as much of a theme. Overall, worth seeing if you are a fan of Hollywood's golden age, but I think the first film AND the later documentary "MGM: When the Lion Roared" are a lot better.