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That's Entertainment III Review

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★★★★★

Instalments I and II in this series released in 1974 and 1976, showcased extracts from MGM's musicals from the late 20s through to the 50s. Now, 20 years on from the original, the studio has gone back to the archives, selecting more highlights. It soon becomes apparent, though, that the best songs were used by the first two films, leaving the third with a set of slightly underwhelming tunes.

What you do get, however, are some surprising dance sequences including the erotic energy of Ann Miller and Cyd Charise, in a sandwich with Ricardo Montablan, from The Kissing Bandit. The other strength is the unseen out-takes, including Judy Garland doing I'm An Indian Too before she was fired from Annie Get Your Gun.

But the spiel - by such game survivors of the era as Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Howard Keel - tends to be forced and blathery. When Lena Horne talks about the racist era that denied her a role in Showboat, she takes care not to mention any unpleasantries; and while Mickey Rooney reminisces wistfully about Judy Garland he never once suggests that MGM, might have be in some way responsibile for her sad life. One gets the feeling that if this was based on serious interviews, this might have been more than just another puff-piece for the studio in question.