That's Entertainment! (1974) Movie Script

I'm singin'in the rain
Just singin'in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again
The year is 1929. The singer, Cliff Edwards,
also known as Ukulele lke.
The film, Hollywood Revue.
It is the first all-talking...
all-singing, all-dancing movie ever made.
Everyone from the place
Come on with your rain
I've got a smile on my face
I'll walk down the lane
In the years that followed,
Singin' in the Rain would become...
a theme song for MGM.
Singin'in the rain
In the 1930s, Jimmy Durante
gave us this rendition.
You wrote that this morning?
Yeah, it's something they'll remember.
Yeah, I remember it already.
I'm singin'in the rain
I'm singin'in the rain
What a grand, what a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
In the 1940s, Judy Garland did it her way.
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm gettin'ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
And come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I'll walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
And singin'
I'm singin'in the rain
In the 1950s, Gene Kelly,
Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor...
put it all together in what many folks
would call, "the best musical ever made."
Singin'in the rain
Just singin'in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
We're happy again
If you are wondering
what happened in between...
sit back and relax.
You're about to find out.
It's been quite some time
since I first came to this place.
And MGM is certainly
not the same studio...
and Hollywood's not the same town.
But the films we made here
are still around.
Some studios can claim
they made the finest gangster films...
or the greatest horror movies...
but when it came to musicals...
MGM, they were the champions.
Musicals were fantasy trips
for the audiences of that day.
For instance, boy meets girl,
boy loses girl...
boy sings a song and gets girl.
The plots were that simple.
The musicals of the 1930s, '40s,
or even the '50s...
may not tell you
where our heads were at...
but they'd certainly tell you
where our hearts were at.
And all of this lovable nonsense
began back in 1929...
when the silent film had suddenly become
a thing of the past...
and sound was the king.
Don't bring a frown to old Broadway
You've got a clown on Broadway
Broadway Melody of 1929 won
an Oscar for Best Picture that year...
and MGM was off and running
with a new formula for success.
Charles King and a line of
slightly overweight chorus girls...
were the beginning
of a new motion picture art form...
that would captivate audiences
for years to come.
No skies are gray on that Great White Way
That's the Broadway Melody!
No skies are gray on that Great White Way
That's the Broadway Melody!
Within a few short years,
the musical had come of age.
The primitive stage show
had now become a cinematic spectacular.
Here Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger,
Nelson Eddy and a cast of thousands...
watched Eleanor Powell dance in Rosalie.
When I'm calling you
The most successful singing team
in the history of motion pictures...
Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald
in Rose-Marie.
Will you answer too?
Then I will know
our love
will come true
You'll belong to me
I'll belong
to you
In 1936, The Great Ziegfeld won
an Oscar for Best Picture that year...
and it's no wonder.
Virginia Bruce
and a gang of lovely ladies...
cluttered up
Hollywood's biggest staircase.
And somewhere in that lovely mob,
you'll find Dennis Morgan singing a song.
If anyone could afford to film
this extravagant number today...
perhaps it would look something like this.
Just like a heavenly rhapsody
She captures you right from the start
Just like a beautiful melody
She'll play on the strings of your heart
A pretty girl is like a melody
That haunts you night and day
Just like the strain of a haunting refrain
She'll start upon a marathon
And run around your brain
You can't escape
She's in your memory
By morning, night and noon
She will leave you
And then come back again
A pretty girl
is just like a pretty tune
By morning, night and noon
She will leave you
And then come back again
A pretty girl
is just like a pretty tune
The last of the big black-and-white
production numbers...
starring Eleanor Powell
and Fred Astaire...
Cole Porter's music, the sets
and the camera work...
the direction by Norman Taurog,
the incredible tap dancing by these two...
it all seemed to come together
in Broadway Melody of 1940.
You know, you can wait around and hope,
but I'll tell you...
you'll never see the likes of this again.
Don't be afraid, you'll make your grade
Why, you can sing as good as Bing
And here, the old pro, James Durante,
gives a newcomer...
a few pointers in It Happened in Brooklyn.
Sing it, Danny, make me proud.
Okay, Nick, stand back.
It doesn't have to be witty or smart
Long as it comes from the heart
Keep going.
It doesn't have to be classic or rock
Long as it comes from the heart
I'll give 'em that
I'll give 'em this
I'll strut away
Boy! You can't miss!
Just put a star on my chart
You won't need this anymore.
Cause the song's gonna come
from the heart
Don't work cheap.
On opening nights, your name in lights
Why we won't stop, 'til you reach the top
We'll order our meal la carte
That's expensive!
If the song comes from the heart
We'll be tremendous!
If the song comes from the heart
They'll holler "Bravo."
If the song
comes from the heart
That's just a sample of what's been going
on around here for the past 40 years.
The work was hard, but it was great fun.
Because the people you worked with
really knew what they were doing.
And it was said that through those doors...
passed the most famous stars
in Hollywood.
And I don't think many in this town
will argue about it.
Here's one of the most lovely
and talented of those stars...
Miss Elizabeth Taylor.
I was 10 years old
when I first came to MGM.
And I spent most of the next 18 years
of my life...
behind the walls of that studio.
As a young girl growing up
in that strange place...
it's hard to recall
what was real and what wasn't.
Perhaps, my most vivid memories
were of MGM musicals.
Just to stand there on the set and watch...
the singing and the dancing.
It was like fantasy come true.
Total innocence. Loveliness.
I love a melody
of spring
Lilac in bloom
Birds on the wing
I made my musical debut
when I was 15 years old...
in a film called Cynthia.
I was certainly no threat
to Jane Powell or Judy Garland...
as you will see.
For life is an eager
joyous thing
Whenever I hear
the music
of spring
Maybe that experience helped give me...
the enormous regard
that I have for musical talent.
And believe me, at MGM, I saw the best.
Every honeybee sighs with jealousy
For instance, if Lena Horne
was in a movie...
then it almost had to be from MGM.
Honeysuckle rose
When we're passin'by
Flowers droop and sigh
And I know the reason why
You're much sweeter, goodness knows
Honeysuckle rose
I don't buy sugar
You just have to touch my cup
You're my sugar
It's sweet when you stir it up
When I'm takin' sips
From your tasty lips
Seems the honey fairly drips
You're confection
Goodness knows
You're my honeysuckle rose
You're my honeysuckle rose
- 'Cause it's one
- Two
Three strikes, you're out
at the old ball game
When Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly
teamed up for a series of films...
the results were irresistible.
This is one of their best. ;
Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
Thou swell, thou witty
Thou sweet, thou grand
Wouldst kiss me pretty?
Wouldst hold my hand?
Both thine eyes are cute, too
What they do to me
Hear me holler,
I choose a sweet lollapalooza in thee
June Allyson, MGM's most popular
musical sweetheart...
in Rodgers and Hart's Words and Music.
Two rooms and kitchen
I'm sure would do
Give me just a plot of
Not a lot of land
And thou swell
Thou witty, thou grand
Everybody's favorite college musical...
Good News starring June Allyson
and Peter Lawford.
Those sure were the good old days.
The boy, "garcon"
His girl, "la fille"
It's good, "c'est bon"
The show, "fini"
The moral to this tale
Is not just "parlez-vous"
Send her a billet-doux
Tell her her eyes are blue
They sure are blue.
"Je vous adore"means
I love you
What wonderful years those were at MGM.
One day, I remember meeting a terribly
handsome young man from England.
He'd just started work at the studio.
Naturally, I fell wildly in love with him.
I still adore him.
He's still one of my closest
and dearest friends.
Peter Lawford.
This building, or what's left of it...
was, among other things,
Tait College in Good News.
You might say that June Allyson,
Mel Torm, and I graduated from here.
We were all under contract to MGM
in those days.
And the studio pretty much told us
what pictures we were gonna appear in.
They put us in dramas, comedies
and in my case...
don't ask me why, an occasional musical.
As a singer or dancer, I was ill-equipped
to compete with Astaire or Kelly...
but we did what we were told to do.
When I first came to MGM,
the world was at war.
For the Gls overseas and the audiences
here at home...
the musicals were
a very special kind of escape...
both during the war and afterwards.
The films we made here
had a certain style.
A look that was unmistakable.
Whether it was the directing,
or the writing, or the scenery...
the costumes, the lighting,
I don't really know.
But somehow you could always tell
that it was an MGM movie.
Especially the musicals.
All right, cut it.
Print it, Jane.
All right, take me into No. 1.
Okay, No. 1.
Can you see your marks, Joe?
- Okay, everybody.
- Quiet! We're rolling.
Speed. Action.
The studio was constantly experimenting,
constantly showcasing new talent.
Like Debbie Reynolds
and Carleton Carpenter...
in Two Weeks: With Love.
Said the chimpy to the monk
Said the monkey to the chimp
All night long they'd chatter away
All day long they were happy and gay
Swinging and singing
in a honky-tonky way
Means, "Monk, I love but you"
Bab-a dab-a dab in monkey talk
means, "Chimp, I love you, too"
Then the big baboon, one night in June
He married them, and very soon
They went upon their
aba daba honeymoon
Elizabeth Taylor starred
in A Date With Judy.
One of the first in a new wave
of teenage musicals...
most of them produced by Joe Pasternak.
That isn't Elizabeth's voice you're hearing.
MGM kept her too busy
to rehearse and record.
But her co-star, Jane Powell,
quickly became one of the studio's...
most popular young talents.
As an old
Californian would say
It's a most unusual day
There are people meeting people
There is sunshine everywhere
There are people greeting people
And a feeling of spring in the air
It's a most unusual time
I keep feeling my temperature climb
If my heart won't behave in the usual way
Well, there's only one thing to say
It's a most unusual, most unusual
Most unusual day
Here she comes!
Hey, Jim, you better get the rig
She's got a list of passengers
that's pretty big
And they'll all want lifts to Brown's Hotel
'Cause lots of them been travelin'
for quite a spell
All the way from California
On the Atchison, Topeka
On the Atchison, Topeka
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe!
George Sidney's The Harvey Girls
starred Judy Garland and Ray Bolger.
And this Oscar-winning song was written
by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer.
In this day and age
Girls don't leave home
But if ya get a hankerin'
You wanna roam
Our advice to you is run away
On the Atchison, Topeka
and the Santa Fe
All aboard!
We came across the country lickety-split
rolling ninety miles an hour
I can't believe I'm here at last
When you go traveling, it's best for you
To take the Atchison, Topeka
and the Santa Fe
I can't believe that anything
would go so fast
Then you pull that throttle
Whistle blows
A-huffin'and a-puffin', and away she goes
All aboard for California
On the Atchison
On the Atchison, Topeka
On the Atchison, Topeka and
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe
By the 1950s the movie musical
was reaching a level...
of inventiveness and sophistication
that was pretty hard to top...
even by today's standards.
But it wasn't always like that.
Here's someone to tell you about it.
And he's pretty hard to top, too.
Mr. James Stewart.
In the late 1920s and early '30s...
these 200 acres of real estate
were seeing a panic, pandemonium.
Sound pictures had replaced silent films
virtually overnight.
The only actor in town that wasn't worried
was Rin Tin Tin.
As long as he could bark,
sound was no threat to him.
For MGM and the rest of Hollywood,
there were gloomy days ahead.
Some of the biggest silent stars
spoke with thick foreign accents.
Others had a lisp
or talked through their noses.
The early microphones seemed
to exaggerate the flaws...
that silent film had hidden.
As quickly as the sound stages went up,
careers collapsed.
The studio heads were desperate.
Where would the new stars, the new
personalities come from, they wondered.
The answer was obvious.
From the theater, from Broadway.
Theatrical experience suddenly became
a passport to Hollywood...
even if it meant no more than
a few weeks of summer stock.
Over the next few years,
a steady stream of hopefuls...
marched through the gates of every studio
in town, including MGM.
I should know, I was one of those
hungry young actors from the East.
- Sam, is everything all right?
- Okay, Fred.
- How are the cameras?
- All right.
Bob, how are your lights?
All set, whenever you are.
Good. How's the music...
Musicals were the most popular
commodities in the early '30s.
And they were cranked out
at an incredible rate.
Most of them really weren't very good.
But if audiences suffered,
they didn't complain.
The real victims were the dramatic actors.
The studio pushed nearly
every one of them into musical roles.
It must be you who carries me away
Here, an uncomfortable
Robert Montgomery tries his best.
But when you're near
let music in my soul
whenever you're with me
Bob Montgomery was only
one of the many MGM contract players...
forced to sing and dance.
In the frantic search for musical stars,
many would be called...
but few would succeed.
Here's one of my favorites.
And I know you all like her, too.
Because she's the personification
of youth...
beauty, joy, and happiness:
Joan Crawford.
Did you ever see somebody
who could love somebody
Much as I love you? Did you?
You're the kind of sweet somebody
who could love somebody
How about me, too?
Oh, my
You're the one I crave
I can be your slave
Honey, let me rave
Got a feelin' for you
Your great big smile
Eastside style
Got it all the time
Got a feelin' for you
Like your turned-up nose
Like one that knows
From your head to toe
Got a feelin' for you
Did you ever see somebody
who could love somebody
Much as I love you?
You're the kind of sweet somebody
who could love somebody
Could you love me, too?
You're the one I crave
I could be your slave
Honey, let me say
Got a feelin' for you
What'll you ever be?
What'll you ever do?
How'll you ever know
if you don't take a chance?
Jean Harlow, the blonde bombshell...
tried out her musical abilities in Reckless.
I wanna live, love, learn a lot
I'll light my candle
And I'll burn a lot
You'll have some bad shots, hard knocks
I'm on my own if I bruise
And there'll be smiles here, shouts here
And I can take it on the chin if I lose
Because I'm reckless
She's simply reckless
She's simply reckless
I'm gonna go places
and look life in the face
Did I remember
Jean Harlow's musical talents
were somewhat limited...
and the studio usually used
someone else's voice for her vocals.
But in a movie called Suzy, her co-star,
Cary Grant did his own singing.
And darn well, too.
How do you know? You didn't hear it.
I assure you I heard every word.
Let me convince you.
Sit down. Gentlemen, play it again.
You be the audience.
Did I remember to tell you
you're delightful?
You're everything I want you to be.
Your eyes look lovely
and far beyond comparing
Especially when they're glaring at me
Do you think I've words to say
how swell you are
But I can tell you are
I know so well you are
I started falling the moment that I saw you
Believe me, I adore you, chrie
I'm sure you hate to hear
That I adore you, dear
But grant me just the same
I'm not entirely to blame
For you'd be
so easy to love
I was lucky enough to sing
a Cole Porter song...
in Born to Dance with Eleanor Powell.
At first, the studio planned to have
someone else record the vocal.
But the tune became such a big hit
that they decided to let me do it.
You see...
they figured the song was so good
that even my singing couldn't hurt it.
We'd be so grand
at the game
So carefree together
That it does seem a shame
That you can't see
Your future with me
'Cause you'd be, oh
so easy to love
I know that you'll join us in giving
a really rousing, rip-roaring reception...
to Harry Vans and Les Blondes. Mr. Van.
Norma Shearer and Edward Arnold
looked on as Clark Gable...
made his musical debut in Idiot's Delight.
Hello, people, and thanks a lot
for that very lovely reception.
Thanks a million
and I won't settle for a cent less.
In our modest act tonight,
we'll be ably assisted...
by Prof. Palova and his talented team.
Give him a hand, folks.
Okie-dokie, fellas. Take it away.
This will be amusing, Achille.
I hope so.
If you're blue and you don't know
where to go to
Why don't you go
where Harlem sits
Putting on the Ritz
Spangled gowns upon the bevee
of high browns
From down the levee, all misfits
Putting on the Ritz
That's where each and every
Lulu-belle goes
Every Thursday evening
with her swell beaus
Rubbing elbows
Come with me
and we'll attend the jubilee
And see them spend their last two bits
Putting on the Ritz
Clark Gable surprised everyone
with his delightfully corny routine.
Yet, his fans were just outraged...
to see him even try singing and dancing.
Their hero was above such nonsense.
But it was perfectly all right
for a youngster named Judy Garland...
to dedicate a song to their idol.
Dear Mr. Gable
I am writing this to you
And I hope that you will read it
so you'll know
My heart beats like a hammer
And I stutter and I stammer
Every time I see you at the picture show
I guess I'm just another fan of yours
And I thought I'd write and tell you so
You made me love you
I didn't wanna do it
I didn't wanna do it
You made me love you!
And all the time you knew it
I guess you always knew it
You made me happy
Sometimes you made me glad
But there were times, sir
You made me feel so sad
You made me sigh 'cause
I didn't wanna tell you
I didn't wanna tell you
I think you're grand!
That's true
Yes, I do, 'deed I do, you know I do
I don't care what happens,
let the whole world stop
As far as I'm concerned,
you'll always be the top
'Cause you know
you made me
love you!
Dear Mr. Gable
was a milestone in its day.
It was the first time a studio permitted
a song to be dedicated to one of its stars.
And it was sung by a little girl...
who would soon become
MGM's newest star.
And here's someone who can tell you
more about that remarkable talent.
He's a remarkable talent himself:
Mickey Rooney.
This is the Carnival Street.
For anyone who's ever seen
an Andy Hardy movie...
well, this is where
they were all shot, right here.
Over there, that was
Polly Benedict's home across the street.
And this was the home
of the Hardy family.
The picket fence is gone,
and the mailbox, too...
but it's still the Hardy home.
It might seem strange
that a person could spend over 20 years...
growing up on the same movie set.
But in a way, that's what happened to me.
I was about 10 years old when I first came
to Metro Goldwyn Mayer...
and I was raring to go.
The movie was Broadway to Hollywood.
And you guessed it, it was a musical.
Well, we all change a little
over the years, don't we?
When you've been raised at a studio,
the way I was...
you learn a certain ability
that time can't seem to erase.
You learn to recognize real talent.
You see so many people come and go...
that when an exceptional talent
comes along...
it seems to stick out like a sore thumb.
I was a seasoned veteran of 17
when I had first had the opportunity...
of working with the great
and wonderful Judy Garland.
I knew when I saw her
standing before the camera...
that she had that certain magic.
Her talent seemed to jump
right off the screen at you.
Do re mi fa so la ti do
Judy and I became close friends
when we did a series of films together...
that the studio called
"backyard musicals."
Audiences seemed to love the pictures...
even though the plots
were suspiciously alike.
Only our names seemed to change.
How do you do?
Good morning. I'm Betsy Booth.
- I sing, you know.
- I know, I heard you.
You're Andy Hardy, aren't you?
This is Barbara Jo. This is Mr. Williams.
Pleased to meet you, Mr. Williams.
Danny, this is my grandchild,
Ms. Ginger Gray.
- Yes, we've met.
- This is my cousin, Ms. Polly Williams.
Mr. Daniel Churchill, a junior.
Ms. Barton, this is Ms. Essex,
the once famous "Baby Rosalie."
How do you do? This is Mickey Moran.
How do you do?
My name's Williams, Tommy Williams.
What's yours?
- I don't think I like you.
- Thank you.
You're welcome.
- I want success.
- And you'll have it.
I know you will, Mickey. Just think
when our names are up in electric lights.
You the big composer and producer,
and me the singing star.
We can have our own great
modern dance orchestra.
We've got everything we need here.
We've got the brass...
the piano, and the reeds.
We can make our own
arrangements, specialties...
and play for all the dances.
We've got to have a great show,
with a million laughs.
And color, lot of lights to make it sparkle.
And songs, wonderful songs
with you out there selling them.
It'll be wonderful.
Say, that's not a bad idea.
We could put on our own show.
That'd be different.
Why, it looks as if you'll need
a whole city block.
Yeah. Sure. That's it.
Right in the neighborhood,
and everybody'll come to it.
A Western rodeo once a year
will bring back the West.
- Daniel Boone.
- Jesse James, Buffalo Bill.
- A hundred beautiful girls.
- On horseback.
Glorious costumes, happy, carefree.
I'm gonna write a show for us
and put it on right here in Seaport.
It'd be the most up-to-date thing
these hicks around here have seen.
Opening night, we'll have
Max Gordon and Sam Harris...
down to give us the once-over.
How about it?
They call us babes in arms
They think they must direct us
But if we're babes in arms
We'll make them all respect us
Why have we got our arms
What have we got our sight for?
Play day is done,
We have a place in the sun
We must fight for
When our movies took off
at the box office...
we found our budgets taking off, too.
So they moved Judy and I
out of the backyard and into the barn...
then to the high school gym...
and later to a Broadway stage
that would never have fit in a real theater.
Where we got all that energy,
I'll never know.
But a lot of it was inspired
by our director, a genius. ;
Busby Berkeley.
Small town
Living in a small town
When you're in a small town
You gotta make friends
- One, two, three, four
- One, two, three, four
One, two, three, four
Watch them shuffling along
See them shuffling along
Go take your best gal, your real pal
Go down to the levee,
I said to the levee
And we'll join that shuffling throng
Hear that music and song
It's simply great, mate
Waitin' on the levee
Waitin' for the Robert E. Lee
We're babes on Broadway
We're goin'places
When our new faces appear
It's a wonderful street
for babes like us to be on
We're here because
we want our names in neon
We left Topeka
We left Eureka
And came to seek a career
Oh, we're milkin'applause
instead of milkin'a cow
'Cause we're babes on Broadway now!
With the flag unfurled
We can face the world
Hey, leader
strike up the band!
There's another fellow
who worked on this lot with Judy...
and some of MGM's best musicals...
are a direct result
of his considerable talents.
Gene Kelly.
This is MGM's New York street.
And for as long as I can remember...
this has been the busiest standing set
on the whole backlot.
Any actor or actress...
who made more than one or two films
at this studio...
sooner or later probably would find
himself shooting a sequence here.
Which reminds me,
if you are a song-and-dance man...
and you've spent some time in pictures...
inevitably, some interviewer will ask:
"Who was your favorite dancing partner?
"Was it Rita Hayworth, or Vera Ellen,
or Leslie Caron?"
But if you're smart,
you'll never give them a straight answer.
I'm gonna break that rule right now.
It might not be gallant...
but I'd like to show you
the greatest partner I've ever danced with.
When you dance with Fred Astaire,
you really have to be on your toes.
This number from Ziegfeld Follies...
was the only time we've had a chance
to work together.
But I'd change my name to Ginger
if we could do it again.
Fred Astaire has been the tops...
in every field of show business
he ever entered.
And the motion picture musical
owes him a great deal.
The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
No, no
They can't take that away from me
The way your smile just beams
The way you sing off-key
The way you haunt my dreams
No, no
They can't take that away from me
When he starred in the series of musicals
with Ginger Rogers...
they quickly became
the most popular dance team...
in the history of motion pictures.
But for Fred, as an individual...
it was only the beginning
of a screen career...
that would delight
several generations of moviegoers.
And the band sings
We've got the gang together
We always sang together
And the band sings
Over the years,
Fred Astaire's trademark would become...
the top hat and tails.
He wore the outfit
in his very first film appearance. ;
Dancing Lady with Joan Crawford.
I guess I'll have to change my plan
I should have realized
there'd be another man
Jack Buchanan,
the debonair British musical star...
joined Fred in The Band Wagon.
Until the big affair began
Before I knew where I was at
I found myself upon the shelf
and that was that
I tried to reach the moon
But when I got there
All that I could get was the air
My feet are back upon the ground
I lost the one girl I'd found
But besides elegance,
there's a lot more to the Astaire style.
Fred was constantly striving
for perfection.
Rehearsing hour after hour...
searching for a new step or a new device...
that would bring something fresh
to each of his numbers.
Because of his ingenuity and precision...
audiences never realized
how much incredible effort...
Fred poured into his work.
He made it all appear so easy.
In Royal Wedding,
Fred danced with a hat rack.
And, as usual,
he made his partner look good.
In The Barkleys of Broadway...
Fred and choreographer Hermes Pan...
conceived the brilliant
Shoes With Wings On number.
Fred and director Stanley Donen...
collaborated on this mind-boggling routine
from Royal Wedding.
Movie buffs are still arguing
about how it was done.
The gimmicks Fred used
were exciting and fun.
But his talents were so extraordinary...
that he could easily get along
without them.
This is the Astaire I love to watch.
With a lovely partner like Cyd Charisse...
a simple setting...
a marvelous song by Howard Dietz
and Arthur Schwartz...
these are the only ingredients
Fred would need...
to create a classic number.
Dancing in the Dark
from The Band Wagon.
Fred Astaire was and is a unique talent.
There'll never be another like him...
and that's what I love
about our profession.
'Cause every so often
an artist comes along...
who's impossible to compare
with anyone else.
Here's another
of my favorite dancing partners. ;
Donald O'Connor.
MGM seemed to acquire talent
the way you and I pick up paper clips:
By the handful.
When I was at the studio...
we were up to our ears in tenors,
baritones, tap dancers, pianists...
and they were all good.
But this set belonged pretty much
to one star...
and one star alone.
I only wish we'd had a chance
to work together.
Well, she was not only a lovely actress,
with a beautiful face and figure...
but she could also sing and dance
and even handle comedy.
And if that wasn't enough,
she was dynamite in the water.
Of course I'm talking about
Ms. Esther Williams.
A champion swimmer...
Esther was working as a model
in a Los Angeles department store...
when MGM talent scouts discovered her.
The studio built a special swimming pool
for her on the backlot...
and starred her in a film called
Bathing Beauty.
The rest is history.
MGM featured Esther in a series
of spectacular productions.
During her career, she swam...
opposite some of
MGM's most popular leading men.
Some of them even got their hair wet.
Like Howard Keel...
Fernando Lamas,
whom she would later marry...
Van Johnson...
Peter Lawford...
Ricardo Montalban...
even Tom and Jerry.
Jimmy Durante...
and Red Skelton.
As her fame grew...
so did the size and population
of her swimming pools.
Esther no longer could simply climb up
a diving board and jump in.
Now, she had to be presented like Venus...
rising from the sea.
In the ranks of great musical stars,
there have been singers, dancers...
musicians, even ice-skaters.
But MGM saw to it
there was only one Esther Williams.
Eat your heart out, Mark Spitz.
People say that performers
are overly affectionate with one another.
And that may be true.
I don't have to apologize
for the way I feel...
about a young lady that
I worked with here at MGM.
I love her.
And she's a big hit
right now on Broadway...
as she was here in Hollywood.
She never stops.
Miss Debbie Reynolds.
I made my first movie for MGM
back in 1950.
Remember Three Little Words?
Fellows, can we borrow your piano
just a minute?
Of course, the real stars were
Fred Astaire and Red Skelton...
but see that funny-looking kid
coming down the steps?
Look out, Hollywood. Here I come.
I wanna be loved by you alone
I wanna be loved by you, just you
And nobody else but you
I wanna be loved by you
Carleton Carpenter and I only did
this one number in the picture.
But it certainly helped our careers.
Even though the voice wasn't mine...
MGM brought in the song's originator,
Helen Kane, to sing the vocal.
And make you my
I wanna be loved by you, just you
And nobody else but you
I wanna be loved by you
When I first reported at the studio...
MGM was celebrating its 25th anniversary.
They had converted the biggest
sound stage on the lot into a restaurant.
They only served one meal, but it was
a lunch that old-timers still talk about.
The studio used to boast that it had
more stars than there are in the heavens.
And that day, they weren't kidding.
The first time I met the king,
Clark Gable...
he looked down at me and said,
"Hello, beautiful."
And I nearly fainted.
This place was the land of giants,
and I was a small fry.
But like any other young hopeful,
I was determined...
that somehow and someday
I'd measure up.
In the early 1950s...
MGM was entering
a new era of motion pictures...
with more star power...
than virtually every other studio
in Hollywood combined.
I've gotta hear that beat
I've gotta hear those drums
And even when it comes to the man
When I feel that I might fall
I always stall and play it smart
Till I hear that beat
I've gotta hear that beat
That certain beat in my heart
Ann Miller, the best tap dancing lady
on the lot.
Annie's talents and Busby Berkeley's
imaginative direction...
were a perfect combination
in Small Town Girl.
Be my love
For no one else can end
A truck driver from Philadelphia became
the most sensational new voice...
in motion pictures.
Mario Lanza. He made only a few films.
AndThe Toast of New Orleans
with Kathryn Grayson was one of the best.
Just fill my arms
The way you've filled my dreams
The dreams that you inspire
With every sweet desire
Be my love
And with your kisses set me burning
One kiss is all I need to seal my fate
And hand in hand
We'll find love's promised land
There'll be no one but you for me
If you will be
my love
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Don't you know everyone
wants to laugh?
Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain...
in my opinion, the funniest
musical number ever done.
They'll be standin'in lines
For those old honky-tonk monkeyshines
Or you could study Shakespeare
and be quite elite
And you can charm the critics
and have nothin' to eat
Just slip on a banana peel
The world's at your feet
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Don't you know everyone wants to laugh?
My grandpa said, "Go out
and tell 'em a joke
"But give it plenty of hoke"
Make 'em roar, make 'em scream
Take a fall, butt a wall, split a seam
You start off by pretending
you're a dancer with grace
You wiggle 'till they're giggling
all over the place
And then you get a great big
custard pie in the face
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Don't you know... All the
My dad
They'll be standing in lines
For those old honky-tonk monkeyshines
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Don't you know
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Make 'em laugh
Cotton Blossom
Cotton Blossom
The showboat's coming.
Come on, mule. Git.
Show Boat, one of the best musical films
MGM ever made.
It starred Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel,
Marge and Gower Champion...
Joe E. Brown, William Warfield
and A va Gardner.
See! The show boat!
That's old Captain Andy's
"Cotton Blossom"
Will you go?
Are you coming to the show?
'Twill be delightful
Right, right, rightfully they say
There's not another show
Such a wonderful show
Captain Andy has gathered a troupe in the
greatest of dramas and jolly comedies
Stephen Baker,
the handsomest leading man
And beautiful Julie La Verne as well!
Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom
Captain Andy's floating show!
Thrills and laughter, concert after
Everybody's sure to go!
Leave the lumber in the sawmill
Leave the cotton on the stalk
Make believe
our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss
or two, or three
Might as well make believe
I love you
For to tell the truth
I do
OI'man river
That ol'man river
He must know somethin'
But don't say nothin'
He just keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin'
You and me, we sweat and strain
Body all aching and racked with pain
Tote that barge and lift that bale
Ya get a little drunk
And ya lands in
I gets weary
And sick of trying
I'm tired of living
And scared of dying
And ol'man river
He just keeps rolling
I'll go my way by myself
Like a bird on the wing
I remembered something else
I learned at the studio...
during my stay there. MGM's motto. ;
"Do it big, do it right, and give it class."
I'd like you to meet someone
who certainly measures up to that phrase.
He's the classiest gentleman
I've ever worked with.
Mr. Fred Astaire.
I'm by myself
I have a great many fond memories
about this place.
So many happy moments worrying
about whether or not...
we were getting the job done. What fun.
We shot some of The Band Wagon here.
Being here again brings to mind
some of the wonderful people...
I've worked with over the years.
One of them in particular...
is my long-time friend...
Gene Kelly.
In The Pirate with the Nicholas Brothers...
Gene displayed the rough and tumble
kind of acrobatic dancing...
that quickly became a popular part
of his repertoire.
From the start,
Gene was constantly experimenting...
from classical ballet
to a burlesque buck-and-wing.
He was determined to broaden
the horizons of the film musical.
And in doing so, he became
one of the most versatile...
and original performers
the movies have ever known.
Kelly was forever breaking rules.
Though the studio often tried
to stop him...
Gene insisted on doing his own stunts.
His bosses always seemed to find out
about it after the scene had been shot.
But audiences
loved the sight of Gene himself...
flying through the air in film after film.
New York, New York, a wonderful town
The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground
New York, New York
it's a wonderful town!
In On the Town with Frank Sinatra
and Jules Munshin...
Manhattan became the backdrop
for this unforgettable romp.
A tribute to Gene's persistence...
it was the first major musical
to be filmed on location.
The famous places to visit are so many
Or so the guidebooks say
I told my grandpa I wouldn't miss on any
But we got just one day
Gotta see the whole town
Right from Yonkers on down to the bay
In just one day
New York, New York, a wonderful town
The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground
New York, New York
it's a wonderful town!
Manhattan women are all in silk and satin
Or so the fellas say
There's just one thing necessary
in Manhattan
When you got just one day
Gotta pick up a date, maybe seven or eight
on your way
In just one day
New York, New York, a wonderful town
The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground
New York, New York!
It's a wonderful town!
I've had a lot of partners in my day.
But can you imagine a grown man
dancing with a mouse?
Well, Gene did just that
in Anchors Aweigh.
His dancing partner was Jerry the Mouse
ofTom and Jerry fame.
Critics said it was the most effective use
of live and animation technique...
ever put on film.
And I certainly agree.
Look at me! I'm dancing!
More than any other star, I think
Gene Kelly became the symbol...
of the MGM musical of the 1950s.
And here's a classic routine
that audiences would never forget.
This is my favorite number
from one of his very best musicals. ;
Singin' in the Rain.
I'm singin'in the rain
Just singin'in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin'
Singin'in the rain
Dancin'in the rain
I'm happy again!
I'm singin'and dancin'in the rain!
I'm dancin'and singin'
in the rain
The finale to the Broadway ballet
from Singin' in the Rain...
seems to me to exemplify the genius
of Gene Kelly.
Actor, singer, dancer,
choreographer and director.
Gotta dance!
Gotta dance!
Gotta dance!
That's the Broadway
You've seen Gene Kelly's work
on the screen.
I think I've said it all.
He's one of those rare talents
who really understands...
what the movie musical is all about.
Now I'd like you to meet someone
that recently joined the gang.
If Hollywood breeding
could be compared to royalty...
then she would certainly be
our crown princess.
I remember so well when she,
as a tiny little girl...
used to sit on the set watching her father,
Vincente Minnelli...
directing me in several pictures.
Her mother: The fabulous Judy Garland.
Yet this young lady has made it
all on her own, yes, she has.
Miss Liza Minnelli.
The first studio I've ever been inside
was MGM.
I can't really say that I grew up here.
But I know that for over 10 years,
I'd race like crazy after school...
to get down here and visit
whatever set my parents were on.
You may not know this...
but I made my film debut at MGM.
In the very last shot for
The Good Old Summertime...
they needed a little girl
to play the daughter...
of Van Johnson and Mama.
Guess who got the part.
There she is, folks. What personality!
No wonder I didn't get any billing.
It's no wonder this place
will always be a part of me.
My father directed dozens of films here...
and Mama, well, this was her home
for over 15 years...
and 30 films.
It began in 1935.
In an MGM musical short...
a vaudeville team called
the Gumm Sisters...
made their first appearance on film.
Twelve-year-old Frances
was the stand-out...
and talent scouts from MGM
decided to give her a chance.
But first they changed her name
from Frances Gumm to Judy Garland.
The studio put Mom
in another short subject.
This time they paired her up
with a young operatic singer named...
Deanna Durbin.
These musical shorts
were like a screen test.
In those days, if you came across
in a two-reeler...
you just might have a chance
in a real musical.
North, south, east, west,
just swing
You'll find the swing is best, swing
Make it a national thing
You'll find
There is a chance of romance
If on the dance floor, you dance
Although MGM would drop
Deanna Durbin...
some executives at the studio pleaded
to keep my mother under contract.
And they finally won.
Well, they kept her at MGM just barely.
She spent the next few years
in low-budget musicals.
Once in a while, she did appear
as a sort of novelty act...
in a big extravaganza like
the Broadway Melody of 1938...
with Buddy Ebsen.
Mama once told me...
MGM seemed obsessed
with Shirley Temple.
They even offered 20th Century Fox
Jean Harlow and Clark Gable...
just to get Temple for a certain picture
that Metro was preparing.
But the deal fell through.
So MGM finally went ahead
with the picture...
and let Mama play the role of Dorothy
in The Wizard of Oz.
We're off to see the Wizard
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
You'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz
If ever a Wiz there was
If ever oh ever a Wiz there was
The Wizard of Oz is one because
Because, because, because,
because, because
Because of the wonderful things he does
I'm afraid there's no denyin'
I'm just a dandelion
A fate I don't deserve
I'd be brave as a blizzard
I'd be gentle as a lizard
I'd be clever as a gizzard
If the Wizard is a Wizard who will serve
Then I'm sure to get a brain
A heart
A home
The nerve
The Wizard of Oz finally did it for Mama.
With Ray Bolger, Jack Haley,
and Bert Lahr...
she really started off
on the road to success.
Whatever rocks or bumps
there were in that road...
she never let it show in her films.
For Mama, it was straight up all the way.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true
Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me
They're writing songs of love
but not for me
A lucky star's above
but not for me
With love to lead the way
I've found more skies of gray
Than any Russian play
could guarantee
Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell
Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings
From the moment I saw him I fell
Chug, chug, chug went the motor
Bump, bump, bump went the brake
Thump, thump, thump
went my heartstrings
When he smiled
I could feel the car shake
He tipped his hat and took a seat
He said he hoped
he hadn't stepped upon my feet
He asked my name, I held my breath
I couldn't speak
because he scared me half to death
Howdy Doody!
Chug, chug, chug went the motor
Flop, flop, flop went the wheels
Stop, stop, stop went my heartstrings
As he started to go then I started to know
How it feels
When the universe reels
If you like-a me, like I like-a you
And we like-a both the same
I like-a say this very day
I like-a change your name
'Cause I love-a you and love-a you true
And if you-a love-a me
One live as two, two live as one
Under the bamboo tree
How can I ignore
The boy next door
I love him more than I can say
Doesn't try to please me
Doesn't even tease me
And he never sees me
glance his way
Summer Stock was Mama 's final film
for MGM.
Her last days of shooting here
were devoted to this number...
which a lot of people including myself
feel was one of her very best.
Forget your troubles
Come on get happy
You better chase all your cares away
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
Get ready for the judgment day
The sun is shining
Come on get happy
The Lord is waiting to take your hand
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
We're going to the promised land
We're heading across the river
Wash your sins away in the tide
It's all so peaceful on the other side
Forget your troubles
Come on get happy
You better chase all your cares away
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
Get ready for the judgment day
Forget your troubles
Come on get happy
Chase your cares away
Get happy
For the judgment day
The sun is shining
Come on get happy
The Lord is waiting to take your hand
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
We're going to be going
to the promised land
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
You better chase all your cares away
Shout hallelujah
Come on get happy
Get ready
Get ready
Get ready
For the judgment day
Thank God for film.
It can capture a performance
and hold it right there forever.
And if anyone says to you,
"Who was he or who was she?
"What made them so good?"
I think a piece of film answers that
question better than any words I know of.
My generation...
Well, we're just beginning.
It takes a lot of film
and a lot of experience...
and a lot of talent to become a real star.
Now here's somebody who I think
qualifies on all of those counts. Oh, boy!
Mr. Bing Crosby.
You know, one soundstage,
well, it looks pretty much like another.
But a backlot, out here
where they shoot the exteriors...
that seems to me that the backlot
reflects the personality...
the character of its studio.
This was the biggest...
and I think, perhaps,
the best backlot in all of Hollywood.
Of course the old backlot looks
a little shabby right now, sort of scruffy...
kind of an illusion on an illusion...
but that's because
most Hollywood filmmakers...
they don't use backlots any more.
They prefer the real thing.
I remember when I did
my first musical at this studio...
they designed a big production number.
It was all to take place
in the vast Manhattan Railroad tunnel.
Of course we didn't bother
to go to New York City.
MGM simply recreated
Grand Central Station...
added a couple of thousand extras
and filmed the whole number right here.
Once again
Goodbye, pal
Out where they say
"Let us be gay"
I'm going Hollywood
I'll ballyhoo greetings to you
I'm going Hollywood
Say, while you sleepyheads
Are in that hay
I'll be dancing
I'm gonna be dancing
With a sun-kissed baby
And I'm on my way
Here's my beret
I'm going Hollywood
Well, it was vigorous, spirited anyhow.
I was, what you might call,
a casual participant in MGM musicals...
because over 20 years went by...
between the little effort
which you've just seen...
and my next attempt.
And I found fantastic changes
had occurred.
They had color, all stereophonic sound,
even wide screens.
And MGM, in a loose moment,
had decided to give me another chance...
in a little pastiche
to be called High Society.
This starred Grace Kelly, Louis Armstrong,
and Celeste Holm...
and was directed by Chuck Walters.
Oh, yes, there was another
featured performer in that.
What was his name?
A brash young newcomer. A Frank...
A clever kid.
He had a lot to offer, too. Frank...
Well, you'll recognize him
when you see the footage.
Have you heard about dear Blanche
- Got run down by an avalanche?
- No.
Don't worry, she's a game girl, you know.
Got up and finished fourth.
- The kid's got guts.
- Having a nice time?
Grab a line.
- Have you heard that Mimsie Starr
- What now?
- She got pinched in the Astor Bar
- Sloshed again, eh?
She was stoned.
- Well, did you evah?
- Never
What a swell party this is
- I'm going to have a drink.
- I may have a bit of the bubbly myself.
- I'm going to dance.
- Don't get hurt.
Oh, no.
- It's great
- It's great
- It's grand
- So grand
It's wonderland!
- We sing
- We sing
- So rare
- So rare
Like old Camembert!
Like baba au rhum!
Don't dig that kind a croonin', chum.
You must be one of the newer fellas.
Have you heard?
It's in the stars
Next July we collide with Mars
Well, did you evah?
What a swell party
Swell party
Swellegant, elegant party this is
While I give to you
And you give to me
True love
True love
So on and on
lt'll always be
True love
True love
For you and I
Have a guardian angel
on high
With nothing to do
But to give to you
And to give to me
Love forever
Love forever
I'm recalling times when I was falling
Like a free jubilee day
Get this cast. ;
Russ Tamblyn, Vic Damone, Tony Martin...
Kay Armen, Debbie Reynolds,
Jane Powell, Ann Miller...
and the Pacific Fleet...
in Hit the Deck.
Sing Hallelujah, Hallelujah
And you'll shoo the blues away
When cares pursue ya
Gets you thru the darkest day
Satan lies a-waitin'
- And creatin' skies of gray
- Skies of gray
But hallelujah, hallelujah
Helps to shoo the clouds away
Satan lies a-waitin'
- And creatin' skies of gray
- Skies of gray
But hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Helps to shoo the clouds away
Sing hallelu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lujah!
The next time anyone says
that dancing is for sissies...
remind them of
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
Produced by Jack Cummings,
directed by Stanley Donen...
and choreographed by Michael Kidd...
it's perhaps the most vivid
and exuberant ballet ever put on film.
Am I a fool without a mind
Or have I merely been too blind to realize
Oh, Gigi
Why you've been growing up
before my eyes
You're not at all
that funny awkward little girl
I knew
Oh no
Overnight there's been
a breathless change
in you
One of the finest musicals ever made. ;
Alan Jay Lerner
and Frederick Loewe's Gigi.
It was that rare blend of story and song...
and it starred Leslie Caron,
Louis Jourdan, Hermione Gingold...
and the marvelous Maurice Chevalier.
All under the inspired direction
of Vincente Minnelli.
- May I come in?
- Yes.
Gaston, please.
No newspapers, no scandal.
Madame, will you do me the honor...
the favor...
give me the infinite joy
of bestowing on me...
Gigi's hand in marriage.
Thank heaven.
For little girls
For little girls get bigger every day!
Thank heaven for little girls
They grow up in the most delightful way!
Those little eyes so helpless and appealing
One day will flash and send you crashin'
through the ceilin'
Thank heaven for little girls
Thank heaven for them all
No matter where, no matter who
Without them, what would little boys do?
- Thank heaven
- Thank heaven
- Thank heaven
- Thank heaven
Thank heaven
for little girls
Through the years, MGM has produced
over 200 musical films.
And if you had to select
one number from one film...
that would best represent
the MGM musicals...
I have a feeling
that the vote would be unanimous...
especially among the people
who worked here...
and that's why we've saved the best
for the last.
An American in Paris
starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.
It won an Oscar as
Best Picture of the year...
over 20 years ago.
But the ballet for that film...
is as timeless as the day
you and I first saw it.
Produced by Arthur Freed,
directed by Vincente Minnelli...
and choreographed by Gene Kelly...
it can only be described
as MGM's masterpiece.