G | | Documentary, Family, Musical
Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire present more golden moments from the MGM film library, this time including comedy and drama as well as classic musical numbers.
This was Fred Astaire's final dance performance on film.
Fred, I hear tap dancing is popular again.
During the "Invitation To The Dance" animated sequence, the costumes of the cartoon guards change from green to blue in less than a second.
The opening credits introduce not only hosts Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, but mention all the other performers from the clips before the 'That's Entertainment, pt 2' title card; all are done in different styles: names drawn in the sand, scrolls, inside a book, tiles spelled out on satin, inside a file cabinet, typed on stationery, branding iron, the 'Rank Organisation' gong, etc.
The original release print ran 133 minutes and contained a handful of sequences that were ultimately shorn from the general release print. In the first section, you can see Astaire and Kelly rotating enormous photos of each song that appears in that section. One of them is "You Stepped Out of a Dream" from Ziegfeld Girl (1941), which originally appeared between "Fascinating Rhythm" and "I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin'." In the Great Songwriters section, "Lonesome Polecat" from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954) originally appeared between "The Lady is a Tramp" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." In the 'Shubert Alley' sequence, Astaire and Kelly dance among sheet music covers boasting song titles that eventually appear in the section. Among them are "Concerto in F" from An American In Paris" which originally appeared between "Triplets" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (in fact, due to hasty editing, Oscar Levant's final "Bravo!" can still be heard over the first image of Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien). Fred Astaire's "Drum Crazy" from Easter Parade (1948) was also slated for this sequence (replaced by "Steppin' Out With My Baby"), as was "The Stanley Steamer" from Summer Holiday (1948), which was to have capped the entire section (it was ultimately replaced by Kelly's "I Got Rhythm").