• Roberto-920 October 1998
    10/10
    Unbeatable Musical Entertainment
    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!!!
  • preppy-318 February 2006
    8/10
    Almost as good as Part 1
    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.
  • gaityr24 January 2003
    9/10
    Now this is *really* entertainment!
    You really would think that no other film musical documentary could possibly top THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT. Come on--it's got personal appearances by a host of stars, and some of the most famous and best-loved clips ever. Including, you know, the singing in the rain bit from SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Could it get any better?

    Well, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT II certainly tries its darned hardest to be better. Not a single clip is repeated from the first film in the trilogy, and watching this film really makes you realise just how much talent was all focused in the one studio from the 30s through to the 50s. Judy Garland admiring Fred Astaire's Easter bonnet in EASTER PARADE, Garland and Astaire sailing up the avenue as 'A Couple Of Swells' in the same film, Gene Kelly and Garland dueting on FOR ME AND MY GAL, Ann Miller and Bob Fosse in KISS ME KATE, a montage of musicals before colour, a Garland tribute, a Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn love-fest... this film unabashedly brings them all (and much much more) together. There are a couple of clunkers, of course, like Bobby Van hopping like a maniacal rabbit-freak through the town, or the token Esther Williams number. But as you listen to Garland sing 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', or Frank Sinatra croon his way through 'I Fall In Love Too Easily', and see Gene tap dance on skates as naturally as if he had been born with them strapped on... again you're struck with just how special an era this was in film-making, one that unfortunately is lost to the rest of us except through video and DVD.

    And I know that this isn't the most popular of opinions, but I think THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT II not only matches but far surpasses the original. There was nothing special about the first film--its only gimmick was the coup it had managed in bringing all these glorious film legends back together to talk about their work. The only caveat was that the incredible personalities behind the stars just couldn't shine through except with some pretty special people... otherwise, they were all reading off a pre-written script. Kind of dampening, really.

    THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT II, on the other hand, is a small but successful exercise in creativity: from the title sequence through to Gene Kelly's direction of the new footage between himself and Astaire. It's also a delight for fans of both Astaire and Kelly when these two dancing men, you know... dance together again. Sure, they're not as nimble and quicksilver as they used to be, and some of the lyrics they're singing are--well, the only word for it is corny. But there's no denying that both these men have a kind of screen charisma that doesn't disappear with time, and having them both onscreen together, singing... now that really *is* entertainment as it should be. In the final scene they tell us that the best films have the audience leaving the film with a glow. How right they are.

    Quite simply, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT II is sheer, perfect nostalgia bottled and kept simmering, just waiting for an audience. About the only flaw with it is that it simply couldn't be better than its source material... but that's also what's so good about this film. It makes you want to go out and rent all the others... and still watch it over again just to revel in Astaire and Kelly being onscreen together for the first time since 'The Babbitt and The Bromide' in ZIEGFELD FOLLIES almost three decades ago.

    What more could you ask for?
  • didi-55 July 2003
    those grand old troopers do it again
    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.
  • gftbiloxi26 April 2005
    5/10
    Great Clips, Lousy Organization, Rotten Editing
    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
  • akjp2313 March 2003
    Want to own it
    As a little girl my grandmother would let me watch all the movies seen in part in That's Entertainment Part II. It is an amazing compilation if you will of all the great numbers of the 50s+. The comments are quite cute as well. I do not just like this movie because of it's nostalgia, but I love it because after awhile you memorize great voices!
  • Scaramouche200411 November 2006
    10/10
    Continuing a walk down memory lane
    Warning: Spoilers
    Following the surprising success of That's Entertainment in 1974, Gene Kelly was the driving force behind this sequel, which not only further highlighted the M-G-M musical, but opened the door for wider range of genres.

    Showcased along side the great musical numbers, comedy and melodrama are given equal screen time with stars like Kathrine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy realising that together they could lick 'em all, John Barrymore begging Greta Garbo to stay when she so obviously and characteristically 'wants to be alone' and Clark Gable showing us exactly why he didn't give a damn!!

    Vintage footage from The Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Robert Benchley and William Powell and Myrna Loy keep the laughs coming, while deeper delves into the musical archives, link this movie to it's predecessor.

    Ann Miller, Fred and Ginger, Gene Kelly, Bobby Van, Lena Horne, Bob Fosse, Debbie Reynolds, Mickey and Judy, Cyd Charisse and many more are all featured, picking up where the first movie left off, and for lovers of Frank Sinatra, there is a special segment of the movie purely reserved to spotlight his talent, narrated by his long-time friend, Gene Kelly.

    Kelly himself is not only seen in the archive footage, but he also directed, and choreographed all the new scenes and dance routines that link the classic clips together as well as pulling presenting and narrating duties with another old friend and M-G-M stalwart Fred Astaire.

    The two had only performed together on film on one prior occasion, dancing to George Gershwin's 'Babbitt and the Bromide' in the penultimate act of Zeigfeld Follies in 1946 and now thirty years later these two screen dancers were set to have the time of their lives.

    However although it was a rare treat to see them nimbly treading around their props, it looks sadly like two old men going through the motions as Fred and Gene who were at the time 77 and 64 respectively, have neither the speed or agility they both once had, although if I could perform even half as good at either of their ages I'd know I was wearing the years well. This was Fred's last ever dancing on film of which he said later, "that wasn't dancing, that was just moving around"

    I especially liked the finale when they reel off a long list of the movie stars who have featured in the compilation all done to music and all done in rhyme.

    However, the real treat from these guys are not what they were doing in the link up's but rather what they did way back when, and fortunately in That's Entertainment Part II there are more classic clips than you can shake a stick at.
  • JJJJf27 July 1999
    8/10
    The Weakest of the Trilogy
    This particular TE! is very much trapped in time. While it does have a bunch of great songs and pieces, the musical interludes in between old footage are almost embarrassing. The other 2 TE!s were much better.

    That's More Entertainment! on the other hand, was absolutely hideous.
  • Incalculacable5 February 2006
    9/10
    Wonderful movie!
    I really enjoyed That's Entertainment II just as much as the first one. It's got some great material, some of my favourite scenes in here! I really enjoyed seeing the Art Deco musicals - they are my favourite! A good thing about this movie is that anyone can enjoy it - young and old because there is something that will appeal to everyone. It is so fun looking back on that golden era, but it is sad that we will never capture that sense of glamour that was. What else can I say - it's a great movie fit for the whole family to enjoy. However, I find the material a bit corny and unnecessary, but still good to watch Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly - I hope I'm in that good of a shape when I'm that age! And like other reviewers, I feel there is no order in which the footage is shown. It seems to be sprawled about and it is a little confusing. But nevertheless, a movie I can watch over and over again.
  • lauraeileen89412 September 2002
    Not nearly entertaining enough
    I'm an avid musical fan, and I truly lapped up the first "That's Entertainment!". I've seen it at least a dozen times, and it hardly grows old. So when I taped "That's Entertainment pt 2", I was expecting the same quality. After all, my two favorite classic Hollywood stars, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were hosting, so what's not to love? I was extremely disappointed when I saw it, however. It was disorganized, slow, and lacked the smoothness of its predecessor. Too many scenes will have your finger stuck on the fast-forward button in boredom. Though it's nice to see Fred and Gene dance so well at their age (they were 77 and 64 at the time, really!), their commentaries and quips are cheesy and sound terribly phony. The backdrops, special effects, and routines in between clips are silly, outdated, and reminiscent of a '70's kid show (like "Romper Room"). Why would they put two great and talented performers through such garbage? Another complaint is that some clips that looked like they were edited with a butter knife. Great scenes such as the classic stateroom scene from the Marx Bros' "A Night at the Opera" and the "Good Mornin'" number from "Singin' in the Rain" are unforgivably hacked up. And the tribute to Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy left out their final (and finest) movie together: the now classic "Guess who's Coming to Dinner". What a terrible, inexcusable waste. Still, there are some highlights: nice clips from Lena Horne singing "Lady is a Tramp", Kathryn Grayson singing "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", Gene Kelly wooing Leslie Caron in "An American in Paris", Fred Astaire and Judy Garland's collaboration in "Easter Parade", and more Judy from "Meet Me in St. Louis". Overall, I grade "That's Entertainment, pt 2" a C-. If you want to see it, I can't stop you, but it's such a shame that Astaire and Kelly's talents and personalities were so misused in this film. My advice? Rent any of their movies or at least the ones mentioned in the documentary. Trust me, those choices, now they're entertainment.
  • BobLib3 August 1999
    A Second Helping of the Best of the Best
    In his exhaustive book "The Hollywood Musical," critic Clive Hirschorn describes "That's Entertainment, Part II" as being hampered by "the distinct screech of a barrel being scraped." I beg to differ. While it's not as good as the first "That's Entertainment" (But, then, what could be?), and while there are some distinct lowlights (Bobby Van jumping around like some demented jackrabbit in "Small Town Girl," for one), by and large, this is a more than worthy follow-up to the first film.

    Among the best parts for me are: Judy Garland's unbeatable rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from "Meet Me in St. Louis," the Frank Sinatra montage, the Cypress Gardens finale from "Easy to Love" featuring (So, who else?) Esther Williams, the Marx Brothers' stateroom scene from "A Night at the Opera," and the sequence from "The Great Waltz," featuring Fernand Gravet and Meliza Korjus (Anybody remember them?) showing how Strauss' "Tales from Vienna Woods" was ostensibly written. PLUS you have host/narrators Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in their only film appearance together other than their one dance sequence in "Ziegfeld Follies of 1946."

    In short, highly recommended!
  • MartynGryphon17 May 2005
    MGM's past, brilliantly introduced by their greatest
    Compilation movies usually get right up my nose, as you submerge yourself in the scene you are watching only to have some guy (or gal) talk over it minutes later and then link to another scene where the circle starts again. This is where, That's Entertainment II is different. It is just as enjoyable as the first installment if not better.

    The formula has been messed about with in as much as the first That's Entertainmentfocused solely on the musicals that made MGM the top dogs of the genre in the 1940's & 1950's whilst this episode casts the net a little wider and includes features on other styles of films such as comedy (The Marx Brothers/Laurel & Hardy/Abbott & Costello), Melodramas (Garbo) and movie teams Hepburn/Tracey. But the majority of the movie is still concentrating on the song & dance aspect and back in those days there were two types of musical. The run of the mill and instantly forgettable Musical,and an MGM Musical (a league of their own).

    What also makes this episode stand out is that Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire share the stage and dance their way through some newly created sequences performed gracefully by the two aged hoofers replacing the inevitable unwelcome links between segments found in all compilation movies. This gives the movie a refreshing change. Another change is that this time Astaire & Kelly introduce the entire feature alone as opposed to having many guest presenters as in the 1st film.

    Highlights are the aforementioned new sequences by Astaire & Kelly, The fantastic Frank Sinatra feature, Gene Kelly's Roller skating dance from 'It's Always Fair Weather' and Fred Astaire and Judy Garland's 'Couple of Swells' sequence from 'Easter Parade' Low Points, I have to go with the majority of posters and say Bobby Van's Ants in Pants jumping dance, and the boooooooring French segment of Kelly's.

    But those low points aside, this is a treat for all fans of that long defunct yet much missed genre, The MGM Musical.
  • mike4812814 December 2013
    8/10
    A Worthy Sequel
    Warning: Spoilers
    Obviously this includes material not seen in part one, with maybe a few tiny overlaps. As Donald O'Connor, pointed out, (in the first film) "MGM went around picking up movie stars like you and I would go around collecting paper clips". It's not exactly second-rate material. Not at all. Still missing are many items: Leslie Caron sings the Oscar-Winning "Song of Love" from "Lilli" yet her dancing finale which gives homage to "The Wizard of Oz" isn't here. Why? Also, nothing from "Brigadoon". You no doubt will find other still forgotten clips missing here as well. The new sequences with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly are good and, for the most part, help bind the material together. There is another outstanding clip from, I believe, "Bathing Beauties" which shows what an amazingly athletic stunt-woman Esther Williams truly was. Water skiing at top speed thru exploding water cannons and being handed off from a powerboat to a helicopter and soaring very high in the air, then power-diving. Once again, film finales abound, most noticeably the ending of "Annie Get Your Gun" which finally became available on DVD after years of litigation. Almost better than part 2 (this film) are the 2004 Turner extras of the intro by Robert Osbourne and a 30+ minute "making of" featurette. Worth owning, but be forewarned, they did use most of the best material in the first part. Originally released by UA not MGM, which was sort of "out-of business" during that time. Even today, MGM remains more of a trademark than a filmmaker.
  • tavm16 June 2010
    9/10
    That's Entertainment, Part II was a very entertaining compliment to its predecessor
    After a little more than 30 years, I watched That's Entertainment, Part II again on HD DVD. This time, Gene Kelly directed himself and Fred Astaire in new dance sequences with new lyrics to the title number that originally was in Astaire's The Band Wagon. They help introduce many segments that prove these numbers-despite some corniness of some lyrics-a little more entertaining than the written-if partially stilted-intros of the previous TE. Also appearing in a new segment was songwriter Sammy Cahn who segues to many scenes of characters in the process of writing a song of which one of the most entertaining was one depicting composing "Tales from the Vienna Woods". Oh, and it was interesting seeing Jack Benny just before they mention a couple of songwriters a few feet from him: Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, later producer of many of the great musicals showcased in both these compilations. Oh, and while there was still some overwhelmingness on the part of many musical clips coming one after another, they were at least partly broken by some comedy clips-represented by Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello, and The Marx Brothers-and some dramatic ones, whether by a series of Tracy and Hepburn scenes or by many famous lines from either Clark Gable or Greta Garbo. Oh, and unlike many reviewers here, I highly enjoyed the Bobby Van jumping number. If there was one sequence I could have done without, it was all those "goodbye" scenes from the James Fitzpatrick travelogue shorts series which I would have been confused about had I not already known about them. Also have to compliment former M-G-M animators Hanna-Barbera for providing some new animation during one of the new linking segments. So on that note, That's Entertainment, Part II comes highly recommended.
  • mountainkath1 January 2009
    7/10
    Another wonderful collection of clips
    This compilation isn't as good as the original, but it's still fantastic.

    One of my favorite things about this movie is the hosts: Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I'm a fan of both of them and seeing them together is so rare that I had a huge smile on my face every time they shared the screen. Throw in some short dances by them together and that alone makes this worth watching.

    This movie corrected two oversights from the first movie: we get to see Cyd Charisse's Singin' In The Rain dance (in the green dress) and Kelly's dance on roller skates from It's Always Fair Weather.

    I did enjoy the non-musical clips in this movie, although I thought there were some omissions. The most glaring was the absence of a clip from Woman of the Year (the movie that brought Tracy and Hepburn together both on screen and off).

    I was also disappointed that when musical clips were shown, the movie they were from was not always identified. I knew most of them, but there are one or two that I didn't know and wish that I did.

    Bobby Van's bunny hop dance was odd and at first I didn't like it. But, as it went on, I was amazed at how long and intricate that dance was. Yes, it looked simple, but I suspect it was actually very difficult.

    This movie stands on its own, but I think it's best watched along with the original.
  • ackstasis22 August 2008
    8/10
    "The world is a stage, the stage is a world of entertainment"
    Objectively speaking, it's hard to argue with those who believe that 'That's Entertainment! (1974)' towers over its sequel. Indeed, the first film naturally had all the classics to choose from, and so director Jack Haley Jr. was able to throw all the very best bits into his film. When Gene Kelly arrived on the scene to direct 'That's Entertainment, Part II (1976),' he found no shortage of interesting clips in the MGM archives, but occasionally had to settle for the secondary musical numbers from the most famous musicals, for example, having to settle with "Good Morning" instead of "Singin' in the Rain." Nevertheless, I think I enjoyed the sequel even more than the original, not because of the nostalgic clipshow, but because of the interludes in between. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, performing together for the first (and only) time since 'Ziegfeld Follies (1946),' light up the screen with their lighthearted theatrics, proving – at ages 64 and 77, respectively – that time has done little to dim their talent for entertainment.

    For all its nostalgic spectacle, 'That's Entertainment!' had still been a rather impersonal affair. Plenty of faded stars appeared on screen to briefly recount their experiences, but their monologues were obviously tightly scripted and lacked the intimacy and insight that they might have had. By 1976, Gene Kelly was already an experienced director (most notably in his collaborations with Stanley Donen) and so he decided to dress up his newly-shot interludes, sacrificing wistful recollection for just one more opportunity to see two of cinema's greatest sharing the stage, all to the tune of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz's "That's Entertainment!" {from the film 'The Band Wagon (1953)'}. Both stars, incredibly, dart across the stage with all of their usual exuberance, and, in his final filmed performance, Fred Astaire apparently still retains the liveliness of a man two decades his junior. Kelly also breaks up the film with a brief vignette on location in Paris, where MGM Oscar-winning blockbusters 'An American in Paris (1951)' and 'Gigi (1958)' were set.

    The most exciting element of the 'That's Entertainment!' series, I think, is that not only can we relive all those precious classic moments, but we can also learn of the more obscure musicals about which we would otherwise have known nothing. For my part, the film added 'The Band Wagon' and 'Easter Parade (1948)' to my must-see list {yes, I am still a novice!}, and piqued my interest in many others. One hilarious sequence from 'Small Town Girl (1953),' frequently disparaged by reviewers, sees Bobby Van bounding across town like a kangaroo/pogo stick hybrid – where did that man get so much energy? All in all, I found 'That's Entertainment, Part II' to be a supreme piece of musical entertainment, mostly due to the newly-shot footage featuring Kelly and Astaire… I know I'll be humming the title song all weekend. I'm now interested in watching Part III, if only to find out how Bud Friedgen and Michael J. Sheridan, with a dwindling selection of numbers, managed to keep the series fresh.
  • strawberman11 August 2004
    Very Nice Movie
    My wife and I rented this movie tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. A smile was frozen on my face for its duration. With that said, I couldn't help but feel a certain melancholy over the lack of minorities in it. Yes, there was Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson; but Lena's light color and Ethel Waters's smiling and mammy look were safe enough to get them into a token few frames of the film. We look back at Major League Baseball in those days and reluctantly agree, if we're honest, that every record on the books- and not just Roger Maris's- honestly deserves an asterisk. Some of the greatest players of the day were never allowed onto the field because of their color. And, when I see That's Entertainment II, I can't but help feel that MGM, which billed itself as having the greatest stars in the world, should have had that statement followed with an asterisk, too. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelley, O'Connor, Fosse, etc. were great dancers, yes. But what if some of the great black dancers had that equal opportunity to shine on the silver screen? And, if other Asian, hispanic, native American artists were given a chance for their big break? I'm sure we would have all been much richer for it. You know, we think of the South in those days with its segregation and we justifiably get an angry feeling. How could that happen? But, movie studios outside of the South had a system that was just as segregated, if not more. But, in this case we don't get angry thinking about it; we sigh, and say, yes, that was just how things were in those days. The difference was that MGM, RKO, Warner Bros, Goldwyn, and the other studios didn't need to put WHITE ONLY signs up- it was understood. Anyway, go rent the movie today. It's fun and you'll have a nice time.
  • MartinHafer28 June 2012
    6/10
    Not nearly the quality of "That's Entertainment!"
    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.
  • Michael_Elliott23 January 2017
    Fun Clips for MGM Fans
    That's Entertainment, Part II (1976)

    *** (out of 4)

    Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire co-host this sequel to the 1974 hit and Kelly also directed this, which would be his final time in the director's chair. Obviously this film was made because MGM made a lot of money the first time around. While many of the great classics were used in the original, this film here still offers up some classic dance and song numbers as well as showing off some MGM comic talent.

    Apparently when this was released a lot of people joked at the studio's money grab by asking "what else" was in their vaults that would be good enough for a second film. Well, there was plenty more in their vaults and this film proves that. For the most part the musical numbers here aren't nearly as good as the ones shown in the original film but that was to be expected. After all, MGM put all their classics in the first film so this film here get what would be considered a second group of hits. Instead of Singin' in the Rain we get Good Morning from SINGIN' IN THE RAIN.

    Clips from dozens of musicals are shown but this one here also takes it a step further and shows off the dramatic actors like Gable, Garbo, Tracy and various others as well as comedy stars like Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and The Marx Brothers. Obviously the studio was pushing more than just their music talent and for the most part all of it is entertaining, although, as with the first film, one could argue that the best way to watch any of these clips are by watching them in the context of their full films.

    While there are some very good clips shown throughout the running time, a lot of people will be most entertained by Kelly and Astaire doing a few dance numbers together. Apparently these were done with a request by Astaire and it was a smart move because it's certainly the highlight.
  • TheLittleSongbird29 August 2016
    7/10
    Even the weakest of the 'That's Entertainment' films lives up to its name
    All three of the 'That's Entertainment' films are recommended very highly, with the first film being the best. Its two follow ups are not quite as good, but anybody expecting entertainment from such a title will not be disappointed as there's entertainment aplenty in all three.

    'That's Entertainment II' is the weakest and a slight disappointment after being fresh from seeing the first film, which was not perfect but when it was good boy was it good and even the word good didn't do it justice. This said even though it is not as strong as the other two it still lives up to its name and also achieves the goals of being a delightful couple of hours, a nostalgic trip down memory lane it is affectionate, hugely entertaining and also moving and makes one want to watch or re-watch the films and scenes included, goals that the first film in particular did so brilliantly.

    Where 'That's Entertainment II' falls down in particular is in the hosting scenes between Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. It is a joy seeing both of them dance together and so well and Astaire looks great for his age, but their dialogue aims for the wistful approach and ends up being clunky, very cheesy and corny, while also not saying enough about the personalities and life stories behind the stars. The travelogue scenes also slow the film down and look just as jarringly cheap as the dilapidated MGM backdrops and sets in the hosting segments.

    Also disappointing is that it doesn't feel very ordered structurally. 'That's Entertainment' had a logical, ordered and thematic structure that made sense, the structure in 'That's Entertainment II' feels sprawling, random and somewhat jumpy. Not confusing or incoherent or anything, just wished it was more logical and focused. Editing can be an issue too, not always but scenes like the scene from 'A Night at the Opera' are too short and edited too hastily and that scene and a few others (especially "Good Mornin" do deserve better than that.

    However, What immediately captivated was seeing the who's who of musical/dance/singing talent being featured. The production values are lavish and just beautiful to look at, the music dazzles and is full of emotions and the choreography is often enough to make the jaw drop. Almost all the scenes featured are great to masterpieces, with the exceptions being the ones with Bobby Van, liked the energy but the routine was just weird, and the French segment with Kelly.

    It is interesting to see Robert Taylor sing and Greta Garbo dance, not brilliant but a long way from bad (nowhere near to Joan Crawford bad for example). Esther Williams skiing was almost as dazzling as that incredible water ballet featured in the first 'That's Entertainment'. Also loved the moving tribute to Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (almost as moving as Liza Minnelli's tribute to Judy Garland in the first film, though do have to agree that the omission of 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' was a mistake). One can't mention the film either without mentioning the awesome title sequence, definitely the cleverest and most memorable one of all three films to me.

    Standout sequences are Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", Gene Kelly's roller-skating routine, Frank Sinatra "I Got Rhythm", Ethel Waters, Garland and Kelly in 'The Pirate', Eleanor Powell, Lena Horne, the use of classics like "Ol Man River" and "There's Nothing Like Show Business" and Cyd Charisse in one of 'Singin in the Rain's' most unforgettable moments.

    Overall, 'That's Entertainment II' is the weakest of the 'That's Entertainment' trilogy but it lives up to its name and meets nearly all its main objectives. 7/10 Bethany Cox
  • gridoon20182 May 2016
    7/10
    Similar, yet different....
    Warning: Spoilers
    The DVD version of "That's Entertainment, Part II" includes an introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne, who says that this compilation takes a different, "stream-of-consciousness" approach to the material compared to its more organized predecessor. He's right: this film's randomness - you never know who or what is going to pop up next (Abbott and Costello? Greta Garbo? Tarzan?) - gives it a trippy, occasionally surreal quality. It has more variety and more scope than the first film, and contains more obscure gems (like Gene Kelly's "cartoon" dance from "Invitation To The Dance"), but there is nothing here to top Kelly's title number from "Singin' In The Rain" or Fred Astaire's dance on the ceiling from "Royal Wedding". Astaire and Kelly also do some "new" dancing, showing that despite their age they hadn't missed a step. But I have one complaint about their hosting: they sometimes don't mention the name of the movie a clip is from (for example, one of the most powerful moments comes from "A Tale Of Two Cities" - but I only found that out later when I searched for those lines of dialogue online). As a director (he supervised the new sequences), Kelly has a lot of crazy and creative ideas. And Saul Bass designed a truly magnificent title sequence - a work of art. *** out of 4.
  • Gideon2430 November 2015
    6/10
    Just as good as the first film
    Warning: Spoilers
    After the surprising success of the first film, MGM studios decided to mine for more gold with That's Entertainment Part II, the 1976 compilation package that offers more of the best of MGM studios when they had "more stars that the heavens" and this time, they chose to include non-musical clips

    The film is hosted by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, who are seen in the opening scene dancing together for the first time since the 1946 film Ziegfeld Follies as they introduce some more classic moments from the MGM library.

    The musical sequences feature Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Kathryn Grayson, Eleanor Powell, Frank Sinatra, Jeanette McDonald, Leslie Caron, Louis Armstrong and Ann Miller in films like Girl Crazy, An American in Paris, Words and Music and Kiss Me Kate. Even Doris Day, who was not an MGM contract player, is featured performing "Ten Cents a Dance" from Love Me or Love Me, an MGM musical for which Day was loaned to MGM.

    Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Greer Garson, Jean Harlow, William Powell, the Marx Brothers and John Barrymore are featured in non-musical sequences. Some stars like Joan Crawford, and Robert Taylor are seen in musical and non-musical sequences.

    The film doesn't sustain interest the way the first one did, but it is still a respectful and entertaining valentine in an era gone by in Hollywood that we will never see again.
  • mark.waltz7 August 2014
    8/10
    A bit more of pre-TCM heaven.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were still very busy in the world of entertainment in 1976, two years after the release of "That's Entertainment!". They had been two of the narrators in the original, so for the sequel, wise producers got them to dance for the first time on screen since "Ziegfeld Follies" thirty years before. That clip is shown here, and when the two break into a dance, it is as delightful as their first teaming was, and the two aging stars seem as if time has stopped for them. In fact, the excitement of them still hoofing after all this time may have been so great that I wouldn't be surprised if film audiences burst into applause after their first number in the film.

    More musical numbers are included, so there's more opportunities to see what Mickey and Judy, Nelson and Jeanette, Howard and Kathryn, to name the teams of MGM, had done together. Then, there's the non-musicals in there as well, so you get some Spencer and Kate and some William and Myrna. You don't even need to hear their last names to know who these people are, and it is still amazing that these clips still hold up together so well more than 80 years after they were first shown to the public.

    There's also a beautiful credit sequence which cleverly re-creates the type of credits done in many of the MGM films of this era. Of course, most of the MGM films had the same backdrop, but on occasion, there were more artistic credits, particularly those done once MGM began filming more of their musicals and epics in color. The film works almost as well as "That's Entertainment!" does, but there is also a bit of a sadness because of what had happened to the Hollywood studios and to MGM in general, still in the game, but not quite on top as it had been. But cable T.V. and home video were on their way in, and ultimately Turner Classic Movies where these films are shown to this day, many of them restored to their glorious original prints and beautifully preserved on DVD so future generations can enjoy them to their fullest.
  • eplromeo89 January 2009
    4/10
    That's Entertainment II on Reel 13
    This was certainly a surprise choice for the folks at Reel 13 Classics. It's not so much a classic as it is a retrospective of classics, which I guess qualifies if you look at it from a certain vantage point. Still, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed when I saw this film on the May schedule. Generally speaking, as a film buff, I enjoy retrospectives. More often than not, they offer unique perspectives on their subjects and insight into film history.

    THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT PART II is different, however, for three reasons. One is the series was made by MGM/UA and so they primarily feature MGM musicals/scenes. While MGM had a lot of great stuff, narrowing your retrospective to one distributor over a two-decade period is a limitation. Second, THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT PART II is an afterthought of a sequel – they already used their best clips in the first film, so we get the leftovers here. Finally, the intros to clips by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly are inane and offer absolutely no valuable information or tidbits (Where was Neal Gabler when we needed him?). They are great performers, but Kelly, who also directs, insights on these pseudo-clever song introductions to each sequence of clips, which is a waste of time. As I mentioned, part of the joy of retrospectives such as these is that they give us insider information, production stories or something of that ilk – a kind of structure that tap dancing will not replace.
  • utgard143 January 2014
    6/10
    Not as Good as the First One
    Disappointing follow-up to "That's Entertainment!" The clips are fine though not up to the first film's selection. They added non-musical clips that just don't seem to work as well, in my opinion. It's missing the added interest that came from seeing various silver screen stars of old walking around the dilapidated MGM backlot before it was torn down. That added a certain poignancy to what otherwise was just a simple compilation film. Instead, we get Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly walking around gaudy '70s style sets. Kelly is particularly cringeworthy, looking like a TV game show host. Astaire seems like a classy old gent but Kelly looks like an old man trying to cling to his youth. What was he thinking with that awful toupee? If the first film's undercurrent was one of regret and mourning for a bygone era, this one's undercurrent is second-hand embarrassment for Gene Kelly. Anyway, seeing the two of them dance together will make their fans smile. It's impressive to see them dancing at their age (especially 76 year-old Astaire). Overall, if you liked the first "That's Entertainment!" you'll probably like this one, though I doubt as much.
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