It's ironic that MGM, in such dire financial straits in 1974 that it was selling its fabled back lot and auctioning off artifacts from past movie triumphs, enjoyed one of its biggest box-office hits with That's Entertainment, a compilation of musical highlights from the studio's golden days. Onscreen hosts Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Peter Lawford, Liza Minnelli, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney, James Stewart, and Elizabeth Taylor introduce the various film clips while standing on what was left of the MGM lot (Rooney delivers his comments from the Andy Hardy street). The vignettes, in both color and black-and-white, include generous slices of such classic MGM songfests as The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, and Gigi. The film includes the montage of Mickey Rooney's "Let's put on a show!" speeches, Clark Gable hoofing to "Puttin' on the Ritz" in Idiot's Delight, and James Stewart (!) serenading Eleanor Powell from Easy to Love. Assembled by Jack Haley Jr., That's Entertainment proved such a hit that the 1976 sequel, That's Entertainment II, was a foregone conclusion.
by Hal Erickson synopsis