Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Nine years after his last compilation of musical-movie highlights (That's Entertainment, Part II), producer Jack Haley Jr. offers another enjoyable nostalgia-fest, That's Dancing. Unlike his earlier films, which were confined to the output of MGM, That's Dancing offers vignettes from the best of Warner Bros. (the Busby Berkeley extravaganzas, On Your Toes), RKO (Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers), 20th Century-Fox (The Nicholas Brothers, Carmen Miranda), Universal (1969's Sweet Charity) and United Artists (the "Cool" number from West Side Story). There are also highlights from the top musicals of the 1970s and 1980s, which with such rare exceptions as Saturday Night Fever (1977) can't hold a candle to Hollywood's vintage songfests. Host/narrators Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., Mikhail Baryshnikov, Liza Minnelli and Ray Bolger help put the clips in their historical perspective, though all five stars seem tired and unenthusiastic. The real money scene in That's Dancing is Ray Bolger's "wind" dance, which was cut from the final release print of The Wizard of Oz (1939). In answer to the excellent audience response to this vintage sequence, Haley's next compilation, That's Entertainment III (1995), incorporated several such "lost" musical gems from the MGM vaults.
choreographer, dancer, singer