That’s Entertainment! is a 1974 American compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate the studio’s 50th anniversary. The success of the retrospective prompted a 1976 sequel, the related 1985 film That’s Dancing!, and a third installment in 1994.
Compiled by its writer-producer-director, Jack Haley Jr., under the supervision of executive producer Daniel Melnick, the film turned the spotlight on MGM’s legacy of musical films from the 1920s through the 1950s, culling dozens of performances from the studio’s movies, and featuring archive footage of Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell, Lena Horne, Esther Williams, Ann Miller, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Jeanette MacDonald, Cyd Charisse, June Allyson, Clark Gable, Mario Lanza, William Warfield, and many others.
Various segments were hosted by a succession of the studio’s legendary stars: Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Debbie Reynolds, Bing Crosby, James Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Donald O’Connor, and Liza Minnelli, representing her mother Judy Garland.
The host segments for That’s Entertainment! constitute some of the final footage to be captured on the famous MGM backlot, which appears ramshackle and rundown in 1973, because MGM had sold the property to developers and the sets were about to be demolished. Several of the hosts, including Bing Crosby, remark on the crumbling conditions during their segments; the most notable degradation can be seen when Fred Astaire revisits the ruins of a train station set that had been used in the opening of The Band Wagon two decades earlier, and when Peter Lawford revisits exteriors used in his 1947 musical Good News.
The title of the film derives from the anthemic song “That’s Entertainment!”, by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, introduced in the 1953 MGM musical The Band Wagon. The film title is usually expressed with an exclamation mark, but in some contexts the punctuation is dropped, as in the movie poster.