That's Entertainment: Everett Collection
October 15, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

That's Entertainment!: The Complete Collection

Current Status
In Season
Musical, Documentary
We gave it an A-

It’s labeled The Complete Collection and for sheer bulk, this roundup of all three original That’s Entertainment! feature films is a testament to the staggering storage capacity of DVDs. As a one-stop-shopping avalanche of snippets from vintage MGM musicals (plus some comedy and drama in Part 2 and neat behind-the-scenes footage in No. 3), it may not deliver the intensely nostalgic jolt the original theatrical releases did. But the hosting segments built around the clips are more poignant than ever, forming a sort of de facto Michael Apted documentary. As at any glittery class reunion, it’s all about which familiar faces — Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Cyd Charisse, June Allyson — are aging more or less gracefully than the others. (Pardon our claws, but you will not believe Ann Miller’s hair and nose metamorphoses through the years.)

EXTRAS A hoot of a Mike Douglas Show with Debbie Reynolds and Nanette Fabray wryly debunking old-Hollywood myths; smart tributes to MGM’s filmmakers, including tyrannical Busby Berkeley (”He lacked compassion,” says Miller bluntly); plus oodles of cut production numbers, including Allyson’s hilarious proto-feminist lament, ”An Easier Way.”

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