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October 12, 1974 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-10-12

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"Soturday, October 12, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

'THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT' "s

tu: y
J;.
y4
'R ' Fti:... .. .

Fun,

frolic

from

the

old

By DAVID BLOMQUIST Yet That's Entertainment is badly cramped by the audience sound-on-film in the late '20s winning Broadway Melody of
In 1929, a fledgling five-year- really more than just another conventions and technical re- had forced Hollywood to turn 1929 - were hardly technical
old studio rather pompously nostalgia film. In a sense, it is strictions that plagued D. W. to Broadway for performers who masterpieces Most of the pho-
known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer a beautiful cinematic tribute Griffith. could talk as well as act. In tography tended to be rather
produced the first all-singing, to a real Hollywood legend. To be sure, the Metro musi- the process, studios acquired theatrical and "stagey," just
all-dancing musical film. Holly- The Metro musicals cannot be cals at times represented the literally hundreds of tap dancers like the first silent pictures had
wood Revue only featured a considered "great" films, at worst and most garish extremes and high-vibrato tenors. The been.
small team of chorus girls and least in the sense that modern of the '30s and '40s Hollywood. musical film emerged as a cel- But as soon as sound editing
a forgettable crooner nicknamed: critics use the term. They were In retrospect, it almost seems luloid vaudeville show-only on was introduced in the early '30s,
"Ukalale like," but still, for .'-...............,.\ s:si~~isanaiimssssia~i~ssa h msca a ofan unig
"Ukalale likey" but.. . . . . . . . . . . ............................_.................:..............................................."..........._... . .............. th..sialwa.ffan.rnnn
some reason, caught on with in truly high style. From that'
American movie audiences. It Th1n tr m w a.rrl.s gwI3>1.gth na idna..nA r Ihl"bme ritlvrwo* ~hit-nl th i-br q ip--'

was the beginning of the most
successful empire in the history
of the motion picture.
For the next thirty years, the
best performing talent in the
world passed through MGM's
iron gates on Washington Ave-
nue in Los Angeles to becomej
part of a truly grand celluloidI
legacy-a legacy that eventually ;
included some of the most bril-
liant and imaginative footageI
in all cinema.
Put simply, That's Entertain-
ment is a 2/2 houracollection
of sequences from that magnifi-
cent MGM library, laid end to
end with some (thankfully)
brief commentary by a few of'
the old Metro stars.

1 rte tiVAU)vI LI Iut U cF .UtctP(nn cvt turer eU gre imsf U'/i5I, ft tetlAs
in the sense that modern critics use the term . .. But if there had
been no musicals at MGM, the top directors of modern serious cin-
ema might still be working in a medium cramped by the restrictions
that plagued D.W. Griffith.
."'. ::: .:..:.. ..... . ........ ".... , .. -.. ......,..:."5 . . ...:i " :".:"::: 1....1%.... .....:: r....::"::::.

point onthe uner was es
tined to be-thanks to its extrav-
agant production design and '
equally extravagant budgets-'
the technical innovation point of
the industry, as well as the
showplace of Hollywood's best
performing talent.
A sequence like the tom-tomI
dance from Rosalie, for ex-
ample, is dazzTing today on two
levels. First, naturally, there is
the classic Eleanor Powell tap
dancing her way down a series
of platforms and eventually
through a row of cellophane
flowers.

not movies with a pointedly
dramatic or striking social mes-
sage, such as we have come to
expect the cream of contem-
porary filmmakers to produce.
But if there had been no
"tuners" at MGM, Altman,
Bergman, Fellini, Truffaut, and
all of the other top directors of
modern serious cinema might
still be working in a medium

impossible that studio execu-
tives actually ordered big name
actors like Clark Gable and
Jimmy Stewart to suffer through
protracted singing appearances.
Yet this was the essence of
the star system-and the mu-
sical was the perfect medium
for that strange system to flour-
ish in.
The sudden introduction of

a far bigger and far grander
scale than any stage producer
could ever envision.
(In fact, it really should be no
surprise that the first major
motion picture to be released
with at least a partial sound-
track, Warner Bros. The Jazz
Singer, was a musical film.)
Of course, the first film mu-
sicals - like Metro's Oscar-

times in film history-utilized
the unique qualities of different
lens lengths to create special
effects. In one short clip, Van
Walt brilliantly illustrates the
creative use of cinematic depth
of field to emphasize Miss
Powell's flamboyant style.
Similarly, Busby Berkeley ex-
ploited technical aspects of film
to establish his reputation as
probably the most imaginative
of the early musical film di-
rectors. In a seies of Judy Gar-
land-Mickey Rooney "B" musi-
cals (spotlighted at some length
in That's Entertainment), Ber-
kelcy shows how to use camera
angles to best take advantage of
those infamous casts of thou-
sands. Somehow, Berkeley could
almost make a falling curtain
speak as it waved about over
the heads of a dancing chorus
line.
Berkeley presided over some
of the best of Metro's black-and-
white musicals. But when the
time came to produce the first
color "tuner," the job went to
a more recognized dramatic
director. In 1938, Victor Flem-
ing, .Judy Garland, Bert Lahr,
Frank Bolger, and several hun-
dred little munchkins turned out
MGM's most ambitious musical
to that time-The Wizard of Oz.
Wizard of Oz was a giant cel-
luloid gamble on many fronts
that somewhat unexpectedly
paid off. MGM had serious
doubts about the performing
abilities of Garland, and would
have preferred to see Shirley
Temple play the little lost girl
from Kansas. (Fortunately for
us, Temple was firmly under
contract to Twentieth Century-
Fox.)
(Continued on Page 8)

Hamming it up in 'On The Town'
Frank Sinatra (left) and Gene Kelly doffed white berets and
Navy blues in MGM's postwar 'On The Town,' featured in
'That's Entertainment.' The film was one of the first musi-
cals to be produced on location.

But second, and more
portantly, director W. S.
Walt here-for one of the

im-
Van
first

lt~

I ,

BRIDGE:

One in the hand is
not always as good
as two in the bush

MOVIES on1 T

ELE VISION_
by MLICH1AEL WILSON _

I[

by FRANK BELL -"

* one coupon per pizza I
MR. PIZZA
5Coff
any Medium or
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Saturday, Oct. 12
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It was the end of an all night;
bridge game when a weary
South picked up today's hand,
sat up, and wondered why, for
once, God had decided to favor:
him over his opponents.
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The bidding:3
South West North East 1
24 44 3 Pass 1
6 r Pass Pass Pass t
Opening lead: eight of clubs.-
As it was worth a forcing bid,1
South opened with a strong 24 t
bid; West, with favorable vul-I
nerability, long spades, and noi
defense, jacked the action up to1
44; South's partner bid 5*;t
East passed; and South bid at
direct 6r, which was passedt
out.
His left hand opponent shot t
You're pretty darn good at
your job. But today, we all have
to consider how we can do
our work a little better. That's
how each of us.can help
keep our jobs here in America.
For now and for the future.
Amerika. It only works
as well as we do.
e/
T A"' irf
4t

the eight of clubs on to the table.
Declarer realized that what has
been given must usually be
earned, so he sat back to con-
sider the hand.
He did not like what he saw.
Counting 11 tricks in the form
of one spade, seven hearts, two
diamonds, and one club, he
realized that he was one trick
short of the 12 needed to fulfill
his contract.
West had led with such ala-
crity that declarer was certain
the club eight was a singleton,
so there was little hope for an
extra club trick and none in
spades, which left only l dia-
mnonds. South saw that if they
broke three - two, then he
could set them up with o-1e
ruff. But, how would he gat
back to dummy to enjoy them?
Acting on the premise that
West, who was marked with at
least seven spades to the king,
had led a stiff club, and that
diamonds were breaking th ee
- two, he devised a fool proof
line of play to land his con-
tract.
Playing a small club from
dummy, the won East's 10 with
his ace, and pulled trump in
three rounds, encouraged to see
that West followed to two rounds
before sluffing a spade.
Now, crossing to dummy with
the diamond king, he ca~h-.d
the ace of diamonds and stuffed
his ace of spades! When West
followed, he ruffed a diamond
and led his remaining spade.
West, who had nothing but spad-
es left, won his king and ha I to
return a spade to dummy's
queen, while declarer stuffed
his remaining clubs on the
queen of spades and the good
liamonds.
Thus, by throwing away n sure
trick, declarer received two in
return. A clear case of when
two in the bush are worth me-e
than one in the hand.

A psychotic doctor brought
back from the dead has to feed
on human blood to survive in
Channel 50's noontime thriller
The Return of Dr. X (1939),
starring Wayne Morris, Rose-
mary Lane and a very annoyed
Humphrey Bogart as the zom-
bie medic with a makeup prob-
lem and nobody to talk to.
Later today on the same chan-
nel at 4 p.m. Carrol O'Connor
stars in a shortened-for-TV mo-
vie about Martians and homi-
cide on the weekly Outer Limits
series, now unfortunately in re-
runs. Barry Morse is also fea-
tured in this bizarre tale, which
was filmed long before O'ConnorI
made it big in All in the Family.
The next good movie hits the
airwaves Sunday at 1 when
Montgomery Clift stars as
Freud (1962). on Bob Hynes
Showtime Theatre. Susannah
York has a big role in this in-
teresting picture depicting the
early years of Freud's life, and
her co-stars include David Mc-
Callum (who has a thing for
mannequins), Larry Parks, Eric
Portman and Slim Pickens. Lat-
er Sunday night at 11:45 on 7
Frank Sinatra yuks it up with'
Sammy Davis, Joey Bishop,
Dean Martin and Peter Lawford
in Ocean's 11 (1960), an excel-
lent gambling heist yarn that
operates with class.
Monday's only offering is
the musical remake of the John
Garfield classic Four Daugh-
ters (1938) entitled Young at
I Heart (1955), starring Frank
Sinatra and Doris Day with
Gig Young, Ethel Barrymore
and Dorthy Malone in support-
ing rolls. The original ending
has Garfield killing himself,
but the studios wouldn't let
Doris Day get involved with
cinematic suicide so they tack-
ed on a soapy ending for this
version.

The best thing about Tues-
day's Cat Ballou (1965), on
Showtime Channel 9 at 1 p.m. is
Lee Marvin in his Oscar-win-
ning portrayal of two men on
opposite sides of the law in this
Western farce which also stars
Jane Fonda, Dwayne "Dobie
Gillis" Hickman and the late,
great Nat King Cole.
Later that same day on Chan-'
nel 9 at 9 p.m. Liz Taylor and
Dick Burton share the credits
for Boom! (1968), a box-office
disaster that also stars Noel
Coward. Tennessee Williams'
story about a vulgar and dying
millionairess who befriends a
mystery man known only as the

"Angel of Death" on a Medi-
terranean island makes for good
TV excitements and is well
worth watching.
James Cagney gives a bril-
liane performance in Each
Dawn I Die (1939), aired this
Wednesday on Channel 50 at 1
p.m. Although the story is ba-
sic prison melodrama about a
framed reporter and the friends
he makes in the slammer, Cag-
ney and co-star George Raft
act out the highlights with all
the energy of a speeding loco-
motive.
At midnight Wednesday on 9
Rock Hudson and Doris Day gas
(continued on Page 8)

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