That's Dancing! (1985)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: G
Genre: Documentary, Television, Musical & Performing Arts, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: Jack Haley Jr.
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 24, 2007
MGM Home Entertainment

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Critic Reviews for That's Dancing!

All Critics (3)

I'd rather just watch a musical in it's entirety than a greatest clips presentation, but for what it is, it's entertaining enough. At least it made me write down a list of musicals to watch.

Full Review… | January 19, 2013
Film Geek Central

Bends over backwards to celebrate the perception that the box office success of Fame and Flashdance heralded the rebirth of the form.

Full Review… | July 27, 2007
Slant Magazine

A fine film about the beat that put bodies in motion from tap to ballroom to disco to break dancing.

Full Review… | August 22, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for That's Dancing!

It's enjoyable viewing of well-accomplished and famous dances/dancers, however those expecting to catch the full scenes of the VERY best 20th Century dance numbers in film will be disappointed.

Gene Kelly splashin' & singin' in the rain? Nope. Donald O'Connor dancin' up 'n down walls to make 'em laugh? Sorry. Fred Astaire's "Royal Wedding" ceiling dance? Nuh-uh. Sammy Davis, Jr. tappin' away? Only for 20 seconds when he's six years old.

Mikhail Baryshnikov, however, is granted twenty full minutes to drag the viewer through a discussion of mostly-obscure ballet artists who all but never worked in cinema. And the film closes with a 1980ish eye-to-the-future extensively glaring at "Saturday Night Fever," "Fame," "Flashdance" and Michael Jackson - while ignoring Bob Fosse's monumental "All That Jazz" altogether.

Two reasons for selections this spotty: First, Gene Kelly as producer made all the final calls on content, so the film is more a reflection of what he personally viewed as pivotal and/or anthropologically significant - rather than a square-on look at the best of dance. Second, licensing issues across studios skew the film's content.

The majority of the look-sees are well less than a minute; that's a reflection of the director's inability to control his desire to cram an entire Century of dance into two hours of film (His original cut was nearly three hours).

The better, more-fully-treated content includes several Busby Berkeley kaleidoscopic creations, a full study/treatment of Fred Astaire (solo & with Ginger), some lesser-seen though strong hoofers (eg, Eleanor Powell, Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, Nicholas Bros.) and Ray Bolger in a dancing scarecrow number cut from "Oz."

RECOMMENDATION: The viewer will find a lot of interesting, talented dance here - but not all of the best of it.

TonyPolito Polito

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