That's Dancing! - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

That's Dancing! Reviews

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January 1, 2014
A spinoff of the That's Entertainment movies, That's Dancing is an entertaining and informative documentary that looks into some of the best dancing sequences ever created in the musical genre. Gene Kelly describes early musical dancing and the works of Busby Berkeley, Sammy Davis Jr. talks about early acclaimed musical choreographers, such as Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers, Bojangles Robinson, and the Nicholas Brothers, plus shows a very entertaining dance sequence cut from The Wizard of Oz featuring the Ray Bolger Scarecrow, Mikhali Baryshnikov describes the impact of ballet dancers on film, "Scarecrow" Ray Bolger describes the glory days of MGM studios and it's two most successful dancing stars; Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, and Liza Minnelli talks about film musicals adapted from acclaimed Broadway hits. Gene Kelly also shows up at the end talking about dancing and its impact today (or in the case in its original release, 1985), showing musical hits that brought the genre back from near-extinction, including Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance, and Fame.

It's not a perfect documentary, as some of the celebrity hosts just didn't seem to be in the spirit of the production, especially Baryshnikov, but what's great about That's Dancing is that no matter what musicals you have actually seen prior to watching this, I guarantee that you'll still have an enjoyable experience. It'll likely give some more respect to the musical genre and how talented these choreographers actually are. It also makes me want to watch more of the old Hollywood musicals, particularly those of Busby Berkeley, who had some pretty surreal cinematography for 1930's cinema. I'm glad I found this documentary.
December 29, 2013
s/b called 'that's entertainment 4"
June 16, 2013
Movie was okay, but it's really just a clips film showing select performances from all the great musicals.

I did really like the first section that showed how dance films were more large scale than they would become, almost more impressive. Then they evolved into less dancers, but you could actually be more impressed by the one or two people shown in their full glory.

The film hits the mid section with a cut scene from the Wizard Of Oz that was fun to see, but then goes onto a ballet section that was really boring.

The final piece of the new, at the time, stuff is really too brief in my opinion. But it does end showing a basic preview of what would come at the rise of the music video with Michael Jackson's Beat It. Great video!

If anything, it was like a long preview for all the great musical films I shall be seeing at some point here on my journey to see every film ever made.
August 16, 2010
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.
½ August 19, 2008
Fromn the people who brought you the "That's Entertainment" series. Too bad this movie isn't as interesting as those ones. The clips are fun to watch, and getting a chance to see Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire do their thing is worth at least a viewing. On the other hand, you could always just go out and rent their movies and enjoy them more than this. Not a total failure, but the film doesn't work as well as the "Entertainment" series did. A good attempt, though.
April 30, 2008
I suck at dancing, but I will always love it.
March 24, 2008
Barrel-scraping fourth installment in the MGM back-catalogue series but there are obviously some good clips here and there
March 15, 2008
Thi sis a movie about a documentary film about dancing on the screen, from it's orgins after the invention of the movie camera, over the movie musical from the late 20s, 30s, 40s 50s and 60s up to the break dance and the music videos from the 80s.
February 2, 2008
While the opening and closing sequences date this 'documentary' about the history of dance in film, "That's Dancing" is a repository for some great dance sequences from MGM musicals. While many of the sequences collected here are fantastic, exclusivity in terms of sources limits the film from being a complete overview of dance in film up until that time and in fact even excluding some of the numbers that had been showcased in the "That's Entertainment" series doesn't really do this similar but separate project any favours.
January 1, 2008
I loved this so much! You get to see all of the most wonderful dancers to ever live in this!
December 21, 2007
that tureley is dancing
½ October 24, 2007
It can't be bad, since it is essentially a compilation of great dance sequences, but I would much rather see the musical numbers within their respective films, and I have for the most part. Great overview of Hollywood musicals though.
August 26, 2007
A complement to the "That's Entertainment" series, but supperior to those. Pretty much a history of Dance in film. Great performances selected, and not the obvious set pieces. Recommended for both musical and dance fans.
August 14, 2007
Wow! A must-see for film history buffs. Amazing collection of rare footage. And they give well-earned props to my favorite dancer, Eleanor Powell. :)
July 19, 2007
½ April 18, 2007
No plot, but it compiles all the great dance moments throughout film history. It's quite good.
December 6, 2006
I wonder what this is about, i think ill see it!
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