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New Feature :: Vintage Video and Fantastic Films!

I am a total movie fanatic.  Growing up in L.A as a child, I thought it was my civic duty to love movies.  I even took several film history courses in college.  And I’m very much NOT a movie snob and can get just as much enjoyment out of a cheesy rom-com as some Oscar winning film.

Now that the Peach is getting older and able to sit still for longer periods of time, I’d love to share the wonderful world of movies with her. But which ones?  She can be a bit of a nervous Nelly, so I need to stick very much in the G-rated film category.  I think she gets that from me. I’m still mildly traumatized by watching The Ten Thousand Fingers of Doctor T as a child.

The movie that started my love affair with film wasn’t so much a plot driven movie as it was a celebration of movies. And I’ve decided to make it the first film the Peach will watch–THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!–the movie MGM created to celebrate its 50 year anniversary making musical films.  I know it is not a normal film with a storyline and is just a compilation of dance numbers. But they are the best, most glorious technicolor dances ever set on film.  Perfect for a pre-schooler to watch and delight in and not worry about plot twists that might be above her.

And there is so much to delight in… The amazing dances, the peppy songs and glorious technicolor costumes and sets.

Like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers–I loved the pretty colorful dresses and the dancing was extraordinary!

Or On the The Town. Just watching Ann Miller tap dance and sing her way through this with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra? What is there not to love?

I think I might have been the only four year old that had a crush on Gene Kelly in my preschool. But who wouldn’t love his performance in Anchors Away?

And then there was Singing in the Rain, which of course is one of the most swoon worthy Gene Kelly films of all time. But watching it again made me love the ladies in the film even more. Like the sassy teen Debbie Reynolds wearing this basket costume with matching little cap!

And I think I need to go as Lina Lamont for Halloween this year and just go around saying, “I cawn’t staand it!” Oh, she was so fabulous!

And let’s not forget Cyd Charisse in her crazy dream number with Gene Kelly. Yowza!

Only one dancer could match Gene and that was FRED!  His last musical with Ginger Rogers was with MGM--The Barclays of Broadway.

But he was always best when he danced alone. Like this wonderful trompe l’oiel dance from Royal Wedding.

But one of my favorite dancers only has one dance–from the amazing musical Kiss Me Kate. A young Jerome Robbins before he took that job choreographing West Side Story.

And of course there was a lot of MGM’s favorite star who grew up in the films! JUDY GARLAND!

But That’s Entertainment also introduced me to Esther! Who says you can’t dance in water?

Kinda want to take some swim lessons now…

Sigh!  But these are just a little sample of the grand musical numbers featured in the film. This movie is so wonderful and bubbly and a great way to introduce your kiddos to the wonder of classic movie musicals and will hopefully get them introduced to a lot of the great classics out there.

Have you watched this movie? Or did you watch the old musicals on their own?

And did you have any other favorite films as a kiddo that you’d like to share?

 

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Posted in Vintage Movies.


25 Responses

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  1. jamie@owlreally.com says

    I do love Singing in the Rain, but I saw it as an adult. When I was her age, I watched Mary Poppins… daily!!!!

    • Dottie says

      Ooh! I gotta get with the program and get her to watch Mary Poppins. If not for the fabulous party options!

      • Alix says

        Mary Poppins was a total fave around these parts!!!! But one word of caution, one day little 3-4 year old Wolfie suddenly decided that the opening scene (where all the “bad nanny’s” in their dour grey get blown away by the wind) was VERY scary. He tends to be a little sensitive though….little Lagerfeld. ;-)

        • Dottie says

          Hahaha!!! Little Lagerfeld! Excellent point as the Peach is rather scared by the most nutty things!

  2. mary ellen says

    Wow! what a post! i grew up watching all of these with my mother! Gene Kelly is still my heart throb! and i will always love Ginger and fred! :)

  3. Jody says

    J’adore! I do love Gene Kelly, and am proud to say he’s a Pittsburgh native! But you know my very favorite dancing movie is West Side Story… keep coolie-cool, boy!

    • Dottie says

      I think those five minutes of dancing/singing in West Side Story are some of the best on film. Period. Jerome Robbins was beyond Genius!

  4. Andrea G says

    I love old movies. The star who introduce my little four year old girl to classic movies was Shirley Temple. One of Temples movies came on TCM and Lil’ Vi looked up and said I like that girl. She was hooked! The best part of this was that she was Shirley for Halloween. Vintage sailor dress, giant fake lollypop and curls. Too cute!

    • Dottie says

      Of course! Shirley Temple! Expect a post on that little lady’s films!

  5. Alix says

    I LOOOOOVED “That’s Entertainment!” I remember seeing it in the theater with my mom. Those movies were always my favorites. I love this! And i want to watch that now with Wolfie!!

    • Dottie says

      Alix! I saw the premiere with my Dad in Hollywood! I got to meet a lot of the old stars since I was sitting with press. It was amazing! They gave us the record to the musical and I think I played that poor record TO DEATH! I memorized every single song on it. Sigh!

      • Alix says

        OMG I would have been SO out of my mind excited to see it in Hollywood and meet the old stars!!! WOW!!! What a special memory!!

  6. Mrs. DeTiki says

    My little girlie loves watching old movies. We do a lot of vintage horror, but the one I thought would make your list that my kids *love* is Lil’ Abner. It is one of my husbands favorites and it was a big hit here!

    • Dottie says

      Lil’ Abner! I love the song, Dogpatch USA! I know, I’m crazy. But thanks for the reminder on that great musical!

  7. Alice says

    Great post. I grew up watching old movies. Favorite is Rear Window. It’s OK for older kids.

    • Dottie says

      I studied Rear Window in my film class in college! One of Hitchcock’s best and totally worth watching again for older kids!

  8. Eli says

    Mary poppins!!! My 3 & 5 year olds are equally in love…. It’s so great.

  9. Tiffanie says

    This is an amazing reference for folks like me who haven’t seen any of these since lying around on Sunday afternoons with my grandmother decades ago! Thank you, Miss D! Pee Ess….now I am double sad you didn’t see our TOR act. It was so VERY Esther Williams! :)

    • Dottie says

      I’m cryin’ a thousand tears that I missed yer act! And that it was very Esther Williams is killing me even more! I do see drinks in our future, lady! DRINKS!

  10. Dalyn says

    I also grew up watching old movies and loved all things Danny Kaye. “White Christmas” was and is my all time favorite. Vera Ellen’s physicality was breath-taking; plus, I never thought toe-tapping could be so compelling.

  11. Claudia says

    I have a confession to make. Finding Mr. Right for me was SO hard. Why, you say? No, not because I was comparing all those men to my papi. No. It got SO much more complicated because I always compared them to Gene Kelly. My mom made the big mistake of introducing me to “Singing in the Rain” at a very young age and ruining men for me. then came “Dirty Dancing” … but that´s a whole different story… Long live Gene! love this post!

  12. Sandra says

    I LOVE film and grew up watching as much as I could. My favourite musical is the Band Wagon and I even have a vintage movie poster framed and hung up.

    Have you seen the West Side Story dvd with the clips of them rehearsing in the streets of Hells Kitchen? I saw the revival on Broadway a few years back and seeing the dancing live was incredible. It must have blow people’s minds to see that choreography when it was first on Broadway.

    Of course you have to ignore Natalie Wood in dark make up in the film version…

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