MGM and Turner Entertainment announced yesterday that they are developing the third installment of the “That’s Entertainment!” film series, MGM’s compilations of movie clips from its vintage musicals.
Earmarked for theatrical release next fall, “That’s Entertainment! III” will be produced and directed by Bud Friedgen and Michael J. Sheridan and financed by MGM. Peter Fitzgerald will executive produce.
Turner is involved in the project because it owns the MGM/UA library. The project marks the first time the two companies have done a joint production together since MGM and Turner split in 1986.
“Entertainment! III” builds on an MGM franchise originating when studio exex Jack Haley Jr. and Daniel Melnick assembled a series of studio clips from the first 50 years of MGM musicals. Released in 1974, “That’s Entertainment!” grossed more than $ 50 million worldwide and led to a follow-up production in 1976.
Producers Friedgen and Sheridan were editors of the first two “That’s Entertainment!” pix and associate-produced the 1985 Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly retrospective “That’s Dancing.”
Unlike its predecessors, the third installment will feature outtakes from MGM musicals, including Judy Garland singing Irving Berlin’s “Mr. Monotony” (originally earmarked for 1948’s “Easter Parade”) and Garland, Ray Bolger, Cyd Charisse and Marjorie Main in the big-budget production number “March of the Doagies” (shot for the 1945 release “The Harvey Girls”).
“That’s Entertainment! III” will feature three-strip negative restorations of such Technicolor movies as “An American in Paris,””Easter Parade” and “Showboat.”
On the sound side, MGM is currently remixing tracks from several of the recordings and mixing the songs in stereo for the first time.
MGM exec Feltenstein said “That’s Entertainment! III” will be released in 70 mm on a platform schedule in late 1993. The pic will launch MGM’s 70 th-anniversary celebration.
In teaming with Turner, MGM will oversee theatrical and home video distribution. The two companies will share total revenues from “That’s Entertainment! III.”
“It is a good deal from our point of view because MGM is putting up the production costs and we are putting up the film,” said Turner Entertainment Co. president Roger L. Mayer. “In return, we are getting the television and merchandising rights” to the pic.