That Was Entertainment: The Golden Age of the MGM Musical – Contest Giveaway (Aug)

“That was Entertainment: The Golden Age of the MGM Musical”
Book Giveaway

Calling all musical fans! It’s time for our next contest! This time, I am thrilled to say that CMH will be giving away EIGHT copies of  “That was Entertainment: The Golden Age of the MGM Musical” by author Bernard F. Dick, courtesy of University Press of Mississippi.

In order to qualify to win a copy, you must complete the following task by Saturday, Sept 1 at 9PM EST. However, the sooner you enter, the better chances you have of winning, because we will pick winners on four different days within the contest period, via random drawings, as listed below… So if you don’t win the first week that you enter, you will still be eligible to win during the following weeks until the contest is over.

  • Saturday, Aug 11: Two Winners
  • Saturday, Aug 18: Two Winners
  • Saturday, Aug 25: Two Winners
  • Saturday, Sept 1: Two Winners

We will announce the winner(s) on Twitter and/or this blog, the day after each winner is picked at 9PM EST (for example, we will announce the first two winners on Sunday August 12 at 9PM EST on Twitter or this blog depending on method of entry). 

that was entertainment: the golden age of the MGM musical


ENTRY TASK (2-parts) to be completed by Saturday, Sept 1 at 9PM EST — BUT remember, the sooner you enter, the more chances you have to win…

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post

2) Then TWEET* (not DM) the following message:
Just entered to win the “That was Entertainment: The Golden Age of the MGM Musical”  #BookGiveaway courtesy of  @upmiss & @ClassicMovieHub contest link here: 

What is one of your favorite musicals and why? (doesn’t necessarily have to be an MGM title)

*If you do not have a Twitter account, you can still enter the contest by simply answering the above question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog — BUT PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU ADD THIS VERBIAGE TO YOUR ANSWER: I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

ALSO: Please allow us 48 hours to approve your comments. Sorry about that, but we are being overwhelmed with spam, and must sort through 100s of comments…


About the Book: That Was Entertainment uniquely reconstructs the life of Arthur Freed, whose unit at MGM became the gold standard against which the musicals of other studios were measured. Without Freed, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Betty Garrett, Cyd Charisse, Arlene Dahl, Vera-Ellen, Lucille Bremer, Gloria DeHaven, Howard Keel, and June Allyson would never have had the signature films that established them as movie legends. MGM’s past is its present. No other studio produced such a range of musicals that are still shown today on television and all of which are covered in this volume, from integrated musicals in which song and dance were seamlessly embedded in the plot (Meet Me in St. Louis and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) to revues (The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and Ziegfeld Follies); original musicals (Singin’ in the Rain, Easter Parade, and It’s Always Fair Weather); adaptations of Broadway shows (Girl Crazy, On the Town, Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, Brigadoon, Kismet, and Bells Are Ringing); musical versions of novels and plays (Gigi, The Pirate, and Summer Holiday); operettas (the films of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy); mythico-historical biographies of composers (Johann Strauss Jr. in The Great Waltz and Sigmund Romberg in Deep in My Heart); and musicals featuring songwriting teams (Rodgers and Hart in Words and Music and Kalmar and Ruby in Three Little Words), opera stars (Enrico Caruso in The Great Caruso and Marjorie Lawrence in Interrupted Melody), and pop singers (Ruth Etting in Love Me or Leave Me). Also covered is the water ballet musical–in a class by itself–with Esther Williams starring as MGM’s resident mermaid. This is a book for longtime lovers of the movie musical and those discovering the genre for the first time.


Please note that Continental United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and the territory of Puerto Rico) and Canadian entrants are eligible.

And — BlogHub members ARE eligible to win if they live within the Continental United States or Canada (as noted above).

See complete contest rules here.

And if you can’t wait to win the book, you can purchase the on amazon via the below link (click on image below):


–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

This entry was posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to That Was Entertainment: The Golden Age of the MGM Musical – Contest Giveaway (Aug)

  1. Bruce Baldwin says:

    “showboat” was, I think, the first musical I ever saw. In 1950’s Santa Barbara, the sole TV station, channel 3, broadcast old movies every afternoon. Showboat was frequently shown. I always imagined The Mississippi looking like the Pacific Ocean, with waves.

  2. Julie Moon says:

    The Ziegfeld Follies is my favorite old musical… the choreography and dance scenes are wonderful, with an all star cast.

  3. Vickie Gleason says:

    My favorite musical would be Meet Me in St. Louis.

    I love the cart, story and the era. It’s such a heartwarming feel good movie.

  4. Stuart Cook says:

    One of my top favorite movie musicals is FOOTLIGHT PARADE. It’s a great pre-code production with some great songs in it, plus Cagney & Keeler in it!
    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  5. Billy Slobin says:

    I have always loved musicals!
    Busby Berkley films in particular.
    My favorite is 42nd Street with Guys and Dolls a (more recent) favorite!

  6. Laura A. says:

    My favorite musical would have to be The Wizard of Oz. You can’t top Judy!!!

  7. Vickie L Gleason says:

    My favorite musical is Meet Me In St. Louis. I love the time period, the story, the cast and the music! A very heartwarming story of love and family!

  8. Javier Valverde says:

    One of my favorite musicals is Roberta (1935). It’s one of my favorite musicals because Jerome Kern is one of my favorite composers. Every time I hear Irene Dunne singing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, my heart gets filled with joy. When Fred Astaire sings Lovely to Look At to Ginger Rogers and then dances Smoke Gets in Your Eyes with her, my heart melts. It’s such romantic film and a classic example of the Hollywood romantic musical.

  9. Woody Woodrum says:

    My favorite musicals include:

    7 Brides for 7 Brothers – nearly perfect cast for outstanding dance routines, especially at the barn raising, with Howard Keel, Jane Powell, bounding with energy Russ Tamblyn and knockout Julie Newmar (soon to be the Catwoman on Adam West’s Batman)

    On the Town – Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen dancing and singing, funny Betty Garrett and oafish Jules Munshin provide humor and three sailors have 24 hours to meet girls in NY City! Funny and great dancing, truly would say Miller out-danced Kelly in this film.

    42nd Street – Pre-code and post issues with sound film, how could you miss with Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, and Ginger Rogers? Even when funnyman Mel Brooks lampoons your film in “Young Frankenstein” it makes people go and check out where song and dance by the creature came from.

    Singing in the Rain – Another film full of talent, with the giant talent of Gene Kelly, the always wonderful Donald O’Connor, and young and flashy Debby Reynolds. Kelly’s dance in the pouring rain is a true American treasure that everyone in the nation needs to watch, and maybe the world would seem a little lighter than it has recently. The film, directed by Stanley Donan and Kelly, was nearly stolen from the great trio in the lead by Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont, a role she also had played on the stage.

    Duck Soup – The Marx Brothers always had music in their films, with Harpo playing the harp so well in film after film I found myself wondering if I would be beaten up if I started playing one. Chico on the piano was always fun, and Groucho would sing in his own way. Honestly, even Zeppo was a decent singer. This film was so crazy many countries in Europe banned it from the screen although it appears the boys were right about a war coming. “Hail, Hail, Fredonia!”

  10. Kay Designer says:

    So many great films to chose from. But my all time favorite would have to be
    “The Wizard of Oz” 1939
    The actors, the sets, the music, the combination of all of the best of musical theater, made it the ultimate MGM classic film.

  11. Angel Miller says:

    I love My Fair Lady. The costumes, the dancing, the songs. And Audrey- Beautiful in face and spirit.

  12. I have two favourite musicals (and both of them were released by MGM, surprise surprise) — The Wizard of Oz and Singin’ In the Rain. I’ll always have a soft spot for Oz because it was the very first classic film I ever watched (I was six years old at the time). I was absolutely in awe watching that movie back then – and I still am at the age of 36! I first saw Singin’ In the Rain when I was a tween and I fell in love with both Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. From then on, I wanted to watch everything they had ever been in and I started collecting the MGM Musicals VHS tapes. Both these films were incredibly original, breath-taking, and addictive. They’re for all ages too!

  13. Gillian says:

    Very tough to choose a favourite musical but I’d have to say my all-time favourite is Good News, I love a college film and June Allyson!

  14. Valerie says:

    My absolute favorite movie musical is An American in Paris. The music, the cinematography, the acting, the comedy of Oscar Levant (the cigarette lighting scene in the cafe – come on!!), the romance, the dancing… it’s all gorgeous. Can’t get past it.

  15. Shannon says:

    My favorite musical is the Wizard Of Oz on the basis that is began my love for the genre.

  16. Chris says:

    In my experience, if Singin’ in the Rain is on TV, no one can dismiss it. Siblings, college roommates, and now my kids will wonder into the room and ask
    me “Why are watching this?” only to become fully entranced by its catchy tunes, lush Technicolor, amazing choreography and leggy starlets. The film
    never takes itself too seriously, as it both glorifies and mocks behind-the-scenes Hollywood. And while Donald O’ Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean
    Hagen, and Gene Kelly each have their shining moments, Cyd Charisse clearly steals the show. She is mesmerizing on camera as the criminal seductress in the film’s biggest dance number. Donen and Kelly’s direction perfectly complement
    Comden and Green’s fast and funny screenplay (one of the best screenplays ever written, IMHO). And the film even has multiple ties to Star Wars! To
    learn more, check out my podcast at

  17. Erin Sullivan says:

    My Favorite is The Wizard of Oz(1939). I love it just takes you on this amazing journey to a land that you’ve never seen before & that you’ll meet certain people who are just as amazing as you are. And also, you do bump into some scary people too who would do anything to get what they want. I use to watch this movie so many times as a child & i do know every line from that movie by heart. It’s still my favorite movie . Always & forever!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Lynn Silvestri says:

    Singin’ in the Rain was a masterpiece from casting to production. It showed a piece of history (silent films changing to talkies) and the changes that came with it in an entertaining way, with unforgettable musical numbers.

  19. Linda says:

    I have a soft spot for Flower Drum Song because it was the first time that I saw caricature-less Asians in a musical. I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  20. Jeff DeLany says:

    My favorite musical is probably The Sound of Music. I grew up watching it with my family. Now watching it is a sentimental and happy experience.

  21. Scott says:

    GOLDDIGGERS OF 1933 is a sentimental favorite. Why? Because I first saw it when my mother woke me up to watch the 2am late movie with her. We screamed with laughter at Ginger Rogers singing in pig latin and finally my father came into the family room and yelled at us to be quiet. We laughed at that, too.

    Mom had made me promise I’d get up for school in the morning but she ended up letting me sleep in. Good times!

  22. Christine Nelson Rivers says:

    If I must pick only one it would be Yankee Doodle Dandy. My dad is a huge Cagney fan and his sharing this film with me at a young age has led to a lifetime of classic movie watching.

    And you can’t beat the glee of Cagney as he shuffles down those White House steps.

  23. Amy says:

    Singin’ in the Rain will always be my favorite musical and movie of all time. I remember watching with my gram and that’s what got me into old Hollywood and classic movies. It’s a flawless movie.

  24. Abby says:

    Singin’ in the Rain – it never fails to bring a smile to my face no matter how many times I’ve watched it. Not only do I love all the musical numbers but the story as well.

  25. Gloria Elizabeth says:

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.
    The honest answer would be the most recent one I’ve seen, as I like them all. Having to pick just one, I decided to run titles through my mind and see what elicited a bump of special delight. And the 1953 KISS ME KATE did the job.

  26. Daniel M says:

    the wizard of oz because it was the 1st musical i ever saw.

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  27. Noah Kilpatrick says:

    My favorite musical would have to be Singin’ in the Rain because it was the film that made me fall in love with musicals in the first place. It also gifted me with the line, “An’ I can’t stan’ em!”, which I use all the time!
    Twitter handle: @gamesnfun856

  28. Monica says:

    Singin’ In The Rain tops my favorite musical list. It’s funny, brilliant and you can always catch me watching the film when it’s raining outside. Mary Poppins and The Music Man are also some of my favorites.

  29. Bob Stein says:

    No matter how many versions of “A Star Is Born” are made (Lady Gaga is in the newest one), no version can ever beat out the 1954 film with Judy Garland and James Mason. Not only did Garland exquisitely pull off the role of a struggling singer who makes good and with all the dramas that come with it, she pulled out all the stops vocally and lit up the screen singing a mix of classic songs and the intensely iconic “The Man That Got Away”. Production values were superb and the music held you enthrall whenever Garland sang. This version of “A Star Is Born” is by far the best musical of the 1950s. It’s just too bad the film had been cut to pieces after it’s initial release.

  30. George Luther says:

    One of my favorite movie musicals is the pre-code classic: “Footlight Parade”. Who can forget James Cagney and Ruby Keeler dancing to “Shanghai Lil”? The other two big numbers are “Honeymoon Hotel” and “By A Waterfall”. Lets not forget Busby Berkeley.
    Oh, I’ve been trying to forget her
    But what’s the use? I never will
    I’ve been looking high and I’ve been looking low
    Looking for my Shanghai Lil

  31. Sanjanaa says:

    My favorite musical is definitely Singin’ in the Rain. I can vividly remember the first time I ever saw it, and ever since then, it’s been my favorite film of all time. I watch it whenever I am sick, or sad, or just not feeling great in general. It never fails to make me feel better. I love the music and the comedy and the colors. I love how it displays everyone’s immense talent. Plus Gene Kelly in that pink and yellow suit at the beginning of Broadway Melody? Perfect. It’s the movie that started my love for him!

  32. Christina Sharpe says:

    My favourite musical is Singin In The Rain, hands down. The musical numbers are so memorable and fun and colourful! It’s so very tongue and cheek with Hollywood itself, but remains super classy along the way!! I never tire of watching it!

  33. Brett Doze says:

    My absolute favorite musical is Jacque Demy’s “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” I love the vibrant color palette and production design and the daring choice to have the actors sing all of the dialogue. It works perfectly with the beautiful French language. I also love drawing the inspirations seen in another recent favorite, “La La Land.”

  34. Christian Ramos says:

    My favorite musical is a bit of a tossup between Chicago and The Producers (05). Both films I saw a little too young, but had lasting impact. Classical, The Wizard of Oz, The Band Wagon, Singin’ because you can’t go wrong with those!

  35. Steve D says:

    Of course “Singin’ In the Rain,” but among MGM titles, I also like “Lili,” and “Love Me or Leave Me,” Doris Day’s best film. 1968 proved to be a great year for musicals for Columbia, with “Funny Girl” (written by Isobel Lennart, who also wrote “Love Me or Leave Me,” both musical bios of popular singers from the 1920’s) and “Oliver.” An overlooked and underrated musical, 20 years ahead of its time, is Dr. Seuss’ bizarre “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T,” which nearly bankrupted Columbia Studio in 1953 but has since become a cult classic.

  36. Debbie says:

    My favourite musical is … Singing in the Rain. I love Gene Kelly, Donald O’ Connor and especially love Debbie Reynolds. She was also my Mom’s favourite actress that when I was born she named me Debbie after her fave; I am so proud of that fact. I love the time period, the music, the dances (especially the title song Gene Kelly, singing in the rain) the costumes and the romance. Classic gem!

  37. Bianca B. says:

    My favorite musical is The Wizard of Oz. I can watch it time and again. I have fond childhood memories watching the film. The music, the costumes, the set designs, the bright colors…it was enticing through a child’s eyes. I can most certainly vouch for it. I like to think of Somewhere Over the Rainbow as the song choice of my life because I’ve been through patches of stormy weather, but in the end I see a rainbow through my problems especially in regards to my health.


  38. Tatiana Bustamante says:

    My favorite musical is Annie get your gun it’s the first musical I saw when I was in the 7th grade it made me smile, laugh, and just escape to another place. I can watch it over and over.

  39. Arely Flores says:

    Hit The Deck is curently a top favorite! Ann Miller really did a marvelous job with her numbers. Especially that iconic barefoot dance, which really showed that her dancing went far and beyond. She also shows her great dramatic skills in the More Than You Know number. I was touched by her teary face, which I had not seen since her years before MGM. Also, Debbie and Jane really showed a beautiful side to their characters and I just fell in love. Not to mention how wonderful Tony Martin’s vocals were!

    My Sistee Eileen is another underrated musical. We all know the wonderful big names like Janet Leigh, Bob Fosse, and Jack Lemmon, but I do think Betty Garrett stole the show! She was incredibly funny and her voice when singing was just beautiful! Her comedic side had always been shown but her compassionate side as the understanding sister who lives in the shadow of her beaitiful sister Eileen really clicked with me! There was something about her hardworking character that I totally could connect to. Also, it was nice to see her get more of a top billing than the usual 2nd or 3rd lead.

    Follow The Fleet: Although it’s not talked as mu h as Swing Time or Top Hat, this is definetly one of my favorite Ginger and Fred movies. In this movie we see a witty Ginger who is determined to shine all on her own. Of course Fred plays the lovely sailor who is in love with her and is willing to do anything for her, even when the help isnt wanted. We finally get to see Ginger get her first and only solo from the Ginger&Fred movies. She absolutely did a marvelous job and her Let Yourself Go song is so catchy! We also see Ginger go into a really funny number with Fred, which showed that she could also be a comedic dancer. And throughout the film, Fred’s comedy is just wonderful. Super funny and lovable. Ginger and Fred really made an A+ film.

    I really need to mention these because they are my favorites also. Kiss Me Kate and On The Town. Both were just perfect. Beautiful numbers, well written, and both had a great cast!

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      So many great ones!!! One of my personal favorites is Follow the Fleet, so I’m so happy you mentioned it here… Thanks so much for entering and Good Luck 🙂

      • Arely Flores says:

        Thank you! I love all the Ginger and Fred movies!

        • Annmarie Gatti says:

          Hi Arely, I can’t seem to find your tweet. Could you please confirm that you tweeted? Or just let me know that you don’t have a twitter account, or a private one. Thanks!

  40. tracy sharpe says:

    I have so many favorite musicals that I love:

    Guys and Dolls.
    I am a big Brando fan and was blown away that he could sing and dance. Love the movie and the interaction between Sky and Sara and how much of a love/hate relationship they had.

    Im Tracy, the main character is Tracy. How awesome! I can relate to having a crush on that guy and wanting to spend forever with them!

  41. Michael Murphy says:

    My favorite movie musical is West Side Story. I grew up watching a VHS copy of the movie that I still have today, although I don’t have a VCR. I love the music, the drama, and the tragedy of it all. I show this movie to my 8th grade students, to show them that teenage angst is something every generation experiences. It helps bridge the generation gap between us and helps them understand that they are not alone in what they are going through as teenagers.

  42. My favorite musical is The Wizard of Oz. It has everything! Witches, flying monkeys, cowardly lions, dancing scarecrows , tin men and lots of songs I know by heart. I watched for several times a year while growing up. I cried when the scarecrow got pulled apart in the forest. And oh almost forgot a good and bad witch. I have it on blue ray DVD but I think it must be even more spectacular on the big screen . Sept 12 would be best for me .

  43. Ann Fischer says:

    I love so many musicals, one big favorite is Brigadoon,, I just love the songs in it, and Cyd Cherise and Gene Kelly dancing,,, just heaven. Also, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is another big favorite, the dancing is extraordinary and Jane Powell’s voice is just gorgeous!

  44. Dani says:

    One of my favorite musicals is 1991’s Beauty and the Beast. It’s my favorite Disney animated movie ever released. It is the first movie I can ever remember seeing in the theaters, which gives it a special place in my heart. I always adored Belle and identified with her more than any other Disney ‘princess.’ The film is a classic. Nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, helped usher in the Renaissance era for Disney animation, and was a solid story with wonderful animation (look at that ballroom dance scene). There was a boatload of talent all around the production (guess the voice of Lumiere!). But, at the end of the day, listen to the music. Howard Ashman was a true genius and we lost him way too soon. The songs are legendary. Who doesn’t know Be Our Guest? Who hasn’t dreamt of slowing dancing to the titular song? Who can stop a smile when Gaston comes on or hums along to Belle? This movie is a classic as an animated film, a musical, and as a film unto itself.

  45. FelizAngela says:

    My favorite musical is Singin’ in the Rain because that’s the first classic musical movie I’ve ever watched! I was captured by the wonderful songs and their dance number. I am not a music person but everytime I watch this movie, I go nuts! I can’t stop my self from singing “Good Morning” and “Singing in the Rain”. And Debbie Reynolds & Donald O’Connor were so adorable! Of course, Gene Kelly make dancing looks so easy! Whenever I watch them dance, I just want to learn tap dancing! I also love Fred Astaire movies and right now my current favorite is Let’s Dance and The Royal Wedding’s song “How Could You Believe When I said I love You When You Know I’ve Been A Liar All My Life.” And I cried for Judy Garland’s I Could Go On Singing.

  46. Tim says:

    Singing in the Rain and The Wizard of Oz!!

    Hope I win!!

  47. Linda L Shirley says:

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

    There are many musicals that I enjoy – Oklahoma, State Fair, Carousel, Easter Parade, My Fair Lady, among them, but I think Cinderella (Leslie Ann Warren), The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and The Sound of Music are my all-time favorites. I love the music, the history, the casts, and of course the love stories!

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Wow, ALL good ones! The Sound of Music has been one of my all time favorite films since I was a little kid 🙂 Thanks so much for entering and Good Luck 🙂

  48. Scott says:

    THE BAND WAGON is probably my favorite MGM musical. Great cast, great songs, great script and direction. What’s not to love?

  49. FelizAngela says:

    I think Judy Garland’s “I Could Go On Singing” is one of the best musical movie I’ve ever watched. I know little about Judy Garland but this movie reflects her own life as an artist. I can fell the struggle, pain, regrets and sacrifices she has to endure just to make her dreams come true. This movie is a real tear-jerker.

  50. Versfelt III Porter says:

    My favourite movie musical is PAINT YOUR WAGON
    because it has so many enjoyable layers: great song lyrics
    and music, great acting, and it is placed in an interesting
    period of American history.

  51. Gloria Elizabeth says:

    THAT WAS ENTERTAINMENT just arrived in the mail! Thank you for this wonderful blog and your generous sponsoring of these contests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.