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Michael Jackson's Movie This Is It

Updated on December 4, 2009
Michael Jackson during Jackson 5 days.
Michael Jackson during Jackson 5 days.

The King of Pop

Born Michael Joseph Jackson, on August 29, 1958. At the young age of 6, he was already performing alongside his brothers, as the youngest member and the lead singer of The Jackson 5. Even at a very young age, Michael had won over the hearts of men and women in global scale.

In 1971, he began his solo career, which even elevated his success in dramatic heights. His 1982 album “Thriller” marked him as the biggest icon of pop music. Thriller still holds the record of best-selling album of all time. MJ’s commercial success not only brought in serious money, but his contributions to music and dance has influenced and shaped pop culture, as we know it today.

Thriller Music Video

Michael Jackson’s "final curtain call"

Jackson seemed to have taken a long leave from the stage. His “HIStory World Tour” finished in 1997 and he has not had any major concerts since then.

But in March 2009, Jackson announced that he would perform in a series of concerts, as a major comeback. MJ fans anticipates a legendary event, and “This Is It” concert tour, raked in record-breaking ticket sales even before Michael Jackson performed his first show at the London's O2 Arena. On the same month, even before pre-sale began, extra 40 dates were added to meet the high demand. Jackson's 50-concert run could have been the longest residency at the O2 Arena.

Jackson suggested possible retirement after the series of concerts. He even uttered the words "final curtain call". Ironically, less than three weeks before the first show, Jackson died of  cardiac arrest.

Michael Jackson’s This Is It Movie Concert

Michael Jackson's final performances as he rehearsed for the much-anticipated 50-concert run, were edited down and released as a movie.

Selected footages from 120 hours of digital-video recording were pieced together to commemorate the music legend’s career and talent.

"This Is It" movie poster.
"This Is It" movie poster.

Unforgettable Scenes

On one of the footages, Jackson sang his own rendition of Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be There”. This is one of the most unforgettable scenes in the film. He dedicated the performance to his Jackson 5 brothers and his mother and father.

The planned production for the song “They Don’t Care About Us” is so grand. 11 back-up dancers will be dancing behind Michael Jackson, and through digital enhancements, the dancers will appear to have multiplied into an army that is moving in sync, and led by MJ.

A scene from "This Is It".
A scene from "This Is It".

What’s most eminent in the film is MJ's relentless passion to his craft. He demands nothing less than perfect. During rehearsal, the faintest detail does not escape him. Watching him rehearse for songs like, “Thriller", “Billy Jean”, "Man in the Mirror" and "Human Nature", you can feel his struggle as he tries to make the ideas in his head real. It’s illuminating just to watch him as he tries to perfect every number.

In his “Beat It” number, he made his signature moves while lifted up high on a cherry picker. Concert director Kenny Ortega kept reminding MJ to be careful and hold on to the rail. MJ’s moves would tell you that music runs his veins instead of blood.

As he sings a duet with Judith Hill of "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." He pleaded the crew, who were cheering him on, "Don't make me sing full out", he says he wants to conserve his voice for the actual performance.

Every number they were preparing was obviously a big production, it’s a real shame MJ never got to perform all of it in a live concert.

Scene from the "Scream" Music Video.
Scene from the "Scream" Music Video.

 I've been in the entertainment industry since I was six-years-old... As Charles Dickens says, "It's been the best of times, the worst of times." But I would not change my career... While some have made deliberate attempts to hurt me, I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me.

Michael Jackson

Legendary Even When Dead

Michael Jackson's "This Is It" pulled in over a hundred million dollars worldwide within 5 days days. Sony, the distributor, extended its theatrical run. In less than two weeks, it reached the $200 million mark. Proving that Michael Jackson onscreen is still an indisputable phenomenon.

"He's just loved everywhere on the planet. It doesn't matter if it's Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, South America. Every continent in the world loved him and his music." " said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.


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