, This Time The Dream's On Me
(Warner Bros). Producer-director Bruce Ricker does a masterly job of integrating new and old material into a thorough biography of the great lyricist. The story of Mercer's life and artistry melds film clips and recordings of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Mercer singing his songs. Colleagues including Johnny Mandel and Tony Bennett offer assessments of his gifts, and Mercer himself reflects on his career. There is no attempt to gloss over his drinking and affairs, but they are in proper perspective. The film leaves the viewer with an amazed sense of Mercer's brilliance, consistency and adaptability.