This Is It

Box Cover

Michael Jackson's This Is It is a documentary concert film about Michael Jackson. It was released on October 28, 2009 in the USA (four months later after Michael Jackson died). This movie was directed by Kenny Ortega and has won 4 wins and a lot of nominations.[1]


The film mainly chronicles, in detail, Michael's preparation for his planned sold out This Is It tour. The film states that 14 songs (excluding the "Drill" dance sequence), however, after Jackson's death, it was revealed that there were 11 additional songs were also due to be rehearsed (or that some songs were rehearsed while others still remained unrehearsed in the footage).

The film starts out with the rehearsal for Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', which was to be the opening number for the concerts. The film then shows auditions for Michael's backup dancers, in which eleven are chosen. The rehearsal for Jam is then shown, followed by rehearsals for "The Drill" Dance Sequence, They Don't Care About Us, and Human Nature. Rehearsals for Smooth Criminal are then shown, revealing that a 3-D vignette was to be used before the performance of the song (clips are seen throughout the rehearsal footage). Rehearsals for The Way You Make Me Feel are shown next, followed by rehearsals for the Jackson 5 Medley songs: I Want You Back, The Love You Save, I'll Be There, and Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground). Then, Michael is shown rehearsing for I Just Can't Stop Loving You with backing vocalist Judith Hill. Footage of the cast creating a 3-D vignette for Thriller is shown next, followed by Michael rehearsing the full song and featuring The never before heard rap verse recorded by the late Vincent Price (the verse can be heard in the 2001 special edition of the Thriller album).

After this, the audience is taken behind the scenes where they see more stuff happening, like pole dancers rehearsing, pyrotechnics being tested, and designers Zaldy Cego, Michael Bush, and Dennis Thompkins revealing their plans for Michael's costume ideas. This is all of them followed by the rehearsal for Beat It, in Michael states that he wants his jacket to burn after he takes it off and throws it onto the stage. Following the rehearsals for Black or White, in which Michael tells everyone to scrap the second verse and allows guitarists Orianthi Panagaris and Tommy Organ to perform an all new guitar solo ending.

Following this are the rehearsals for Earth Song and Billie Jean. In the Earth song rehearsal, Michael creates another 3-D vignette that is meant to carry is message to encourage people to save our planet, before all of the damage we've done becomes a travesty. In Billie Jean, Michael performs the song with samples from the song's original, extended demo version. Following this is a message from Michael, who wishes everyone good luck in the London shows. The film ends with Michael performing a sound check of Man in the Mirror, the closing number of the tour.

During the credits, a montage of Michael's rehearsals for the concerts is shown with the song named after the documentary This Is It being played as backround music. Following this is a recording of Heal the World, following audio of the rehearsals for Human Nature. After the credits cease, a clip of Michael rehearsing what would have been a "Dome Project" for Heal the World on his last day is shown.

Songs Rehearsed in the Film

  1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
  2. Jam
  3. They Don't Care About Us
  4. Human Nature
  5. Smooth Criminal
  6. The Way You Make Me Feel
  7. The Jackson 5 Medley:
  8. "I Just Can't Stop Loving Youfeaturing Judith Hill
  9. Thriller
  10. Beat It
  11. Black or White
  12. Earth Song
  13. Billie Jean
  14. Man in the Mirror

Additional Songs Rehearsed

  1. Stranger in Moscow
  2. You Are Not Alone
  3. You Rock My World
  4. Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
  5. Rock with You
  6. Dirty Diana (transition into "Beat It")
  7. Bad
  8. Dangerous
  9. Will You Be There
  10. We Are the World/Heal the World

The Final Set List

  1. "Light Man" Introduction
  2. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'(contains a cappella snippet of "Speechless")
  3. "Jam(contains a sample of "Another Part of Me")
  4. "The Drill" Dance Sequence (contains samples of "Bad", "Dangerous", and "Mind Is the Magic") / "They Don't Care About Us(contains samples of "HIStory", "She Drives Me Wild" and "Why You Wanna Trip on Me")
  5. "Human Nature(sometimes replaced with "Stranger In Moscow")
  6. "Smooth Criminal"
  7. "The Way You Make Me Feel(sometimes replaced with "You Rock My World")
  8. The Jackson 5 Medley
  9. "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"/"Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)Instrumental Interlude
  10. "Rock With You"
  11. "I Just Can't Stop Loving Youfeaturing Judith Hill
  12. "Thriller(contains samples of "Ghosts-Underscore" and "Threatened")
  13. "Dirty Diana"/"Beat It"
  14. "Dangerous(contains samples of "Morphine", "2000 Watts", "Heartbreak Hotel", "Stranger In Moscow", "Psycho Theme", "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes, Ennio Morricone's "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" theme, "Smooth Criminal", Janet Jackson's "You Want This" and "Let's Dance," Judy Garland's "Get Happy", Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme", and a guitar intro from Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill")
  15. "Who Is ItInstrumental Interlude
  16. "Black Or White"
  17. "Bad"
  18. "You Are Not Alone"
  19. "Earth Song"
  20. "Will You Be There"
  21. "Billie Jean"
  22. "We Are The World"/"Heal the World"
  23. "Man In The Mirror" / "MJ Air" Finale


  • All but two songs as seen in the Documentary show multiple days of rehearsing. "They Don't Care About Us" and "Billie Jean" only show a single rehearsal. According to Kenny Ortega, there was another rehearsal of Billie Jean with Jackson wearing the sequined jacket and fedora, but such a performance has yet to be released.



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