As someone who developed an appreciation of Johnny Mercer via the Philip Furia book "Skylark" (why is it so unavailable), this is simply marvelous.
Just a short list of the lyrics Mercer wrote brings up some of the greatest songs ever, Moon River, I'll Remember You, Too Marvelous For Words, Emily, One For My Baby, I Wanna Be Around, Dream, That Old Black Magic.
There are flaws as mentioned by others. The Lena Horne clips are unwatchable, the mugging she does is pathetic. So little Sinatra, Judy Garland or Ella Fitzgerald. Way too much Andy Williams.
But some of the clips are astonishing. There are three clips from a Merv Griffin show with Fred Astaire, Tony Bennett, Pearl Bailey, and Dinah Shore that are jaw-dropping. If that entire show exists in some archive, can someone make it available to the general public. Hearing Mercer and Astaire singing "Something's Gotta Give" on that show knocked me off my chair.
I was also amazed at how good Mercer was as a singer. The clips with him singing solo or with others are fascinating. There is a non-Mercer song clip in the show, him singing Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind" with Ray Charles.
I also appreciated that the documentary did not gloss over some of the sadder facets of Mercer's life, that his marriage that went bad, his affair with Judy Garland, his drinking problem (he was a very bad drinker, probably an alcoholic).
One point that was not mentioned that was in the Furia book, that Mercer would write multiple versions of lyrics to a song. It would have been interesting to have someone sing the alternate lyrics he wrote for Moon River.
It is great to watch this on TCM, better to have it on DVD.
Thank you TCM, thank you Clint Eastwood, thank you Johnny Mercer.