Wizard Of Oz (1939)
Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr.
time: 101 mins..
70 years after it was made, this classic movie remains an
categorized it as a "Kids" movie because there's
a kid in all of us, to the day we die, and whether you are
nine or 90 you'll be thoroughly entertained.
there's nothing childish about this great flick, which came
out during "The Golden Age" of Hollywood's greatest
year - 1939. Consider the list of classics in theatres then:
Gone With The Wind, Wuthering Heights, Stagecoach, Goodbye
Mr. Chips, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Mr. Smith Goes To
Washington. . . and The Wizard Of Oz.
dream factories were really at the top of their game, and
no film provided greater escapism than The Wizard Of Oz. Based
on L. Frank Baum's 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, the
movie follows the adventures of Dorothy (Judy Garland) and
her dog Toto after a huge tornado sweeps up her farmhouse
and lands it in a mysterious, magical land called Oz.
with Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Tin Woodman (Jack Haley) and
Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), Dorothy sets out on the Yellow
Brick Road to find the Emerald City. The songs are as fresh
as ever and the peformances are spirited and true.
first part of the movie is in sepia tone, giving the Kansas
farm landscape a dull look. But when Dorothy steps out into
Oz, the colour is absolutely dazzling. I caught an early restored
version of the film during a brief theatrical tour about 10
years ago and the audience was still gasping over this transformation.
Given advances in digital picture cleaning in the past decade,
the current DVD incarnations are even better - you might require
about this film exudes confidence and pride in film craft,
from the wonderful sets to the still-amazing special effects.
Look at that fearsome tornado for example: there were no computer
generated special effects available so the technicians had
to devize a mechanical tornado using a piece of fabric attached
to an overhead crane in the studio.
has several incarnations of this great film, from single disc
to a special three-DVD edition. All have extra features including
fascinating documentaries on the making of the movie. It belongs
in every film fan's library.