The Wizard of Oz (1939) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: In this charming film based on the popular L. Frank Baum stories, Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught in a tornado's path and somehow end up in the land of Oz. Here she meets some memorable friends and foes in her journey to meet the Wizard of Oz who everyone says can help her return home and possibly grant her new friends their goals of a brain, heart and courage. Runtime: 101 mins Release Date: 24 Aug 1939
An enchanting film with flaws that cannot seriously mar its durable delights (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
Dorothy's trip, as we follow her from her Kansas farm down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City and back home again, is depicted with rare cinematic imagination and skill At the beginning, we may wonder at the obvious falseness of the black-and-white Kansas setting, although the monotonous, arid landscape ultimately makes an effective contrast to the later scenes in Oz But rationality disappears the moment Judy Garland strikes at the heart with her trembling singing of "Over the Rainbow." And when Frank Morgan appears as Professor Marvel, we are captivated by his <more>
familiar bumbling charm Dorothy's entrance into the land of Oz remains one of the screen's most memorable moments, as the black-and-white scene give way to glowing color photography "I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore!" is her understated response as she enters Munchkinland The sequence in Munchkinland, though beautifully designed, is actually, a mixed blessing Billie Burke is exactly right as the Good Witch of the North, and Margaret Hamilton is wonderfully shrill and repulsive as the Wicked Witch of the West But the Munchkins themselves, midgets gathered from all over the world for the occasion, are all wonderful with their prematurely old faces and chipmunk voices The talents of Dorothy's friendsJack Haley as the Tin Man, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lionhave been frequently celebrated, but their good humor and their shining humanity behind the grotesque makeup remain fresh eternally "The Wizard of Oz" is a joy forever Why does it still glow, while other films of the period grow dimmer every year? It is unquestionably due to more than the sum of its sterling cast, winning songs, and lovely special effects, although the absence of these virtues has turned more than one "musical fantasy" into failures It may be that Dorothy steps from black-and-white Kansas into the bright colors of Munchkinland, she is taking everyone's first voyage of discovery With the universality of the best fables, "The Wizard of Oz" has her learning about evil the Wicked Witch , friendship her companions on the road to Oz , and fallibility the Wizard . And somehow childrenand the child in all of uslike to see this voyage made repeatedly Children as adults, today as in 1939, "The Wizard of Oz" will remain for us the beloved movie ever made!
When I was a very little boy, I saw that movie on The Bulgarian National Television and I really fell in love with it: . It was a kind of magic that took my heart to eternity and from there it saw all the world in a very amusing way: . I will probably never forget the first time I saw that movie...I really hope that everybody will continue watching it and it won't be among the forgotten movies... If you're very very young and you haven't seen it yet, then see it, you will feel the greatest force of the white magic: .Judy Garland is THE PERFECT DOROTHY!!!: See it, OK??:
A true cinematic milestone (by robb_772)
Where to begin? MGM's elaborate adaptation of L. Frank Baum's 1900 fantasy classic THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ not only became an institution among itself and practically defined the concept of modern popular culture , but is reported to be the most viewed film ever made. A sharp screenplay effectively condenses the novel's text into a workable film, and director Victor Fleming along with countless other behind-the-scenes technicians craft a visually stimulating fantasy world that surpasses the expectations of even the most imaginative viewers. Brimming with stunning visual <more>
effects the film's fierce tornado is an FX feat that has yet to be surpassed by CGI , witty dialogue, and eye-popping Technicolor, THE WIZARD OF OZ truly lives up to it's reputation as a once-in-a-lifetime film where every element comes together flawlessly.The cast could not be improved upon. The quivery-voiced, solemn-faced Judy Garland will always be Dorothy, the little lost farm girl on the road to Oz, clutching her beloved Toto impressively portrayed himself by the female canine performer Terry, the terrier . It seems inconceivable that MGM had originally wished to cast Shirley Temple in the role, as Temple's doe-eyed, cutesy-voiced shtick would have been a catastrophic ill-fit for the tone of this picture. Conversely, Garland is perhaps the screen's quintessential woman/child; always seemingly just one step away from reaching full emotional maturity. It is her sadness that transfixes viewers to the screen, the exact same quality that made the film's most memorable Harold Arlen/E. Y. Harburg number "Over the Rainbow" into one of the most exquisite marriages between artist and song ever to be recorded.The remainder of the cast is similarly exceptional, many of whom perform perfectly even under the most debilitating make-up and costumes. Frank Morgan is marvelously versatile in no less than five roles, the insanely energetic Bert Lahr mugs brilliantly, the handsome Jack Haley swoons sweetly, Billie Burke lends the film an ornate ethereality, and Ray Bolger's gravity-defying physical presence nearly steals the entire picture on several occasions. Perhaps most notable is former schoolteacher Margaret Hamilton's transformation into the wickedest of wicked witches, which certainly remains among the vilest and most terrifying portrayals of full-throttle evil ever to be seen. No matter how it is analyzed, scrutinized, or satirized, the 1939 production of THE WIZARD OF OZ is a top-notch example of how to turn a great story into a fabulous, milestone of a film.
Fantastic tale about a Kansas farm girl who's spirited off to the wondrous land of Oz. The film still tingles with freshness and beauty. Garland is forever memorable as Dorothy Gale, the young girl and the supporting performances of Bolger, Lahr,Haley, Hamilton and Morgan are all stand out and will remain national treasures. The superb songs of E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen are still beautifully blended with the lovely photography, cinematography and art direction. Unforgettable!!!
A HUGE classic everyone should see (by GoTheDistance)
This movie is creative, original, and very watchable. I first saw it 25 years ago. I was about 10 years old. I still find myself watching it every time it's on TV. It's not supposed to be realistic obviously . It's filled with metaphors and meaning. Here's some trivia that can be missed. Repeated viewing reveals that the 3 characters that Dorothy meets are based on 3 people she knows. They are seen earlier in the movie, and are played by the same people. When re-watching, their early dialog becomes more note-worthy. The music is VERY memorable. And the movie has a very popular <more>
catch phrase everyone's heard many times. Also, there was a play on PBS in '95 based on the movie and I loved it. It starred Jewel and Roger Daltry as the Tin man and he ROCKed - literally. It was classic. I like how the audience laughing added to the play. It's out on VHS.
"And my head, I'd be scratchin/While my thoughts were busy hatchin/If I only had a brain..." (by moonspinner55)
We all know this is a classic which has more than withstood the test of time, so just some thoughts: Why would Dorothy want to go back to that god-forsaken farm instead of living in Oz, a place where Technicolor might've been invented? She didn't seem to get much love from anybody in Kansas, and Elvira Gulch is bound to come back for the dog providing the cyclone didn't kill her . Another thought: Why is Glinda such a masochist? She appears to watch out over Dorothy and her friends from the heavens, but where is she when they really need her? Why are the residents of Oz so happy <more>
to see the Wizard leave? It's a big celebration, yet he's their ruler! Wouldn't they be sad to see him go? Also, there is no scene depicting the Wizard's unmasking of himself to the people of his city. How do they know he's the Wizard? Has he been behind that curtain since he arrived? A sketchy plot like this--which invites more questions than it answers--really shouldn't result in such a joyous picture, but it does. I remember when they re-released this to theaters in 1972 after years of showing the thing on TV every year and people lined-up down the street to see it again. That's the power of good movies.
Judy Garland's portrayal of Dorothy, Dorothy's oddball Oz friends, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", and the rest of this fine production of "The Wizard of Oz" have lost little of their magic over the years. While it has become oddly fashionable in recent years to deride this kind of classic, innocent fantasy, the movie itself has aged very well, and it is likely to retain an appreciative audience for some time to come.There's no doubt that part of the appeal of the story and the characters comes from them being such old friends to so many cinema fans, but there <more>
are also good reasons why they have endured for so long, and have been able to hold up even after becoming so familiar. Although Dorothy is not a particularly complex character, she represents an innocent but deep yearning that is easy to identify with. Likewise, the 'Oz' characters are bizarre enough to remain interesting, but there is a core of substance that again is easy to believe in. Who does not feel that he or she could use at least one of the things that Dorothy's friends want?The adaptation from the original story is done quite well, making fine choices for the characters and episodes that would work on film. The settings and visual effects may not impress the devotees of today's computer imagery, but in their time they certainly demonstrated a great deal of skill and planning, and even now, in their own way they are more believable than are most of the computer tricks that have become so overused.The popular story has also been used for a number of more recent adaptations, and some of them have had some good points of their own. But this Wizard remains by far the most wonderful of the versions of the classic tale.
"The Wizard of Oz" is a fantastic effort at making a movie. I have to wonder if it was possible to create a movie any better back in 1939. However, I am curious on the size of the budget allowed for production. The difference between todays big budget movies and those from sixty years ago, are today the scripts and plots are pathetic. This movie can be enjoyed by all ages, and perhaps led the way for musicals to be made into films.8 out of 10
Classic fairy tale with dazzling fantasy , colorful images , impressive songs and enjoyable roles (by ma-cortes)
Marvelous tale in which Dorothy Gale Judy Garland , she had to wear a painful corset-style device around her torso so that she would appear younger and flat-chested is swept away to a magical location in a tornado and being transported on the land of Oz she embarks on a quest to see the Wizard Frank Morgan , he plays various characters who can help her return home . The film opens in sepia-tone academy ratio for the Kansas scenes, before widening out and blooming into full color in Oz . There appears Dorothy and her dog when she is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. <more>
She's helped by the Good Witch of the North Billie Burke , but she's also in trouble with the Wicked Witch of the West Margaret Hamilton, many of her scenes were either trimmed or deleted entirely, her performance was thought too frightening for audiences . Reluctantly drawn into the problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Dorothy must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. On her way she meets the Munchkins they are portrayed by the Singer Midgets, named not for their musical abilities ,the troupe came from Europe to immigrate and escape the Nazis , a Scarecrow Ray Bolger , face makeup wore consisted, in part, of a rubber prosthetic with a woven pattern to suggest cloth who needs a brain, a Tin Man Jack Haley who wrote additional dialogue who wants a heart, and a Cowardly Lion Bet Lahr , he wrote additional dialogue , too who desperately needs courage . Putting their arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry they transform themselves not only into the great and powerful helpers of Oz but into the better friends as well . This is an agreeable film for children of all ages based on the all-time classic by Frank Baum . This engrossing picture contains powerful ,haunting images and immortal songs ,in fact the song "Over the Rainbow" was ranked #1 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list . Beautiful scenery , colorful cinematography by Harold Rosson , spirited adventure and a stirring climax lift this story . It is a genuine as well as imaginative tale written and directed with great sensibility , fairness and imagination. It's plenty of scenes that stay in the mind as when Dorothy/Judy Garland appears at the 'other side' that results to be the fantastic as well as glowing world of OZ . There's something for everyone here ; fans of fantasy , fans of magic and necromancy , fans of incredible adventures , should all find something to enjoy about this film . A perfect cast and enjoyable secondaries in the perfect fantasy . As a likable acting by Judy Garland as an adorable girl who is swept away to an enchanted land . Sympathetic support cast such as Ray Bolger , Billy Burke , Charles Grapewin , Jack Haley , Frank Morgan and Margaret Hamilton as witch ; among others . Spectacular and glamorous sets , production designer Cedric Gibbons studied the films of Walt Disney classic films to achieve the appropriate Art Deco design for the Emerald City of Oz . The film was completely shot in studio , the only location footage in the entire film are the clouds over the opening titles . The director opted to use practical sets in conjunction with matte painting . The motion picture was stunningly directed by Victor Fleming , though supported by other notorious as well as uncredited filmmakers such as George Cukor , Norman Taurog , King Vidor and Mervyn LeRoy , also producer . However , Richard Thorpe, the original director of the film, had shot around two weeks of footage before he was fired . A recent study claimed that this is the most watched movie in film history, largely due to the number of television screenings each year as well as video which has enabled children of every generation to see it. This story about OZ has been adapted several times such as : An old and mute version 1925 , this classic and the best rendition , the MGM release ¨The wizard of Oz¨ 1939 by Victor Fleming with Judy Garland , remade in 1978 as ¨The Wiz¨ by Sidney Lumet with Diana Ross , Richard Pryor and Michael Jackson and ¨Return to Oz¨ 1985 by Walter Murch with Fauriza Falk ,Nicol Williamson, Matt Clark and Piper Laurie . And recent prequel 2013 by Sam Raimi titled ¨Oz the Great and Powerful¨ with James Franco as Oz , Mila Kunis as Theodora , Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Michelle Williams as Annie .