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The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 3 more credits »

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #232 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Pat Walshe ...
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Toto (as Toto)
The Singer Midgets ...
The Munchkins (as The Munchkins)
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Storyline

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. Written by Dale Roloff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Musical Spectacle! (1949 reissue). See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mago de Oz  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,354,311 (USA) (6 November 1998)

Gross:

$22,202,612 (USA) (11 October 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System: The Voice of Action)| (2005 re-issue)

Color:

(Kansas sequences) (1949 re-release)| (Kansas sequences) (1955 re-release)| (Sepiatone)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie garnered two more achievements when it was reissued in 1949 (first in a limited release in April, then expanded to a wide release in June). The picture made more money on this release than on its original one, and reassessments by film critics were near-universally adoring. Enthused TIME magazine in its May 9, 1949 edition: "The whimsical gaiety, the lighthearted song and dance, the lavish Hollywood sets and costumes are as fresh and beguiling today as they were ten years ago when the picture was first released. Oldsters over ten who have seen it once will want to see it again. Youngsters not old enough to be frightened out of their wits by the Wicked Witch (Margaret Hamilton) will have the thrill of some first-rate make-believe ('We're off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz...')." See more »

Goofs

When Dorothy and Scarecrow first meet the Tin Man, Dorothy has 2 red apples in her hands. She drops the one in the left hand and switches the apple that is in her right hand over to her left so she just has one apple. While helping Tin Man move his arm, she then drops the other apple. The apple then reappears soon after in a subsequent shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dorothy: She isn't coming yet, Toto. Did she hurt you? She tried to, didn't she? Come on. We'll go tell Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits say "Photographed in Technicolor", not "Color Sequences by Technicolor", thus making it seem as if the entire film were made in color. It is not known if this was deliberately done to enhance the surprise when the picture turns into full three-strip Technicolor, but it is quite possible. Posters at the time also advertised the film as being in Technicolor, but made no mention of sepia tint or black-and-white. The advertisement for the film's first telecast, however, did say "in color and black-and-white" (the Kansas sequences were shown on TV in black-and-white, not sepia, until the 1990 telecast, when they were restored). See more »


Soundtracks

The Merry Old Land of Oz
(1939) (uncredited)
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Music by Harold Arlen
Sung by Frank Morgan, Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Emerald City workers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Timeless classic still entertaining the masses as each generation comes in.
26 December 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dorothy is a young girl living on a Kansas farm, during a tornado, she, along with her dog Toto, is swept up and plonked down in a magical and mysterious land known as Oz. Desperate to get back home and under threat from a wicked witch, she is advised to seek out a great wizard who should be able to help her get back home. As she sets off and on her way she meets and befriends a wonderful array of characters whom also have something to ask of the fabled wizard, it's a journey that will prove to be both magical and fraught with danger.

The Wizard Of Oz is a film that has been pored over and dissected from almost everyone involved in the wonderful world of film. One thing that strikes me every time I view it is that their not only is no place like home, there is also no film like The Wizard Of Oz, and really, when all is said and done, there is unlikely to be another film of its ilk to ever grace the silver screen. Upon multiple viewings only the most biased of film fan could say that it is a technically perfect picture, it clearly isn't. At times it's a wee bit creaky and when scrutinised, some of the performances in the piece are far from an excellent standard, but crucially any misgivings are quickly erased due to the wonder of it all because the film has an ability to transport everybody who is watching into OZ alongside Dorothy.

The Wizard Of Oz appeals {and caters} to every demographic and pretty much any age group; adventure, meeting new friends, fears and trepidations, booming colour, songs to singalong with, and of course it's total point of homely values: The Wizard Of Oz stands up well 70 years later because it taps into all the emotions available to the human being, be it a young child spellbound on a first viewing, or an octogenarian couple of grandparents wistfully humming along to the tunes, it's a film that shouldn't be dissected looking for faults and hidden meanings, it's a film that should be loved and praised for the ode to fantastical whimsy that it so obviously is.

The film of course will forever be associated with its darling star, Judy Garland. Viewing now, and knowing what a sad life she would eventually lead, The Wizard Of Oz is a fitting picture on which to remember what a magical and wonderful performer she was, myself as a 14 stone lump of waning machismo, I have no shame in saying that as Judy sings Somewhere Over The Rainbow I melt and feel as tho I'm being sent spinning into another world, that's the power of the piece, as a sepia Kansas becomes the glorious colour of Oz, nothing else in my world matters, I'm in hook line and sinker.

There are many interesting back stories to the picture, with books galore available to anyone interested. Some notes that might interest you being: original castings to be W.C. Fields, Shirley Temple and Deanna Durbin, munchkins running riot, drunken cast members, sadness and suicides, and grizzled old pros fighting hard not to let Garland steal the picture. Well it makes for a great read, for sure, but what remains to this day is one of the most beloved pictures to have ever been made, for once in the pantheon of great cinema we have a film that is termed a classic, that actually deserves to have that tag. One of the great things about the advent of technology is that it can benefit old classic movies to make them better, for now we can view remastered editions of The Wizard Of Oz and appreciate even more what a great job the makers did. Keep your eyes on Dorothy's Ruby Slippers during the film and see how they are the sparkling important character that they should be, or take in the brilliant work of the make up crew, the tiniest of rivets on The Tin Man a testament to the brilliant work that goes into bringing magic to our lives. Get the newest copy you can and then see it on the biggest screen available to you because The Wizard Of Oz is a 10/10 movie: and then some.


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