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The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 3 more credits »

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
747 ( 15)
Top Rated Movies #215 | 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 ...
Clara Blandick ...
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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:

The Greatest Picture in the History of Entertainment 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:

$2,777,000 (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

There are a striking number of coincidences between events in the movie and musical cues (and lyrics) on the 1973 Pink Floyd album, "Dark Side of the Moon." It is highly improbable that the band had a print of the movie with them at Abbey Road, and few attempt to claim it to have been deliberate (David Gilmour dismisses it as nonsense), but the coincidences are remarkable nonetheless. If you begin the album on the third roar of the MGM lion (using the NTSC version of the movie, not the 25 fps PAL version, which runs a little over 4% faster) the coincidences include (but are not limited to):
  • The line "balanced on the biggest wave" comes as Dorothy balances on the fence.


  • The song "On the Run" starts as Dorothy falls off the fence.


  • "The Great Gig in the Sky" begins when the tornado first appears.


  • The song "Us and Them" is played when Dorothy meets the Wicked Witch of the West.


  • The line "black and blue" is repeated when they are talking to one another (Dorothy in her blue outfit, the Wicked Witch in black).


  • The line "the lunatic is on the grass..." coincides with Dorothy meeting the Scarecrow.


  • When we first see Miss Gulch on her bicycle, the song "Time" starts with its bells and alarms.


  • Dorothy asks Professor Marvel what else he sees in his crystal ball as the line "thought I'd something more to say" comes along in the song "Time."


  • As the Scarecrow sings "If I Only Had a Brain," Pink Floyd sing "Brain Damage."


  • Side 1 of the original vinyl album (up to the end of "The Great Gig in the Sky") is exactly as long as the black and white portion of the film.


  • As Dorothy listens to the Tin Man's chest, the album ends with the famous heartbeat sound effect.


This phenomenon is known as "Dark Side of the Rainbow," "Dark Side of Oz," and "The Wizard of Floyd." See more »

Goofs

The Mayor and his agents' voices get mismatched in at least two places. During the congratulatory music, one Munchkin interrupts the festivities and demands legal verification of the Witch's death. When they exchange words, saying "From now on you'll be history! You'll be hist - you'll be hist - you'll be history!", that "lawyer" Munchkin has a completely different voice, as though from a different actor. Furthermore, when the Mayor says that last "history!", we hear not his voice, but that of the "lawyer" Munchkin. 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 Oz characters that Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Margaret Hamilton play are not actually listed in the cast list at the end; only their Kansas counterparts are. However, Billie Burke (who plays only Glinda the Good Witch) and Pat Walshe, who plays only Nikko, the Head Monkey, *are* listed in the closing credits as having played those characters. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cockettes (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Only Had a Brain
(1939) (uncredited)
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Music by Harold Arlen
Sung by Ray Bolger and Judy Garland
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a milestone
12 November 2004 | by (Taichung, Taiwan) – See all my reviews

People talk about The Wizard of Oz as a backdrop to their lives; and how true that is. I just saw it again, DVD, for the first time in--gosh!--20 years. There was a little art house in Lansing Michigan USA that ran it back then, on the popular premise that there's nothing like TWoO on "the big screen." That's the last time I'd seen it, 'til today.

I guess the part that "gets" me about the movie is how the writers made it pretty plain that the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion really already had what they thought they were missing; that their respective problems were in misapprehending their own complete natures. That's a powerful statement for many of us. I found myself most touched in scenes where the Scarecrow was showing wisdom, the Tin Man feeling deeply ("...when I think of Dorothy in that awful place..."), and the Lion...well, maybe accomplishing this effect was harder in his case...what *is* true courage?

Anyway, if you're reading this here, you must be a movie weenie, and you've no doubt already seen the movie, so I'm not going to recite the usual "go see this movie" mantra.

I was just very touching to see this movie again, at this phase in my life.

I will mention a few more things about how I now see this movie as a "growed up" (I'm almost 50): It's interesting how you can see the production values of the time; the lot sets and special effects and so forth. This movie is a powerful example of how a good story overcomes limited means in other areas.

People who look back with disdain on the low-tech chintz of old movies can see in TWoO the magic ingredient; narrative solidity. And I'm not a pollyanna about this: I'm sure the underlying reality behind its making is rife with horror stories of expert disagreement, rewrites, discarding, jerryrigging, and the rest of it. But in the end, something like narrative love won out; and that's the important thing.

Oh: And having Harold Arlen write the music was good luck indeed. And orchestrations which cleverly appropriated very tasty new ideas in composition (polymodalism, non-standard phrasings, etc.) didn't hurt, either!

Geez, this movie is such a little universe....I'd better stop here.


140 of 180 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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