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 to Kansas and help her friends as well.
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
Ray Bolger's original recording of "If I Only Had a Brain" had been far more sedate compared to the version heard in the film; during this time, George Cukor and Mervyn LeRoy decided that a more energetic rendition would better suit Dorothy's initial meeting with the Scarecrow (initially, it was to contrast with his lively manner in Richard Thorpe's footage), and was re-recorded as such. At first thought to be lost for over seven decades, a recording of this original version was rediscovered in 2009. See more »
When the Wicked Witch of the West disappears from Munchkinland in a cloud of smoke and fire, the smoke appears before she reaches her mark. See more »
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 »
Toto is listed in the end credits as being played by Toto, when he was actually played by a dog named Terry. See more »
All prints shown/made from 1949 to 1988 have the Kansas scenes in black and white, not the original sepia tones. The 1989 50th anniversary video cassette restores the sepia color of the Kansas scenes. All theatrical re-releases, TV airings, and video releases since then have the scenes in the sepia tones. See more »
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 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.
96 of 109 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this