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.
When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and en route they meet a Scarecrow that needs a brain, a Tin Man missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who wants courage. The wizard asks the group to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West to earn his help.Written by
9200 living actors in the notable star-studded cast! 68 incredibly magnificent sets! Augmented orchestra of 130 pieces! Chorus of 300 rousing voices! 100 minutes of unforgettable entertainment! (Newspaper ad, 1939). See more »
The Cowardly Lion's speech about courage contains the line "What makes the dawn come up like thunder?" This is a reference to a line in the poem "Mandalay" by Rudyard Kipling: "An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!" See more »
The Tin Man can be seen untying the rope holding the Wizard's balloon down so it will fly away. 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.
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As in some other M-G-M musicals of the '30's and '40's, the heading "Musical Program" appears at the top of the card listing all the music credits (arranger, composer, lyricist, conductor, choreographer, and so on). See more »
On 17 June 1955, M-G-M released nationwide a so-called "Wide Screen" 1.85:1 aspect version of the film. It should be noted that this version was not "true widescreen" and really only covered up the top and bottom of the screen with black bars, thus ruining the 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio in which the film was originally intended to be shown, and in which it was shown until the 1955 re-release. The widescreen ratio was again used for the 1998 theatrical re-release, although it was not specifically advertised as such. Fortunately, this "fake" widescreen version of the movie has not been seen on any television broadcast or home video release of the film. Broadcast, tape, and DVD versions are in the television standard 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which shaves off image on both sides from the 1.37:1 theatrical release. See more »
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.
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