The Wizard of Oz (1939)
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Victor Fleming, Richard Thorpe
Noel Langley, L. Frank Baum, L. Frank Baum
Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick, Pat Walshe, Terry
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|Movie Review by BillyBob |
March 8th, 2008
The GOOD WITCH, The BAD WITCH, and The UGLY ONE
Favorite Movie Quote: "The last to go will watch the first 3 go before her. And her mangy dog, too!"
"Are you a good witch, or are you a bad witch?"
The Wizard of Oz (or, 'TWOO' for short) is probably one of the most famous Hollywood films of the 1930's and, maybe, even the 1940's. No matter what age a person might be they are all familiar with this one. Ask anyone to name one of the most popular films of that particular era in film history and, you can bet, 8 times out of 10, that they'll say 'TWOO'
As I understand it, when 'TWOO' was first released in 1939 it really wasn't a colossal hit. I mean, it did do well enough at the box-office. But it wasn't a mega-hit. It wasn't until the 1950's and the coming of TV where it was broadcast as an annual movie-event at Christmastime that it attracted a humongous audience and from there it became one of the most phenomenally popular films of all time.
'TWOO' was in reality meant only to be a show-piece. It was filmed at the MGM studios. At the time, MGM was, without question, the wealthiest. most impressive and most successful Hollywood studio in the USA. MGM's studio-corral could boast more 'STARS' than there were in the heavens. MGM was the premier movie studio, the ultimate envy of all their rivals. During MGM's glorious hey-days of total glamour, power and glory they loved to show their movie-making clout to world by releasing one film each year that wasn't meant for anything but to gloat over their success. MGM was rolling in so much dough that they didn't even care whether this show-piece made a profit, or not. And that's how 'TWOO' came into existence. It was 1939 and, once again, time for MGM to show their money-making movie-muscle to the world. Little did MGM realize that this year's show-piece would, literally, be the one that would be remembered for all time.
There's a book out there called 'The Making of TWOO'. For anyone who truly enjoys this film it's certainly worth checking out. MGM always gave its movie productions the supreme royal-treatment, and 'TWOO' was no exception. No cost was ever spared for any MGM film. They were definitely out to make a magnificent impression on the movie-going audience. From the high production standards, to the impressive musical numbers, to the grand and lush sets, and, of course, the spectacular special-effects, 'TWOO' had MGM's stamp of royal excellence imprinted right into every single scene and song.
I have since noticed how similar the story of 'TWOO' is to the tale of 'ALICE IN WONDERLAND'. Of course, Alice fell down the Rabbit Hole and Dorothy flew over the Rainbow to get to the 'other' world, but their adventures when they got to their destinations ran, at times, on parallel lines. Even the female nemesis of each girl (The Queen of Hearts for Alice and The Wicked Witch for Dorothy) had to be dealt with in a likewise fashion. Naturally, I do see that there were some vast differences in the stories, too. The most obvious being that Alice remained pretty much a lone traveller, while Dorothy gathered around her, along the Yellow Brick Road, 3 loyal friends.
"I can't wait forever to get those shoes!"
When it came to those famous Ruby Slippers they were the real reason behind all of Dorothy's troubles with the Wicked Witch. I would've liked to have found out what kind of powers they actually held. Why Glynda placed them onto Dorothy's feet I'll never understand. Of course, these fashionable pumps looked super-duper on Dorothy's young feet. But had the Wicked Witch actually gotten a hold of them I just couldn't imagine that green-faced hag clomping around in them all decked-out in that frickin' Halloween outfit of her's.
"Tap your heels together 3 times and repeat after me, 'There is no place like home. There is no place like home.' "
Personally, it's beyond me why Dorothy was so adamant about returning to the dry, drab, and dismal living conditions of Kansas. Oz was such a magnificent place to hang. Everything was so alive and colorful by contrast. Surely, with the help of Glynda and, now, the Scarecrow(with his diploma) they could've figured out the power of those Ruby Slippers and then sent for Auntie Em and the rest of Dorothy's loved ones to come be with her in this wonderful, marvelous place.
Hey....."Just follow the Yellow Brick Road!"
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Apr 26, 2008 4:57 AM
|Y'know, for some reason I am really surprised that you really liked this. I don't know why, I'm English, I have a small mind. I watched it for the first time in about twenty years the other day and was quite charmed by it. I thought it deserved a review but anything I write will just look like pants compared to your effort. I am very blind, the comparisions with Alice In Wonderland are so obvious now that you have pointed them out... I'm just gonna go back and watch it again.|
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