The Wizard of Oz

directed by Victor Fleming
Category: "Fantasy"
Year of Release:1939
Date Added:04/22/2005
Date Watched:03/25/2002
Description: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.

Judy Garland .... Dorothy Gale
Frank Morgan .... Prof. Marvel/Emerald City doorman/The cabbie/The Wizard's guard/The Wizard of Oz
Ray Bolger .... Hunk/The Scarecrow
Bert Lahr .... Zeke/The Cowardly Lion
Jack Haley .... Hickory/The Tin Man
Billie Burke .... Glinda, the Good Witch of the North
Margaret Hamilton .... Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West/The Wicked Witch of the East
Charley Grapewin .... Uncle Henry
Pat Walshe .... Nikko (the Wicked Witch's head winged monkey)
Clara Blandick .... Auntie Em
Terry .... Toto (as Toto)
My Rating:8

Reviews for The Wizard of Oz

Review - Wizard of Oz, The

Dorothy and her dog Toto are swept up in a Kansas tornado and dropped into the magical land of Oz, right on top of the Wicked Witch of the East. This draws the ire of the Wicked Witch of the West who vows revenge. The good witch Glinda shows up and tells Dorothy to wear the witches red shoes and never take them off. She also tells her to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and talk to the Wizard of Oz about getting home.

Dorothy takes off and meets the Scarecrow (who lacks a brain), the Tin Man (who lacks a heart) and the Cowardly Lion (who lacks courage). When they get to Oz, the Wizard tells them to bring him the broomstick of the Wicked Witch. Dorothy and Toto are captured by the witch’s flying monkeys and brought to the castle. Toto escapes and leads the others there. The witch corners them and sets the Scarecrow on fire. Dorothy grabs a pail of water and puts out the fire, splashing the witch, who melts.

The friends bring the broomstick to the Wizard, but Toto pulls back a curtain and exposes him as a fraud. But he tells the friends they already have the things they want. He intends to take Dorothy back to Kansas in his balloon, but takes off too early. Glinda arrives and tells Dorothy she can get home by clicking the heels of the red shoes together. She wakes up in Kansas surrounded by farmhands who look just like her friends from Oz.

• According to lead Munchkin Jerry Maren, the "little people" on the set were paid $50 per week for a 6-day work week, while Toto received $125 per week.
• The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.
• When Toto reveals the Wizard by pulling the curtain aside, he doesn't use his mouth; the curtain is tied to the dog. Dorothy can even be seen later removing the rope.
• When the Scarecrow receives his diploma from the Wizard, he recites the Pythagorean Theorem incorrectly.

Review - Wizard of Oz, The (movie)

I would probably like this movie better but for two things:
1. I didn’t see it for the first time until I was 24
2. I can’t stand Judy Garland.

But the color, the story, the characters and the music are all great fun — with the major exception of Munchkinland, which almost makes me puke. I thought the Lullaby League and the Lollipop Guild may have been the most annoying things I’ve ever seen on screen.

Here are some fun things to watch for (there are a lot more listed under "goofs" on the IMDB site).
• The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.
• When Toto reveals the Wizard by pulling the curtain aside, he doesn't use his mouth; the curtain is tied to the dog. Dorothy can even be seen later removing the rope.
• When the Scarecrow receives his diploma from the Wizard, he recites the Pythagorean Theorem incorrectly.

Comment added by Roger:

If you have a whole lot of time to kill, here's something I discovered on IMDB:

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, 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

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