American fantasy adventure from 1939 in both black and white and technicolor.
Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger
Director: Victor Fleming
Writers: L. Frank Baum, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf
Bechdel test: Pass
Dorothy tries to run away from home, but is caught up in a tornado and passes out. She awakes in the land of the munchkins, somewhere over the rainbow, and must try to find her way home, and avoid the wicked witch on her way.
This is a joyous movie that engages the viewers heart, courage and brains. I have seen “The wizard of Oz” many times before, and it was important to me as a young child. That might color my reaction to today’s viewing (if you, dear readers, will pardon the pun), but there isn’t very much I can do about that. I will try to stay objective.
Each time I watch the movie I seem to have forgotten just how many munchkins there are, and how many citizens of Emerald city and how many troops the wicked witch has. It is a populous movie, and it does seem to make the lands over the rainbow fun and enjoyable, all be it a little scary, to visit.
I love the story in this movie. It is a fairy tale in many ways, and it is well presented. The childlike problems and worries of Dorothy and how she superimposes the people in her life on the adventures with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, is perfectly filmed.
The music is unforgettable and several songs are in the public consciousness even now, 78 years later. Below you can get a reminder of one musical number from “The wizard of Oz”: “Somewhere over the rainbow”.
The most striking feature of the movie is the contrast between black and white and color. How it is the fantasy over the rainbow that is colored is in some ways puzzling, and yet perfect.
The set in the lands over the rainbow seem artificial and is clearly not filmed outdoors. I wonder if that is a consequence of filming in color or a choice of look for these lands.
A simply wonderful movie that I have enjoyed every time I see it. Well made in every respect.
I recommend this movie to anyone, of all ages. It is well worth watching for it’s adventure, but also for the imagery that is simple enough for children to understand as well. It might be worth mentioning to a child about to watch the movie for the first time that the viewers in 1939 might not have seen movies in color before, or at least not many. They might get an understanding of just how much of an impression that would have made.
Over to you
If you’ve recently seen “The wizard of Oz” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.
27 movies down. 338 to go.
If you want to get “The wizard of Oz” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?
Tomorrow’s movie is “The red shoes“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.
Until next time; live long and prosper.