Talk about a film that has truly stood the test of time. Since 1939, The Wizard of Oz has charmed and amazed every one of every age. The film was the first to introduce Technicolor, as we saw the Black and White look completely dissolve into a world of color. Everyone has skipped along an imaginary yellow brick road with their friends and everyone has imagined themselves as the characters from the film. Since its theatrical release, dozens of movies, books and plays have tried to adapt this story, but none have done as great a job as Victor Fleming did.
Dorothy (Judy Garland) was a simple little girl who lived in the peaceful state of Kanas with her dog Toto and her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry (Clara Blandick & Charley Grapewin). All was well, until a terrible tornado created a path of destruction that lead to Dorothy’s house. As Dorothy and Toto clung to life, their house was swept up into the tornado and they prepared for the worst. It wasn’t until the house landed that they realized that they weren’t in Kansas anymore. Upon opening the front door, Dorothy and Toto are immersed in a land full of color and beautiful landscapes. Oh, and the legs of some woman was crushed under the house.
On this woman’s feet were Ruby Red Slippers that would come in handy later, so says Glinda, The Good Witch (Billie Burke). Glinda also tells Dorothy that she needs to travel on the yellow brick road to make it to the Emerald City, if she wants to get home. Along her travels, she comes across a brainless Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) and a heartless Tin Man (Jack Haley). Together, they will face flying monkeys, creepy woods and The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton). The only question is, what lies behind the giant doors to the Emerald City?
For those of you who have seen this movie, you know how enjoyable it is and why it’s regarded as a classic. The sense of wonderment and imagination that spawns from every young person’s mind when watching this film is a thing of beauty. The seamless transition from Black and White to Color is an amazing feat that certainly pays off. The first time you see the film it really makes an impact on you. That scene is responsible for other likewise scenes, including the garden reveal in The Secret Garden. The Wizard of Oz is responsible for many advances in film and how movies are done.
I first saw this movie when I was six and all I remembered was the music and the skipping. When I was eight, I paid more attention to the odd little munchkins and the flying monkeys. At age ten, I started to understand what the film was trying to say about friendship and how we can all help each other. Since then, I’ve probably watched the film about a dozen more times and I’m always finding something new that I hadn’t noticed during the previous viewings. There is a lot more to The Wizard of Oz than what is on the surface and if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll come to discover new truths about the film that will have you appreciating it even more.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior citizen, an adult, a young adult, a teenager or a younger child; The Wizard of Oz is a film for everyone. The film’s ability to entertain and impress people of all ages is just another testament to its grandeur. The story is fun, the music is great and the lessons are still relevant. There’s very little, if anything, to dislike about this film. I, for one, have zero issues with this film and in that regard, I think that The Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest films ever made. It’s not even a decision that I’d need to think about. Try and find another film that’s as universally praised, influential and as respected as The Wizard of Oz. Not many other film’s come to mind and therein lies all the evidence that one should need.
With this newly remastered release on Blu-Ray, The Wizard of Oz will once again take audiences back to the land of Oz. This time around, we’ll get to see it even more beautiful than we could have imagined. Alongside this new release is the IMAX 3D release of the film in select theaters. People will complain about the rerelease into theaters or at the fact that the film has been converted to 3D, but to them I say “you’re missing out”. People of the younger generations have missed the opportunity to see classic films that were meant to be seen on the big screen. Now, we have that chance with a phenomenal movie! I think this is a great opportunity that should be taken advantage of before it’s gone because you too, will be able to say that you witnessed one of the best films of all time on the big screen.
I simply cannot praise The Wizard of Oz enough and I know that I’ll be one of the first in line to pick up a copy of it on Blu-Ray. To those who haven’t seen it, rethink your life choices and go get it or see it NOW! For those who have seen it, go see it again or buy it NOW! I don’t doubt that you’ll be happy you did. I’d love to continue talking about this wonderful film, but I’m afraid that I have to skip along a yellow brick road right now. I, like you all should be, am off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The Wizard of Oz Trailer