The Wizard of Oz
Victor Fleming (1939)

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Dvds | Videos | UK 1 Dvd | UK 2 Dvd Set

1939, 191 minutes, Colour and B&W, US

  • Dir: Victor Fleming (and King Vidor)
  • Prod: Mervyn Le Roy
  • Scr: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Wolfe (from the book by Frank L. Baum)
  • Ph: Harold Rosson, Allen Davey
  • Ed: Blanche Sewell
  • Mus: Herbert Stothart (adapt.)
  • Art Dir: Cedric Gibbons, William A. Horning

CAST:

(M-G-M)

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    Whether this is art is open to doubt; that it is a screen classic is unarguable. And what it seems to indicate is that classics, like art, can often be created not only by accident but against the odds. For consider: originally MGM wanted Shirley Temple to play Dorothy but 20th Century Fox wouldn't release her; Buddy Ebsen was cast as the Scarecrow, then swapped roles with the Tin Man (Ray Bolger), discovered he was allergic to the-metallic paint and was replaced by Jack Haley; Edna May Oliver, first choice for the Wicked Witch, gave way to Margaret Hamilton; two directors were involved - King Vidor for the sepia sceneess at the beginning and end, Victor Fleming for the rest; and when the film was found to be too long, MGM had to be restrained from loppmg out its most . famous and most beloved song, Over the Rainbow.

    Yet despite all this and some reviews that verged on the grudging, this fantastical story of a young girl and her dog, transplanted by a storm to the land of Oz and trying to get back to Kansas, remains the yardstick against which all other cinematic fairy tales must be measured. For sheer enchantment and magic none has surpassed it and, I submit, only E.T. has come close to matching it.

    A cartoon sequel, Journey Back to Oz, with Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli providing the voice of Dorothy, was made in 1971; in 1978 Diana Ross starred in an all-black grown-up version called The Wiz, and there had been a silent film of The Wizard of Oz in 1925. The latter, lacking sound, was hardly in the same class and the other two can best be regarded as tributes, rather than rivals, to the 1939 picture.




OSCARS:

  • 1939: Best song (Over the Rainbow mus by Harold Arlen, lyr by E.Y. Harburg); best score (Stothart)


OSCAR NOMINATIONS:

    1939: Best film; best art direction; best special effects (A. Arnold Gillespie, Douglas Shearer). In addition, Garland was awarded a statuette for 'her outstanding performance as a screen juvenile during the past year'. (Winner best film 1939: Gone with the Wind.)


5 STARS OUT OF 5

UK Dvd | UK 2 Dvd Set







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victor fleming dvds




victor fleming videos





the wizard of oz

dvds | videos

al pacino | michelle pfeiffer

yul brynner | christopher plummer | romy schneider

the godfather | the godfather part ii
marlon brando | james caan | diane keaton | al pacino
laurence olivier | clark gable | vivien leigh | leslie howard | alfred hitchcock | robert montgomery | grace kelly
olivia de havilland | humphrey bogart | howard hawks | frank capra | charlie chaplin | lauren bacall | fritz lang
jean harlow | greta garbo | ava gardner | audrey hepburn | edward g. robinson | john garfield
erich von stroheim | wim wenders | madeleine carroll | marlene dietrich | rita hayworth







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Changes last made: 2010