5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Film for the Child in Everyone
When we are children, we have wild imaginations. Our minds are powerful things, taking us to far off places where anything is possible. On screen, the film that has that power is The Wizard of OZ. How could anyone resist Judy Garland singing about a place that is far off, or Margaret Hamilton as possibly the most wicked and notorious villain ever, THE WICKED WITCH. I...
Published on June 21 2004 by J. Fees
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Botched DVD Presentation Of A Five Star Classic
The ranting I've given is for the DVD, not the film which is five stars and one of the greatest of all time. If you've owned the previous DVD release of this film, and also have the magnificent "Ultimate Oz" laser disc set, I can guarantee you, you will be in for a disappointment with this new DVD release from Warners. The incredible deep color of the...
Published on June 16 2000 by Eric Paddon
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Film for the Child in Everyone,
When we are children, we have wild imaginations. Our minds are powerful things, taking us to far off places where anything is possible. On screen, the film that has that power is The Wizard of OZ. How could anyone resist Judy Garland singing about a place that is far off, or Margaret Hamilton as possibly the most wicked and notorious villain ever, THE WICKED WITCH. I vividly remember watching this film with my family when I was kid, and as soon as the Wicked Witch appeared in flames in Munchkinland, my brother ran and hid behind a chair. This is one of those films that make us do those kinds of things when we are little and looking back, this film has created for me, a world of wonderful memories. This DVD should be on absolutley everyone's shelf. We get to see Kansas, The Yellow Brick Road, and the Emerald City in all of it's colorful glory. While not being a big hit back in 1939, it certainly has earned it's place as one of the best films ever made. There are also many features that will leave both the OZ enthusiast and the just plain curious pleased. Get taken away all over again to the wonderful land of OZ and buy this DVD, you won't regret it. I can't say enough about this film A+
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Features and features and features, oh my!,
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This review is from: Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition (DVD)
This is a movie I actually saw in a repertory theatre as a child. It's the kind of movie that makes a deep impression on you, for the simple contents and sheer magnificence of it: a truly timeless American fairytale that will never grow old. The story is so well told, I only realized years later how many lessons it subtly taught me. :D I'm thinking that my mom probably saw it as a child and I want my granddaughter to see it too: thank goodness it was remastered/restored! The movie is twice as special as you remember it and the commentary is a sweetly weaved tapestry of comments between a movie historian and little jewels of vintage interviews with the original actors, etc. The second DVD has features and features and features, oh my! :D Literally 3 pages of features from documentaries, to delightful deleted scenes, to little biographies of all the main characters, an endless jukebox of song takes, including showing how they recorded the Munchkin songs for the music buff, plus a priceless "Lux toilet soap" ("toilet soap"? XD even including commercials! XD) radio program, playing a condensed 1 hour re-enactment of the movie, years later: historical stuff, you know? BTW, for the trivia buff, Judy Garland was part of the Lux broadcast, but different actors played the other characters. In any case, personally, I feel this is the definitive version of this movie to buy: you won't be disappointed! Sincerely, Sylvie, Qc Canada
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best American Film Ever Made,
This film showcases the american studio system of the past at it's best. They had the greatest craftsman, musicians, actors, singers, designers, costumers etc etc etc all working together to create magic and in this case it was a complete success.
All the elements work to make this a joyous spectacle that never fails to touch your heart.
It still succeeds because it is not too sweet - who can forget Margaret Hamilton's scary Witch, the terrifying flying Monkeys or even the scary Wizard. (well scary until he is unmasked)
Another reason this film holds up so well are that the supporting cast (Jack Haley, Ray Bolger & Bert Lahr) were just incredibly talented comedians. They really shine even the 100th time through.
Need I say anything about Judy Garland in this film? Her performance is spot on terrific. She is the one who makes this whole fantasy believable without being sickeningly sweet. If there is any doubt she was a great actress just rewatch the scene of her crying in the witch's castle. Heartbreaking. (and her singing voice was just incredible but you know that)
This is my favorite film - the one film I would take with me to a dessert island.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ADULT PERSPECTIVE ON A CHILD'S TREASURE,
This review is from: The Wizard of Oz (VHS Tape)
This film obviously continues to be one that deeply appeals to many children and there are many reviews here that look at it from that perspective. But I would like to offer a different sort of review, one that explores how and why this film can still be meaningful for an adult over 50, such as I.
I do not know how many times I have seen this film, if I was ever counting I lost count long ago. How can I have watched it so many times? First of all, let me make it clear that I am not a sentimental sort of person, I do not still find this film meaningful because I like to be 'taken back to childhood' and indulge in that sort of excessive and narcissistic emotion. I have, like many adults, seen films again that had captivated me as child only to wonder how they could have had such power over my feelings. And there are some such elements in THE WIZARD OF OZ, but these easily discerned and set aside elements have no negative impact on my ability to still be moved by this film. So what is it that I am getting at ? Well, in part it is that I admire L. Frank Baum as an artist and a man and I think the film succeeds even though it diverges considerably from the book in capturing some of the books qualities. I like the original concept and realization of the apparently plain, simple, lonely Kansas farm-girl who proves to actually have a strong, rich, sensitive, imaginative core of being that transforms her mundane world. But we can get closer to my point if we observe that the film itself, I mean the raw material of the screenplay-script, the production qualities, the basic vision of director and producer, etc., does not actually development the strong original concept very deeply, it merely uses it to set up, to construct, an occasion for a Hollywood Spectacle and it succeeds admirably at this, but try to imagine what the film might have been like if someone other than Judy Garland had played the part of Dorothy. I have no doubt that if that had been the case this film would hold little if any interest for me. So what does this have to do with my interest in the original story-concept ? It is Judy Garland who preserves the purity of that core concept in the film. It is not only Judy Garland's presence and performance that holds this film together, it is her spirit that preserves the core concept and lifts it above, in the subtlest ways, being something only a child could find meaning in. For example, let's look at the justly famous sequence early in the film that begins with Auntie Em' telling Dorothy to find something to do and stay out of trouble and that is immediately followed by the first appearance of Miss Gulch on her bicycle, the sequence which contains SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW. This is, in my view, the real crux of the film in the sense that this little sequence creates the heart that beats through the rest of the film. I mean this sequence creates the vital core of the central character, Dorothy, in the following way: Dorothy has two basic seemingly contradicting characteristics: Her naive, simple, farm-girl appearance and her extraordinary imaginative richness of soul. This sequence is the crystalizing of this character. Watch her face and body-language here closely. She is, in spite of the relative self-consciousness of the script itself, so un-self-conscious that she seems naive, so naive that one hardly notices the truly extraordinary quality of her singing. She hits her notes with such ease and purity that her singing voice seems merely an extension of her speaking voice. Without the viewer realizing it, especially the child viewer, her singing voice becomes the living symbol of her extraordinary soul embodied in her plain farm-girl appearance. Precisely because the viewer, especially the young viewer, may well not realize what a great singer Garland actually is, Dorothy with her plain-extraordinary character easily becomes the projected identity of the young viewer herself (or even himself) for though the viewer most likely can not physically sing like that, she can and does sing like that in her imagination. I don't think anyone other than Garland could have made this possible to such a degree. And Garland's performance also keeps this 'children's film' in touch with the original vision of Baum's book that was outwardly aimed at but was in fact not only for children. Within this film-treasure,if you search carefully, thanks to Judy Garland, is another treasure that only an adult can really see.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Music is Superb!,
Anyone growing up in the 60's can remember that this movie was an annual must see tv event! Even 40 years later it still is as fresh as when it was first released. They don't make em like this anymore and it is quite a shame. The innocent Dorathy, conked on the head during a tornado, is mysteriously tranported to a world that comes alive with color.
She awakens in the psychodelic land of the Munchkins and immediately becomes a target for the Wicked Witch of the West. Protected by the beautiful Glenda and charmed by the entertaining Munchkins, Dorathy sets off for the city of OZ where she hopes to find the wizard that will be able to send her home back to Kansas. Along the way she meets three friends who become some of the most memorable characters in movie history.
Interesting documentary footage added to the end showing Buddy Ebsen as the Tin Man and scenes that never made the movie.
This is a movie for both adults and kids of all ages. My own kids started watching it from the time they were 3!
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great gems of Hollywood,
As captivating as ever, the Wizard of Oz never fails to entertain children of all ages. My youngest daughter, 2-1/2, was immediately smitten by it, and has watched it repeatedly since I recently purchased the DVD. The stunning colors, the wonderful music, the compelling story will grab you again and again. It remains one of the greatest movies ever made.
As an adult, you might be tempted to read Salman Rushdie's BFI book as it provides an engaging set of essays on the movie. I can't help but think of the moral tone this movie sets and by reducing evil to a cast of witches and flying monkeys, we all too easily overlook the dynamics in conquering evil. While the original book and this movie treated the theme in child-like terms, we as adults haven't seemed to grow past this identification with good and evil. The wizard makes for a fine balancing force, as his cynical view of events contrasts sharply to the innocence of Dorothy and her new found friends. It is all so neatly resolved by Glenda the Good Witch.
I say this because in the opening credits the producers attach their moral view of the subject, noting that "Time has been powerless to put its kindly philosophy (of good conquers evil) out of fashion." Of course, one has to remember that this movie was made in 1939, and although ostensibly a children's movie it deals with some very real themes such as death, in terms of ridding us of evil. It should also be noted that Europe was on the brink of war with Hitler forming his notorious axis of evil.
There are some especially scary scenes for little ones, beginning with the tornado that whisks Dorothy away to somewhere over the rainbow. The killing of the Wicked Witch of the East is treated mostly in comic tones but not without its serious undertones, which became the focus of the movie as Dorothy has to run a gauntlet put up by the Wicked Witch of the West to get back to Kansas. All this makes for riveting entertainment, which is why this film has grown into a classic, whereas the 1925 version is nothing more than a curiosity item today. The Wizard of Oz is a cinematic masterpiece with the initial sepiatones giving way to stunning technicolor. The film has inspired numerous interpretations over the years, including very dark ones such as David Lynch's Wild at Heart.
However, this version of the Wizard of Oz remains the definitive intepretation of Frank Baum's story. The DVD includes some added commentary by Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and others, providing some amusing notes on the making of the film. There are also some vintage movie and cartoon clips as well as the original trailers.
4.0 out of 5 stars A FEAST OF BRIGHT COLORS AND UNFORGETTABLE MUSIC.,
"The Wizard Of Oz" is one of the most beloved classics in film history, many generations of movie fans have seen this 1939 version of "The Wizard Of Oz" and many more generations will see this movie as the definitive version of the L. Frank Baum story.
"The Wizard Of Oz" is one of the most influential movies in both fantasy and musical genres, thanks to its innovations and artistic quality. Even though this is a very sweet film, there a lot of psychedelic and pretentious scenes, so the movie is an artistic gem. The songs and characters are memorable, so any other version of "The Wizard Of Oz" pales in comparison to the 1939 movie.
The video quality of the DVD is just STUNNING, the movie looks fantastic, it seems like was made in the year 2003, not in 1939, the colors are bright and beautiful. There are a lot of movies made in the 1960's, 1970's, 1980's and 1990's decades, whose DVD edition doesn't look even half as good as "The Wizard Of Oz" DVD.
One of those movies that shouldn't be missed in any DVD collection. This is really an essential DVD.
5.0 out of 5 stars They Didn't Film Movies In Widescreen Back Then!,
The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful movie. I'm 38 years old and I grew up watching this movie when CBS used to air it every year on or around Easter. I was probably about 3 years old the first time I watched it. Anyway I now have the movie on DVD and it's just as good now as when I was a child. Judy Garland was fantastic as Dorothy Gale and so was Ray Bolger and the rest of the cast. The DVD is great, it has been restored and cleaned up and the the colors are really nice and the sound is great and the extra features are terrific, it includes a lot of old behind the scenes footage, some deleted scenes etc, and I'm amazed with how many things they actually had considering that most unused footage was thrown out back then as there was not a big demand for extras like deleted scenes etc so whoever kept all of that stuff was really smart! Some people have complained that the DVD doesn't have the movie in widescreen but there is a perfectly good reason for that and that is that this movie was made in 1939 and movies didn't start to be filmed in widescreen until the mid 1950's and fullscreen was what these old movies were filmed in so in this case fullscreen is the correct aspect ratio so you are not missing any of the picture! Meaning, it has not been edited to fit your TV screen, it has always been fullscreen.
5.0 out of 5 stars ~Timeless Classic! My Favorite Movie of All Time~,
This is and always will be I'm sure my favorite movie of all time! I have so many childhood memories with this film and everytime I watch it, it gives me a sense of my childhood once again! I have seen this movie I know more than 100 times and it still is not enough! More magical than ever with the DVD version, this DVD is a MUST-HAVE! Even if you do not purchase DVDS regularly this still should be in your collection.
To Wizard of Oz lovers everywhere this DVD gives you so much more than any VHS ever has! FANTASTIC DVD extras! The deleted scenes are great considering back when the film was made what was not used was usually thrown out.
The interviews, the Angela Lansbury special, theatrical trailers (very entertaining), and everything else on the DVD make it a true must have for any Oz fan!
The film is still as precious as ever and the DVD features are a must!
If you are an Oz fan and you do not own this, you should!
Journey through an unforgettable world with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin-Man, Cowardly Lion, and Toto too!
5.0 out of 5 stars OZ: A Place to Escape To and Escape From,
This review is from: The Wizard of Oz (VHS Tape)
THE WIZARD OF OZ has been a perennial favorite of children and adults with long memories for decades. The reasons for such a long-lived love affair with this movie are as varied as the number of Munchkins who guide Dorothy along the Yellow Brick Road. On a surface level one remembers the songs of a thoughful Judy Garland who wonders if there is a fantasy land where all good deeds are required to pass. There is the close knit relationship between Dorothy and the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow, all of which bring to mind the chumminess that would resonate generations later in the television series FRIENDS. The landscape of OZ and the Emerald City are both so vivid that they become in effect part of the supporting cast as the geography suggests a subtext that Dorothy's journey is a full circle that begins in the full black and white light of day that finds her in danger of a tornado and the evil of Miss Gulch. As Dorothy sings "Over the Rainbow," she clearly is on the cusp of womanhood as she tries to reconcile the lurking dangers of nature (The tornado) and brute spinsterhood (Miss Gulch) with the more adult desire to find a place of refuge. Oz provides that refuge. The comedy and laughs that one remembers decades later seem based mostly on the outrageous puns and quips of the Cowardly Lion, but in sober reflection the humor is the sort that one finds when one has to whistle in the dark to prevent fear from taking over. As Dorothy sings "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," she is reenacting the eternal saga of youth setting out on the journey to maturity. Children, more than adults, recognize that Oz is more than just a Peter Pan fantasy land. It is frequently dark, grim, and brooding. The evil of the Wicked Witch is only the most obvious symbol of anti-life. Even the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and ultimately Oz itself are first presented in threatening tones. Dorothy's companions must prove themselves as protectors before their predatory surface illusion can be discarded. The Wizard is a potent totemic symbol of good masquerading as evil. Which one it proves to be is a function of the faith that Dorothy brings on her journey. The reunion at the end echoes the confusion of the beginning. Dorothy has completed a momentous phase of her life, and through her, the child viewer can take that same journey with her, secure in the knowledge that even the dual journey of light and dark must lead back to its starting point with that journeyer feeling equally grown up.
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Wizard of Oz by J.K.Rowling (DVD)