9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2014
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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2004
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+
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2004
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
on December 26, 1999
Why has no-one yet reminder all OZ fans about using the soundtrack to Pink Floyds Dark Side Of the Moon Album to This Movie? If you now think I'm nuts try this first:
1. Start Movie with sound turned down!
2. When you see the lion roar for the THIRD time start the audio CD
3. Check for timing when
a) The Producers by (Music is "almost" in sinc)
b) Dorothy Falls into the pig pen (Music)
c) Grandma with Cookies "talking"
d) Witch/Music Timing is great.... etc.....
Try it first then review this, and remember... when Pink Floyd first designed this album and tour they had tried and expected to use OZ as the theme. They eventually gave up after lots of unsucessfull attempts and many experts believe that at least the first 1+ hour of this music or more are in perfect sinc with this movie. ... Try it please and tell me what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org, remember to review this upon your return! :)
Finally - Yes I too was disspaointed to see that the expert commentry was ommitted from the DVD version... why the hell can't these movie/video marketing people do thier research and get it right?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2000
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 film's look in the "Ultimate Oz" set is shockingly gone from this transfer. Now instead of looking magical, Oz looks just....well, normal. John Fricke's wonderful audio commentary has been eliminated too (probably because it is technically licensed by MGM/UA video, which no longer owns the rights to the film), and while the rest of the supplements are duplicated there is one incredible goof that I can't believe no one else has caught on to before. For the "Jitterbug" deleted scene supplement Warners has erroneously used the stills/home movie segment and set them not to the finished song track (as laser disc supplement does) but instead to the choreography rehearsal track where we hear the flat monotone of Donna Massin standing in for Judy Garland with the rest of the cast to a piano track instead of the orchestrated version. It makes for a very unpleasant looking juxtaposition and left me feeling that I hadn't gained a thing with the DVD release. I plan on sticking to the laser disc set myself. And for a better picture that shows the magic of Oz as it *should* be seen snatch a copy of the out of print MGM DVD while you still can!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2011
The Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic. The movie itself is a wonderful fantasy, although one wonders how much better it might have been if some scenes had not been deleted in 1939 (such as the Wicked Witch despatching the bees just before the winged monkeys on Dorothy and co on their way to her castle).
However, what is so special about the "Limited Edition Steel Book"? The case is steel. That's it. If you have the 60th anniversary edition, then don't bother with this steel book.
on March 7, 2015
This review is for the 2005 Warner Home Video 3-disc Collector's Edition (DVD) of The Wizard of Oz. I specify this in case this review ends up under an image of a different edition -- which often happens on Amazon. There are so many DVD editions out there, it is bewildering for a purchaser, especially when the reviews for quite different editions are lumped together and many reviewers don't indicate which edition they are talking about.
This edition comes in a handsome box, inside of which is a fold-out container for the 3 DVDS, each on its own holding tab. The DVDs do not touch each other. Also inside the main box are two portfolios containing colour stills from the film, advertising materials, etc.
The DVDs all played well, both on my DVD player and on my computer. The image and sound on the movie and the various special features are all very good -- except of course for the silent film special features which, being very old, show the usual defects of their age.
A full listing of all the features can be found in many places, such as DVDBeaver, and other reviews on Amazon, so I won't repeat all the details, but will give only a general outline:
Disc 1: New Digital Transfer of The Wizard of Oz
Commentary by John Fricke with help from cast and crew members
Restoration information and other minor features
Disc 2: Documentary on the making of the film
Several documentaries on various aspects of the film and its influence
Stills -- more than you'd ever want (takes about an hour to go through them!)
Outtakes and deleted scenes
Trailers for the many issues of the film
Audio materials -- songs from the film and much more
Disc 3: Half-hour documentary on L. Frank Baum's life and work
4 Silent films featuring Oz characters, including the 1925 Wizard of Oz
1 Wizard of Oz cartoon from 1933
I can't think of anything to fault in this edition, other than excessive number of stills which take a long time to run through and often are near-duplicates of each other and of scenes from the film.
It's great to get the 1925 silent film tossed in for free here, since it would cost a fair bit to buy by itself. The other silent films are interesting too, though mainly as historical curiosities, since the scripts in them are not very good, though some of the costumes aren't bad and probably influenced the classic 1939 version. At least two of the silents are written by Baum and he directed one himself. None of the silents follows the plot of either the 1900 book or the 1939 musical strictly, and indeed a couple of them don't even pretend to do so, but only purport to be Oz-based stories.
The outtakes and deleted scenes are very interesting, and there is some commentary with them so you know what you are viewing. (I don't think they ever name the woman who does the narration on these and most of the other special features -- she really should have been given credit.)
The large stills in the paper portfolios are attractive. Some of the advertising material in the portfolios is interesting, such as the original program from the opening night. There is some overkill in this portfolio material, but you can't complain that you were stinted!
This is definitely a 5-star collection. Even if some other edition has more discs and more special features, it wouldn't be substantially better than this one. And given that this edition has 13 hours of special features, why would anyone want any more?
on April 21, 2004
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!
on February 25, 2004
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.
on February 15, 2004
"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.