- Actors: Judy Garland, Billie Burke, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Margaret Hamilton
- Format: NTSC, Color, Dolby, Full Screen
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 2
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Release Date: Sept. 29 2009
- Run Time: 101 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 541 customer reviews
- ASIN: B002KGMDLG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,789 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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The Wizard of Oz (70th Anniversary 2-disc Special Edition)
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The Wizard of Oz (70th Anniversary 2-disc Special
When it was released during Hollywood's golden year of 1939, The Wizard of Oz didn't start out as the perennial classic it has since become. The film did respectable business, but it wasn't until its debut on television that this family favorite saw its popularity soar. And while Oz's TV broadcasts are now controlled by media mogul Ted Turner (who owns the rights), the advent of home video has made this lively musical a mainstay in the staple diet of great American films. Young Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), her dog, Toto, and her three companions on the yellow brick road to Oz--the Tin Man (Jack Haley), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), and the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger)--have become pop-culture icons and central figures in the legacy of fantasy for children. As the Wicked Witch who covets Dorothy's enchanted ruby slippers, Margaret Hamilton has had the singular honor of scaring the wits out of children for more than six decades. The film's still as fresh, frightening, and funny as it was when first released. It may take some liberal detours from the original story by L. Frank Baum, but it's loyal to the Baum legacy while charting its own course as a spectacular film. Shot in glorious Technicolor, befitting its dynamic production design (Munchkinland alone is a psychedelic explosion of color and decor), The Wizard of Oz may not appeal to every taste as the years go by, but it's required viewing for kids of all ages. --Jeff Shannon
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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?
All the way through, the talented Judy sings memorable tunes that children will remember forever. The characters all sing their own signature tunes delightfully There is also a social education message as well that is always lost....never give up, never let others tell you are inferior because of your insecurities...just fight on. That's the Yellow Brick Road...Life's journey. Dorothy could jump back through the window and start again, can you???
I also strongly recommend "The Dreamer of Oz" since it shows some good portrayals of L. Frank Baums imagination.
The deleted scenes are also fairly good to see and I wish they could be taken into consideration.
Keep in mind that the 2D is also available in this set.
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