The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The lyrics for the songs were written by E.Y. Harburg, the music by Harold Arlen. Incidental music, based largely on the songs, was by Herbert Stothart, with borrowings from classical composers. Based on the 1900 children's novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the film stars Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan, with Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charles Grapewin, Clara Blandick and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins. Notable for its use of special effects, Technicolor, fantasy storytelling and unusual characters, The Wizard of Oz has become, over the years, one of the best-known of all films. It is far and away the best-known version of L. Frank Baum's book, perhaps even eclipsing the fame of the novel itself.
Release Date: August 25, 1939
Writer: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, L. Frank Baum, Edgar Allan Woolf
Director: Victor Fleming
Producer: Mervyn LeRoy, Victor Fleming
Cast: Clara Blandick, Judy Garland, Charley Grapewin, Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Jack Haley, Margaret Hamilton, Pat Walshe(less)
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This is one of Hollywoods best movies ever. This was in the days before Hollywood studios started making real bad movies in the 1980s. Movies back then were made well. There is a tornado scene carrying the house with Dorthy and her dog in it. But it was one of the greatest movies ever.December 11th, 2011 · Details
I found the way they portrayed this (which for all intents is a modern day Alice in Wonderland) was incredibly imaginative. It was because of this film that I believed, as a boy, that reality, pre-60s was Black and white. Kind of funny, but that is what I thought.
I give this a PG rating. There is way too much scary imagery and violence to be deserving of a G rating.September 26th, 2011 · Details
It's funny, but for all the fame of this American classic, I recently saw it again and found it to be so boring as to be unwatchable. Kids wouldn't sit still for it. Maybe it's time has passed.March 7th, 2011 · Details
It's a classic musical, and a must see. Great family film, though the wicked witch and flying monkeys may scare very small kids.March 3rd, 2011 · Details
Fred Savage, star of TV's "The Wonder Years" (he was also the sick young boy in the framing device for "The Princess Bride"), gets top billing in "The Wizard," a very odd combination of "Rain Man," "Tommy" and a lengthy commercial for Nintendo video games.
Savage and his older brother, Christian Slater, live with their father, Beau Bridges. But their troubled young half-brother, Luke Edwards, lives with their mother, who has married a first-class dweeb.
It seems Edwards has hardly spoken a word since the tragic death of his twin sister, but for some reason he keeps running away, heading for California.
So one day Savage decides to kidnap Edwards and find out where it is exactly that he wants to go and why. Along the way they pick up an older girl who helps them out, and they discover that Edwards has a natural talent for Nintendo games.
Coincidentally, there is a national Nintendo video game championship in a few days at the Universal Studios Tour theme park in Los Angeles. So they decide to get Edwards there in time to enter him.
Along the way they are chased by a wimpy "child-finder" hired by their mother and who provides a comic subplot by continually running into Bridges and Slater. They also stop off in Reno to make some money at the gambling tables, courtesy of an adult friend.
All in all this is inoffensive, if silly stuff — except for the film's blatant commercialism. This Universal film not only plugs its own Universal Studio Tour theme park in the film's extended climax, but it often seems like an extremely long Nintendo ad.
Granted, Nintendo has cornered the video game market, and all the kids in the audience seemed to know each game as it appeared on the screen, but why pander to that Saturday morning commercial television sensibility?
The performances here are enjoyable for the most part, especially from the kids, though some of the adults seem a bit forced in their exaggerated stereotypical roles.
Obviously this is for kids. But "The Wizard" — partially set in Utah but not filmed here — is a movie to send them to, not take them to.
It is rated PG for violence and profanity.
December 15th, 1989 · Details