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9 minutes ago, Jim K said:

There are lyrics for the Lion's "If I Only Had the Nerve".  Michael Feinstein sings them on his MGM album.  I think they went something like this:

That's perfect, Jim! That's exactly what I was looking for! I dug a little and found that those added lyrics were done by Tim Rice for the Broadway version. It seems like he and Andrew Lloyd Webber had the same concern I did. They got rid of "If I Were King of the Forest" and used some of its ideas to expand "If I Only Had the Nerve." 

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11 hours ago, TheMadKiwi said:

That's perfect, Jim! That's exactly what I was looking for! I dug a little and found that those added lyrics were done by Tim Rice for the Broadway version. It seems like he and Andrew Lloyd Webber had the same concern I did. They got rid of "If I Were King of the Forest" and used some of its ideas to expand "If I Only Had the Nerve." 

I'm pretty sure these lyrics are by Harburg.  Feinstein's album came out in 1989, and Rice's Oz hit the West End in 2011.  I believe the movie shortened the lion's version because he had the later song.  From what I've heard, there was a lot of competition between Bolger, Lahr and Haley, and they could not have given Lahr two songs while the others got only one.

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1 hour ago, Elizabeth Milne said:

I shouldn't miss the chance to see this on the big screen, should I?

No you shouldn't.  I had seen the film many times on television as a child, but I will never forget the first time I saw it in a theatre on a big screen.  It is a completely different experience.

P.S.  Re the children:  I've learned to appreciate their unfiltered reactions to movies.  Just as long as the monkeys are the only flying objects.

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First thing's first:. It's technically SEPIA, not black & white, not grayscale.  At least on my Telly. That's what gives it a warmth, even though you "think" there's no color.  There is.  B&w "Color" is pulled to RED

It'is really interesting to view it, not only as an adult, but as an adult "student" of classic films.  There's a historical/cultural/theoretical view of this film that proposes it's an allegory for the "gold standard" that William Jennings Bryan was rallying against. Good witches of North (and South) vs. so-called wicked witches of East and West.  East and West being where our country's resources-gold and silver- were sourced and quantified.  

"Follow the yellow-brick road" gold standard

Dorothy's slippers are silver in original play production. Tin Man: steel industry.  Scarecrow:agriculture.  Cowardly Lion:.....? ( to me he's the armed forces or American public that didn't want to get involved in the as yet unnamed WWII.) 

 

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14 hours ago, Christy_S said:

Like many have commented, I was absolutely terrified of the witch and the flying monkeys as a little girl.  They used to give me nightmares!  That didn't stop me from watching, though.

It was the sound in the scene that did me in. Flying monkey was one thing. Flying monkeys with all the uneartly hooting had me hiding in the bathroom.
Note in the Witch's dialogue when she send the monkeys out, she references "a little bug" she's sent ahead to tire them out. That refers to a deleted musical number named "The Jitterbug".

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7 minutes ago, Lanin said:

It was the sound in the scene that did me in. Flying monkey was one thing. Flying monkeys with all the uneartly hooting had me hiding in the bathroom.

Yes, if you try watching it with the sound off it doesn't seem as bad.... no menacing music, no cackling witch threats or Dorothy screaming, no strange other sounds.  The sound helps to confuse the mind and make you more anxious about what the heck is going on.  What are all the sound elements for this scene?  I don't know what all was used, it would be interesting to hear a dissection of the sound components from our sound experts...  

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Aljeane Harmetz in her book on "the Making of The Wizard of OZ reported a story which could not verify as part of OZ lore.   The staff was sent in the garment district of LA to get a coat and outfit for the Frank Morgan (Wizard) to wear in the Kansas segment.  They did not want to make costume but wanted him to appear elegant but "thread bear" .  Something classy but worn out from use.  When staff came back they showed the garments they had picked and the old prince albert designed coat was chosen.     

Later it was found the coat was monogramed on the inside pocket "LFB"    They checked and found that Mrs Baum had given her husbands coat to some good will type organization and that is how it came into the hands of the movie makers by accident.     Very Twilight Zone  !!!!!!!

 

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In The Wizard of OZ book the winged monkeys are controlled by a magic cap of gold and jewels.  Destroying the wicked witch of the west (no one in OZ can be killed but they can be destroyed or melted) gives Dorothy access to this cap and control of the winged monkeys.  The magic cap is seen in the movie -  The Wicked Witch of the west does not wear it but she briefly holds it in her right hand when she is commanding the monkeys in one of the clips in her castle.

 

 

 

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Sadly, that wonderful story about L Frank Baum’s coat has been completely debunked. Another genius invention of the MGM publicity dept.

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Another issue with the Wizard of OZ is about the shoes. The "Ruby Slippers of OZ" a book by Rhys Thomas gives pretty good account of what happened to them.  In the book "The Wizard of Oz" the shoes were silver but because of technicolor a nice change to ruby was made.   There were a number of sets made since Judy wore 6-1/2 and the stand in wore size 6.  Also Judy did a lot of dancing in the shoes so one set was kept pristine for the close up shots of the shoes at the end of the movie.  The dancing set we know exactly...The yellow brick road in the movie was not brick but plywood which was panted.   Judy dancing and walking on it made quite a racket. To reduce this sound they glued yellow felt to the bottom of the shoes - so shoes size 6-1/2 with yellow felt were her actual dancing pair. We know exactly how they were made as there is an engineers drawing of them.

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The sound and the musical underscore really is powerful with this movie. The music when Dorothy opens the door at the beginning is powerful. The witch's theme is perfect! The sound of the flying monkeys!  Favorite parts - When Dorothy opens the door; when the wicked witch melts. So many quotable scenes!

Worst scene for me is the Lion singing "If I were King of the Forest".

Scariest scene - a tie between Ms. Gulch taking the dog and putting it in the basket; when she turned from Ms Gulch to the witch; When Aunt Em disappeared in the crystal ball and the witch appeared. That last scene still scares me a bit.

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Mark H -  I always assumed the "coat story" was legend but had not herd of its being definitively proven false.  I assumed there never would be enough evidence as Aljeane Harmetz tried to find this out and could not prove it one way or another.

If the costume guys that tracked down the Ruby Slippers had gone after the coat we would probably have the real evidence.

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This film never seems to age, it's just timeless.  It broke ground in pretty much every aspect of film-making:  Casting, production design, makeup, visual effects.   I'd say this film provided an escape more than any other film of the 30's.   The songs are iconic, virtually everyone's roles are career-defining.   

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So, having watched it way too many times since it first was shown on TV in the early 1950's (late fall/early winter, Easter time, whenever), my feelings towards it have changed over the years.  Originally, I never would have thought of this as a musical in the sense of Oklahoma, or Golddiggers of 1935, or even Paint Your Wagon and the like, assuming that the songs were just thrown in for whatever reason, although I loved them.

But now watching it carefully and comparing it to other musicals, it is a musical as many others, with very memorable songs, and musical numbers. Watching for them and tracking them makes you realize just how many their are, even with 'The Jitterbug' missing.

I still get a kick when the Wizard is giving out the 'awards' after the four (and Toto, too) have liquidated the witch (that whole scene is my favorite), especially when he gives the Heart clock to the Tin Man, and a little less when he can't pronounce philanthropists.  And while the lyrics by 'America' are true to some extent, they all had what the Wizard gave them, a brain, a heart, courage, the way to go home, he just gave them the understanding to see themselves as they really were.  Sometimes we need someone else to give us a pat on the back, and say 'You're all right, kid.'

For years I was bored with the scene of them waiting for an audience with the Wizard, and Bert Lahr's song.  Come on now, let's get to the Wizard and some payoff.  Then, understanding how actors see their roles, and knowing more about the history of vaudeville, Ray, Jack, and Bert, I can see why he might have wanted more, or the director/producer/writers thought he deserved more.  And while I'm still not sold on his overacting while he's being crowned and waltzing around, I'm beginning to really like where it goes, and I love his lines at the end, What makes a king out of a slave? What makes the flag on mast to wave, the elephant charge his tusk, the muskrat guard his musk...and all the rest of the alliteration going on.  It just sings.  To me, it brings up memories of other movies, Gunga Din for example.

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Thank you Tomilee for the clip from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.  I am a WO aficionado and did not know it existed. Margaret Hamilton is absolutely adorable on that show.  Such a sweetheart.  I did a little Google search and see that she was also on Sesame Street with Oscar the Grouch in 1976 (episode #0847) dressed as a witch sans make-up.  I'd share the photo with you but I'm techno-challenged and am lucky I've figured this online course and these TCM bulletin boards.    :-)  

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My favorite scene is when Dorothy (Judy) sings Over the Rainbow.  Such a wonderful song and she is the perfect person to sing it. Least favorite scene is the first time the Wicked Witch appears in the movie in the Munchkinland scene where she first threatens Dorothy and Toto.  I remember as a child when the movie was shown on TV i would leave the room during that scene because I was scared of the witch.  

I had a record album soundtrack of the movie and I played it constantly.  Knew every song and lots of the dialogue by heart.  Also had (still have) the piano sheet music to all the songs and played them all the time.  Absolutely loved the movie as a child and even dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween for a couple years too.

Does anybody else remember how when it was shown on TV they would always announce at the beginning that you don't need to adjust your TV because it starts off in black and white before switching to color?  I also remember how there would be a host who would introduce the movie.  One year I remember that it was Dick Van Dyke.

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On 6/8/2018 at 3:54 PM, Elizabeth Milne said:

Having failed to find this to watch this week (and failed to watch it a few weeks ago,  on one of my cable channels, before I knew about this course) I now find that a local theatre is showing it as a Saturday matinee on June 23rd.  My dilemma now: do I want to watch it with a theatre full of school kids?  Hmm...

As irritating as kids can be, I would say yes.  It is amazing on a big screen and I'd love to hear the reactions of the children, many who may be seeing it for the first time.  How lucky you are!

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16 hours ago, Suzanne1228 said:

As irritating as kids can be, I would say yes.  It is amazing on a big screen and I'd love to hear the reactions of the children, many who may be seeing it for the first time.  How lucky you are!

I'm definitely going to go, have my (free!) ticket and everything.  Looking forward to it.

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5 hours ago, Elizabeth Milne said:

I'm definitely going to go, have my (free!) ticket and everything.  Looking forward to it.

You need to let us know how it goes and how the kids react. :)

 

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59 minutes ago, Suzanne1228 said:

You need to let us know how it goes and how the kids react. :)

 

I will!  It's this Saturday, so not long to wait now.

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On 6/19/2018 at 10:29 PM, Suzanne1228 said:

You need to let us know how it goes and how the kids react. :)

 

I'm just home from seeing The Wizard of Oz on a big screen (first time I've seen it that way) and what a lot of fun I had!  There were lots of kids, as I expected, but I needn't have worried as they were exceptionally well behaved.  There were some "oohs" and "aahs" and a few "I don't like that" comments, but for the most part they were intent on watching the movie.  The one funny comment was made by what sounded like an adult male, who said "Why him?" when Dorothy said she'd miss the scarecrow "most of all".  I smiled at that, and at pretty much everything.

In the lobby one little girl was singing "We're off to see the Wizard", and another was dressed in full Dorothy costume, including ruby slippers, basket and (toy) Toto.  (These were kids who came to see the movie with their parents, not publicity stunts.) 

Altogether I had a most enjoyable time.

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One of my favorite scenes is when Bert Lahr hams it up as the lion when they first meet him. His performance steals the scene with lots of facial expression and subtle and unsubtle moves. 

Thank you for posting the Mr. Rogers clip. Last weekend, I saw the documentary about him and loved it. He knew what children needed. In the case of this clip, he was helping them see the Witch as a role for an actor in a costume. It is pure Rogers. Of course, in the 1939 film, away from the clip, she is frightening.

One thing we have not discussed is how background music heightens the sense of menace. In film, elements such as a motif for the character, crescendos, rhythmic pulses, dissonance or use of minor keys often signal ominous danger. I could not find a clip from Wizard with the Witch as  an example as they have been removed for copyright reasons. However, background music creates a lot of the horror in scenes. Watch a horror film with the sound turned off and you will see what I mean. Sometimes we are unaware of its effects. I was until my toddler son would go running out of the room when the background music used these techniques.  It wasn't until he started to take music lessons that we learned that he had perfect pitch and would react to a song if it changed from major to a minor key. Just fell off the piano bench and covered his ears and cried. The lesson here is that as adults we need to be sensitive to visual and auditory stimuli and its affect on children. Like Rogers, they need explanation and to feel safe before they can be more objective.

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As many times that I have seen Wizard of Oz, I often try to see something, anything I have missed. This gets increasingly more difficult over the years. This year I found something new. In the Forest Scene, Lion is carrying a flitz, (Thanks, Marx Brothers Animal Crackers ?)On the flitz it says"Witch Remover." Funny how I never noticed that.

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