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The Wizard Of Oz


xxmass
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Hi all, Well it's Sunday July 3nd and TCM just aired The Wizard Of Oz. Wow I must have seen this gem 200 times, and can watch it another 200 times. What a wonderful film classic. I just want to thank YCM for showing this great film. Happy 4th of July to everyone. Sincerly, Larry

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My daughter watched it and fell in love with it. I have had the video for some time- never touched by her- but now she wants to watch it again and again! Who was your favorite character? I love the Cowardly Lion. He was hilarious! I love it when he wipes his tears with his tail. He is adorable.

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I saw this movie for the first time (!) on the Fourth on TCM (and I've been around for awhile) as I related fairly extensively just yesterday over on BEST MOVIE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN thread, and enjoyed IMMENSELY! My word exactly for Bert Lahr's cowardly lion---"hilarious"---the funniest of the three, though tin man has a good line after an attack that finds poor scarecrow on the ground with his reedy innards strewn about "just like you, all over the place." Oh, the writers couldn't resist that one! A lovely movie.

 

I remember years ago---a lot of years ago---TWOZ was shown on one of the major networks (long before cable) on an annual basis. It may have even been commercial free. But that practice has stopped.

 

I have a copy of the original NY Times page where the review of August 18, 1939 appeared by writer Frank Nugent, a little disappointing, though he speaks in glowing terms. Nothing especially quotable. Along with the review that day in the Times was a picture of Judy looking slightly off camera with those pony tails over her shoulders in front, and a larger picture of Judy drying the tears of the cowardly lion with tin man and scarecrow looking on.

 

Also shown in this book full of reviews is apparently a poster that may have appeared around town at the top of which is shown the principles (sp?), Judy, ScareC, TinM, Wiz, and Lion. Below the text is that oh-so-clever tongue-twister of a song. I?ll give you the first two and one-half lines. How many of you can finish it? A good TWOZophile should know this ? (it?s easy for me to ask this, isn?t it---since I have the words in front of me)

 

We?re off to see the Wizard?

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

We hear ?

(6 1/2 more lines)

 

 

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shainabluegirl: The lion was my favorite too. Even though he scared me every time he appeared in the forest, (as a kid), he was still my favorite. I remembered being amazed by his tail and how it kept moving by it's self.

 

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Luxo- I am gonna take a stab at the rest of the song from memory- I probably got it mixed up or I mishear it, but this is the way I sing it with my kids.....

....We hear he is a wonderful wiz as ever a wizard was if ever oh ever a wizard was the wizard of oz is one because because because because because because- because of the wonderful things he does.

 

Am I close?

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I remember reading the NEW YORK TIMES review by Nugent when the film was first released. While Nugent gave a fine notice to Garland (the line was something like "Judy Garland's Dorothy is a fresh-faced miss with the wonderlit eyes of a believer in fairy tales.") what really caught my attention was the next line in which Nugent opined, "But OZ is at its' best when the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion are on the move."

 

In its' review of OZ, TIME Magazine also felt that OZ's best moments were provided by Lahr, Bolger and Haley and only mentioned that Garland was even in the film in passing.

 

Of course, Judy was awarded a special Oscar for Best Juvenile Performance of the Year for her performance in OZ, but it makes me wonder how long it took viewers to regard OZ as a Garland showcase/vehicle. It certainly wasn't marketed that way upon its' release, nor does Judy receive special billing in the film's credits (though her name is listed first.)

 

Actually (and I know this will creep some people out) my favorite character was the allegedly "Wicked" Witch of the West. I thought the stuff she could do (e.g., tossing fireballs at her enemies, skywriting with her broom, animating apple trees and zeroing in on her enemies with her crystal ball, etc.) was so cool and I really didn't find her all that "evil." I mean, she COULD have killed off Dorothy's travelling companions (and possibly Dorothy) much sooner than she ultimately threatened to (just before she's done in with that bucket of water!) but gives them many prior opportunities to give up the ruby slippers voluntarily.

 

I realize that we're programmed from childhood to think of the Witch of the West as "Evil," but given her superior organizational skills and mastery of ledgerdemain, I think the disshevelled and disorganized political structure of OZ, with its' "Paper mache" Wizard, could really use someone like her in command. With (allegedly) acquired maturity, one can see the campaign against the unjustly persecuted Witch of the West for what it really was: an unjustified prejudicial assault against a forward-thinking, imaginative woman with a great business head and controversial fashion sense by a fearful, outmoded and largely impotent patriarchial society. lol!

 

In any case, I tend to think of the alleged "Good" Witch of the North, Glinda as the true villainess of the piece. Her offhanded "You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas!" at the end of the film always infuriated me and I could never understand why Dorothy and the others didn't beat her to a bloody pulp for waiting so long to tell them this after nearly getting them all killed in the process. Also, once Glinda utters this line, it's as if she can't get rid of Dorothy fast enough. She might as well be saying: "Thanks for killing off all the threats to my power and don't let the tornado hit you on the butt on the way out!"

 

As for favorite performances, I'd probably agree that Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion is the most endearing of the cast. He certainly gets the wittiest lines. I always love when he challenges the Tinman with: "How long can you stay fresh in that can?! Huh-huh-huh-huh!" Although Ray Bolger also gave a fine performance as the Scarecrow, I've never really bought that line of Dorothy's that she'd miss his character "the most of all." I agree with Lahr's daughter that the Lion's the one she should miss the most.

 

As for Judy's performance as Dorothy, while I do think it was wonderful, as a child it always really upset me that Dorothy/Judy wakes up from her OZ dream without ever having solved her main dilemma: how to prevent the all-powerful Miss Gulch from euthanizing Toto. I love dogs and it seems to me that Miss Gulch, in addition to being the wealthiest and most powerful landowner in the area would have an excellent case, since Dorothy was trespassing through Miss Gulch's property and Toto did bite her.

 

Did anyone else ever notice the film's failure to address this important issue, and did it bother you if you did?

 

In any case, no wonder I ended up liking Deanna Durbin so much. She was much more of a "take charge" personality than Garland and in 100 MEN AND A GIRL (her classic modern Depression era fairytale) Deanna's "Patsy Cardwell" actually DOES end the Depression for her father and the 99 men of "her" orchestra, while Judy's "Dorothy Gale" just dreams her problems away courtesy of the smack she receives from that flying window pane without resolving them.

 

Interesting how those two early films reflect the subsequent screen personas of Durbin and Garland, with Durbin's feisty, impulsive and imaginative "Little Miss Fixit" characters being much more independent and pro-active than Garland's "Wistful Wallflower/Reflection of a Man" roles.

 

 

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I'll take a shot at the remaining lines too:

 

We hear he is a "Whiz of a Wiz"

If ever a Wiz there was!

If ever, oh ever a Wiz there was,

The Wizard of Oz is one because,

Because, Because, Because, Because, Becaauussee..

Because of the wonderful things he does!

 

We're off to see the Wizard,

The Wonderful Wizard of Ozzzzzz!

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Shaina--here are the lyrics

 

You're off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

You'll find he is a Whiz of a Wiz if ever a Wiz there was

If ever, oh ever, a Wiz there was the Wizard of Oz is one because

Because, because, because, because, because

Because of the wonderful things he does

You're off the see the wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

 

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THE WIZARD OF OZ will see another release onto DVD on October 25th. The 1939 film, starring Judy Garland, will be available from WB in separate two-and three-disc editions with a brand new digital transfer of the original negative (using Warner's "Ultra-Resolution" technology), as well as a newly remastered soundtrack.

 

Bonus materials include a new commentary by historian John Fricke, outtakes and deleted scenes, 4 documentaries - including one on the restoration process, composer Harold Arlen's home movies made on the "Oz" set, an "Oz Jukebox" of recording session materials, radio shows, promo spots, trivia games, sing-alongs and more.

 

The 3-disc edition includes FOUR hours of additional features including a new documentary on "Oz" author L. Frank Baum, five early feature film versions of "Oz," reproductions of the invitation and program for the film's premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Retail will be $26.99 for the 2-disc edition and $39.92 for the 3-disc deluxe edition.

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d12,

 

I had the impression that the red ruby slippers were somehow protecting Dorothy. We only know that the Wicked Witch of the West is the only one who knows how to use them and Glinda said to Dorothy ?Keep them on [paraphrase], they must be very useful to her if she wants them so bad.? There?s an implication, n?est-ce pas, that maybe the Wicked Witch cannot or should not slay Dorothy while she is wearing them. But if that theory doesn?t fly, no matter ? Had the Wicked Witch been able and had decided to kill off Dorothy early, we wouldn?t have a movie, would we?

 

I appreciate your admiration for the Wicked one (I see that it helps that she is woman) and all her many talents including her take-charge persona but you can?t deny that she was up to no good, hence evil. Not that there is no reason to exalt her. You seem a true Romantic holding imagination and self-determination in such high esteem. Milton made the Devil somewhat of a hero in the eyes of some ?

 

You?re to harsh with poor Glinda though, who says early on that Dorothy can?t go back to Kansas without seeing the Wizard. At the end when she says, ?You don?t need any help any longer. You?ve always had the power to go back to Kansas,? it provides the lead-in for the moral of the entire story (I think you know this already, but I'm having fun), to wit:

 

DOROTHY: I have!

 

SCARECROW: Then why didn?t you tell her before?

 

GLINDA: Because she wouldn?t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

 

TIN MAN: What did you learn, Dorothy.

 

DOROTHY: ? ? If I ever go looking for my heart?s desire again, I won?t look any further than my own back yard, because if it isn?t there, I never really lost it to begin with. Is that right?

 

(Nods all around and some interjections)

 

GLINDA: She had to find out for herself. (smiles sweetly)

 

I?m sure you think this all very silly and sissy, but Glinda, though perhaps a little boring and lacking true Imagination, certainly doesn?t deserve being beaten to a bloody pulp. At least she?s a woman, which means she can?t be all bad. And you probably fault poor Dorothy for not just taking charge and going back to Kansas whenever she wanted to like Deanna Durbin most certainly would have!

 

As far as euthanizing poor Toto, well, we can see in the final scene that Toto jumps on Dorothy?s lap leaving us to conclude that a) Toto bit Miss Gulch again perhaps killing her even but at least succeeding in escaping, or 2) Miss Gulch met her demise at the same time as her alter ego, the Wicked Witch of the West (though being in a dream), who, by the way, may not really be the ?forward-thinking, imaginative? woman you think she is. Maybe she is just a witch who possesses magical powers and likes to show off.

 

 

 

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Actually, re the Witch of the West being evil, she only wanted what was coming to her.

 

The shoes were, legally, hers. If the Witch of the East had no will, they most likely would have passed to her since she was the sibling.

 

Ergo, no shoes, no Glenda the nauseating, no Lollipop kids, and no movie!:)

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One of my favorite films is the Wizard of Oz. I did think that Glenda wasn't such a good witch. I think she could have told Dorothy that she always had the power to go back to Kansas by clicking her shoes instead of making her go through such a frightening ordeal. I was wondering why Uncle Henry wasn't portrayed as one of the characters in the movie. I also didn't think Auntie Em was very nice either - she kept yelling at Dorothy and the farmhands in the beginning of the movie. I loved the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. I wasn't too keen on the Tin Man. Originally the part was slated for Buddy Ebson, but he had an allergic reaction to the make-up and the guy they eventually selected was very annoying with that breathy voice. I just didn't care for him at all. I think he kept holding the group back because he was constantly rusting and I couldn't figure out how that little oil can didn't run out. I did think the Wicked Witch was excellent - but felt sorry for Margaret Hamilton because she was always associated with that role. I could watch that movie many times and never get tired of it.

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Gee jasminegirl, if Dorothy knew about the power of the shoes early in the story, we wouldn't have a movie, and all those wonderful songs.

I believe that Dorothy went through her ordeal to teach her that there is no place like home, as well as the millions of children who saw the movie.

 

And Glinda, the good witch was there to detract from the evil ugly witch, who deservedly melted into the ground.

 

Mongo

 

 

 

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Sorry, I disagree. Glinda proved time and again that she had her own agenda and was "bad to the bone" (or is it "bubble" in this case)?

 

And while we're on the subject, so was the allegedly "very good but very mysterious" WIZARD OF OZ (about whose "good" qualities Glinda gleefully prevaricated) who ruled his land through fear and intimidation (e.g., that giant floating head and never granting any of his subjects an audience).

 

On the other hand, the alleged "Wicked" Witch of the West was nothing of the sort. As another poster has corectly pointed out, she was only trying to get back what were rightfully hers (the ruby slippers) and she gave Dorothy several opportunities to give them back voluntarily before deciding she had no recourse but to take them by force.

 

Since both Glinda and Dorothy are guilty of Grand Larceny (a felony) and Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny in swiping the slippers in the first place, the Witch of the West has every right to feel put out by their larcenous attitudes/behavior.

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Quite right, d120421!

 

For that matter, the Wicked Witch of the East could have sued posthumously for a misplaced house! Hmmm, or was that an act of God?

 

But you're right, when you think about it. Miss Gulch was in her rights not to want Toto on her property. And just who in the heck did the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion think they were, demanding something of the Wizard?

 

Even the trees had to ask them how they would have liked to have their apples picked?

 

Gobs of morals there, for sure. In addition to warning against thievery, the audience would do well to not be presumptuous too, or they might be made into a beehive!

 

Fun topic. I adore this movie, but when you examine it with a cynical eye, it is very amusing. I haven't read all the Baum books yet, but I bet he was smoking something when he wrote them.:)

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Well said, Stoneyburke666:

 

And don't forget that not only did Toto/Dorothy trespass on Miss Gulch's property, but Toto also bit Miss Gulch and, as Miss Gulch rightly points out, "there are laws protecting people from dogs that bite."

 

Also, as chattel , Toto would have no rights under the law, so by simply allowing Miss Gulch to take him without going to the Sheriffl's office to plead his case, Dorothy, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry were, to all intents and purposes, sentencing him to death.

 

I also think it's interesting that WOZ is considered a great "coming of age" film with the theme of exchanging the child's world of fantasy for adult responsibility/reality, yet Dorothy's "adventure" IS a fantasy. She dreams the whole thing and wakes up without having solved her main problem, i.e., saving her poor doomed dog.

 

Finally, it's interesting how the "Dorothy Gale" character, like a few of her earlier film roles, sets the tone for Garland's MGM star image. Dorothy is usually cited as one of Judy's most independent and pro-active roles, yet all of Dorothy's independent acts take place in an extended dream sequence.

 

Although she was one of the most vibrant and energetic of screen presences, blessed with an incredible natural "belt" in a voice of tremendous power, Judy Garland's MGM screen image is perhaps the least independent, most passive and needy of all the great female musical stars in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

 

With VERY few exceptions (e.g, EVERYBODY SING, PRESENTING LILY MARS, THE HARVEY GIRLS), MGM's Garland almost always needs the guidance and oversight of a more overtly ambitious and imaginative male vis-a-vis to recognize, promote and develop her talent and to make her dreams of showbusiness glory a reality.

 

While it's doubtful that anyone ever played this image more appealingly/engagingly than Garland did at her best, it's also not surprising that it's an image that seems to have all but disappeared from contemporary film/popular culture.

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Since we parsing, ad infinitum and ad nauseum, this supposed innocuous movie, a few points here (or is this all tongue and cheek?)

 

How do we know that Toto bit Miss Gulch? Did we see it happen? How do we know she wasn?t lying? Dorothy claims only that Toto went into Miss Gulch?s garden to chase the cat. And she said that Miss Gulch was going to get the sheriff. Instead Miss Gulch shows with some writ that she has probably had forged. She owns a lot of property and is therefore sophisticated enough to engineer this, she knows that Dorothy, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry are ignorant folk who can be cowed into releasing the dog. And doesn?t it seem questionable that she should be able to take possession of the dog herself. Shouldn?t that be the Sheriff?s job? Frankly, I think Miss Gulch?s character is in question. And I think it fair game to make these inferences about her. Maybe that?s what the movie intended us to believe. Miss Gulch is the old goat in the neighborhood who hates little kids, dogs, and just about everything else. And she?ll lie about it. She?s practically a stereotype. So why believe her?

 

I mean if it?s okay to make inferences as to the motives of Glinda then it is okay to do the same with any other character.

 

And why should Dorothy have to worry about saving her ?poor doomed dog.? Toto escaped, remember? And at the end of the movie, toto is right there with Dorothy. The movie ended before Miss Gulch could come back and reclaim Toto, so the whole business about the ?main problem? is a non-issue by movie?s end. This is to tell us that the idea itself about ?the poor doomed dog? is not even important.

 

And forget about using any kind of normal logic for anything at all that happens in Dorothy?s dream. As was pointed out, it is, in fact, nothing but a dream. And anything can happen in a dream. Forget, therefore, any right the Wicked Witch may have had for the red slippers. Forget any motives that might be imputed to Glinda. It doesn?t matter that the ?whiz of a whiz if ever there was? turned out be be a blustery old man behind a curtain. It doesn?t matter what trees say about picking apples because everyone knows that trees can?t talk. (What wrong with picking an apple off a tree anyway? Jeez, lighten up) The dream shouldn?t have to stand up to the rigorous logic. And let?s not forget also, This is just a movie!!!

 

And who said that this was about coming of age and the theme of exchanging the child's world of fantasy for adult responsibility/reality. Dorothy does sing ?Over the Rainbow? because she?s wondering if there is anyplace without trouble, but the minute she?s in the Oz, she wants to come home, not be in some fantasy land escaping ?reality.? At the beginning of the movie, the graphic says that the movie is for the ?Young at Heart?, which can be taken to mean that there are some fairy tale elements (read: lighten up) coming up, nothing to suggest the escape from reality to fantasy. The theme is closer to the idea that there is no place like home, like one?s ?own back yard?, something more heartfelt and personal than the idea of cold reality.

 

I guess we?ll never know why Dorothy liked the scarecrow ?the best of all.? It might be understandable if she said that of the tin man, after all, oiling somebody can establish a certain bond. Maybe Dorothy had a penchant for people with no brains.

 

And I think that Judy could hold her own with anybody anytime. Maybe it was she that held up the leading men. One doesn?t have to be independent and pro-active to be admirable anyway (though there are some who seem to be obsessed with the idea.)

 

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lux, I love your post. These things can be taken to extremes, can't they. I wonder how much of the "negative" views of this 1939 classic are due to the recent musical "Wicked" - http://www.wickedthemusical.com/synopsis.htm - or the Gregory Maguire book on which it's based. I saw a pre-movie promo called "The Twenty" at the movie theater the other day in which the director and its cast members were discussing "Wicked" as if it were what "really happened" off camera and behind the scenes in Frank Baum's story. Hello?! Maguire's book (just like TWoO) was just FICTION (e.g. stuff he made up!).

 

It's certainly not the first time someone has looked back on things we remember fondly in our childhood and attempted to spin it (in a negative light?) and/or exploit it for financial gain. Disney (and others) have done it with the Brothers Grimm stories (though most of those were "positive" spins, right?) - anyone ever read the hilarious politically correct versions of these?, "The Simpsons" TV show examined the lyrics of the bedtime tune "Rock a Bye Baby", etc..

 

Then again, there are the film remakes which aren't really remakes, but that's a whole other thread;-)

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Hi Lux:

 

<>

 

All of this is meant to be "tongue in cheek," (hence my "lol!" notation in my first post on this thread). My apologies if you took it otherwise, but please don't continue to take it so seriously. As you've noted yourself, it's only a movie. Still, it's a clasic movie and one of the enjoyable aspects of discussing a classic can be noting all the inconsistencies/unresolved issues, etc. that the filmmakers apparently never considered important enough to address, or disregarded because it did not fit their concept/vision of the film.

 

That said (and keeping in mind that this is "tongue in cheek"), as an attorney myself, from all the evidence I can recall in the film, I think your efforts to implicate Miss Gulch as a forgerer of the order which enables her to take Toto is an unsupportable leap of faith.

 

Had Miss Gulch attempted to do what you've charged her with (forging the sheriff's order to take the dog, etc.) she would leave herself open to a host of very serious charges including, but not necessarily limited to: Forgery (a felony), Obstruction of Justice (another felony), Perjury (another felony for submitting an unauthorized affidavit in support of the Sheriff's order she presents to the Gales) and Petit Larcey (for unlawfully "stealing" the Gale's property, a.k.a. Toto). In fact, it could be "Grand Larceny" should Toto be a valuable (from a monetary standpoint) dog, but as he's owned by the harscrablle Gales, I assume this isn't the case.

 

Miss Gulch would also potentially incriminate herself through her statements to the Gales concerning the Sheriff's order and her right to take Toto. If you recall, when Aunt Em asks if the Gales could resolve the matter simply by keeping Toto confined ("tied up"), Miss Gulch grudgingly acknowledges, "Well, that's for the Sheriff to decide," therefore, she has stated before three witnesses that she intends to bring the dog to the Sheriff's office. Whatever else one may say "fer er agin'" Miss Gulch, nothing in the movie leads one to believe that she's not doing so when Toto jumps out of the basket and heads for home.

 

On the "poor doomed dog" issue, my comment referred to the Gales' utter lack of action after Miss Gulch takes Toto. It's true that Miss Gulch has a valid Sheriff's order to take the dog, but there's nothing to prevent the Gales from going to the Sheriff's office themselves to plead Toto's case.

 

The Gales' inertia means that the only evidence the Sheriff will hear will be from Miss Gulch, who csn hardly be considered an advocate for the dog. Assuming she can prove her case (e.g., that Toto trespassed regularly on her property, chased her cat, ruined her garden, and bit her), it's quite likely that Toto will not be "long for this world," especially as the Sheriff can reasonably conclude that the Gales don't care enough about the dog to stand up for him. As you know, this issue remains unresolved at the film's finale. Perhaps we're lead to believe that Dorothy's Oz dream has given her the wherewithal to challenge Miss Gulch now, but at best she's got an uphill fight on her hands. The movie ended without resolving the issue, which, as I said before, I think is a a valid criticism of the film, but there's no reason to believe that Miss Gulch couldn't come back and take Toto to the Sheriff's office again.

 

I also think there's a good deal of evidence in the film to indicate that Miss Gulch is telling the truth. First of all, even before Miss Gulch appears, Dorothy acknowledges in her breathless spiel to Aunite Em that Toto chases Miss Gulch's cat and gets into her garden "once or twice a week," (granted Dorothy states that Miss Gulch claims this is a daily occurrence, but Miss Gulch's claim still seems a legitimate one.

 

Further, at no time after Miss Gulch appears with the Sheriff's order and insists "There are laws protecting folks against dogs that bite," does Dorothy deny that Toto bit her, which logically, even an adolescent child would have the wherewithal to do. All Dorothy does in response is to admit her own culpability ("It's my fault! I let him go in her garden. You can send me to bed without supper?" etc., etc.) but at no time does she say, "She's lying! Toto didn't touch her! She hit him with a rake!, etc., etc.) Miss Gulch would also have to provide evidence of her injury (and as I said before, probably swear out an affidavit under penalty of perjury) to prove her claim, but the fact that she has the Sheriff's order indicates she's at least taken the first proper legal step to have her case heard and adjudicated in her favor.

 

And why not apply principles of law and rationale to Dorothy's dream? The magical dimensions of Oz aside, the land has many of the same aspects to it that our world does, including a local elected offical (The Mayor of Munchkinland), and government (the Coroner and the town officials who elect Dorothy to the community's Hall of Fame) and local businesses which have, apparently, unionized (the Lullabye League, the Lollipop Guild), so it's not as if Oz is untouched by our "reality."

 

In fact, the charlatan Wizard makes a clear contemporary American rference to his own status in Oz. When explaining his background to Dorothy and the others he notes that he "is an old Kansas man" himself and was proclaimed "Oz, the First Wizard Deluxe" after his balloon failed to return to its' mooring while he was working for a local carnival. In a pointed reference to the then-current economic Great Depression he also notes: "Times being what they were, I accepted the job!"

 

At very least (since there's no indication that they were ever stolen) I find it perfectly valid to believe that the ruby slippers belonged to the Witch of the East and should have gone to her sister, the Witch of the West, upon the Witch of the East's demise.

 

I also think it's safe to conclude that the Wizard ruled through fear and intimidation. While he may not have been a slave driver, given that he never allowed any residents of Oz to apepar before him (and tried to scare off those who did as Dorothy and her friends discover), he clearly couldn't be bothered with any of his subjects. Moreover, if one believes the Witch of the West is "evil" (as the Wizard apparently does) he eagerly sends Dorothy and her friends off on a "suicide mission" to retrieve her broomstick.

 

This will undoubtedly solve his "problem" one way or the other (either Dorothy et. al. will kill the Witch, thereby solidifying his power base), or they'll be killed by her, in which case he won't have to bother with them), but what does it say about his alleged compassion and concern for his subjects? Answer: He has none (or very little). Even after the Tinman timidly points out that they'll have to kill the Witch to get her broom, the Wizard's (floating head's) only reponse is to order them out of his chamber.

 

Yet what is Glinda's response to Dorothy's query about the Wizard ("Is he good or is he wicked?"). She readily replies, "Oh very good, but very mysterious." What's good about a ruler who devotes all his energy to avoiding any contact with his subjects? At very least Glinda should have told Dorothy that she didn't know what the Wizard was like, or that he was an out-and-out fake, but she readily lets Dorothy believe the Wizard is a benevolent and caring ruler, which isn't the case at all. Even the Wizard himself ultimately admits this to Dorothy when she reproaches him for being "A very bad man!" ("Oh no, my dear, I'm a very GOOD man. I'm just a very bad Wizard!")

 

As for the trees grumbling about having their apples picked, while I might not care about how a tree feels if I was the "Picker," if I was the "Pickee" (i.e. the tree) I think it's quite logical that it could hurt and that I might feel quite differently about the matter. Although Dorothy didn't mean any harm, she did yank off part of the tree's body without even asking him and the tree rightly was upset about it.

 

On the issue of who considers Oz a "coming of age" story, one notable espousal (among many) of that interpretation is popular culture historian Ethan Mordden, who, in his 1990 article on Judy Garland wrote of OZ: "In the end, 'The Wizard of Oz' is yet another classic American fable about, growing up, about exchanging the child's charmed existence for the responsibilities of the adult." Mordden ruminates on this theme at some legnth in this article, but this excerpt is the gist of his interpretation.

 

Finally, concerning Judy Garland's passive screen image, at no point did I ever say that her screen characters lacked admirable qualities, but independence and self-suficiency isn't aren't among them. In the vast majority of Garland's MGM vehicles, she NEEDS a Rooney, Kelly or Astaire to both validate her talent and to promote it/find a proper venue to bring it to an appreciative public. Unlike the screen images of more pro-active Garland contemporaries like Deanna Durbin and Doris Day, vestiges and elements of which can be seen in recent films like Sandra Bullock's WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, Julia Roberts' PRETTY WOMAN and Ricki Lake's MRS. WINTERBORNE, Garland's "wistful wallflower" "reflection of a man" screen image is one which appears to have all but disappeared from contemporary film and popular culture in general.

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PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!! Enough is enough! You all are shredding this film way too far to see what every move, sentence, or song means! Are you all psychologists?? The way you're going at it, you might as well be. Just go back to the basics--it was a good film, it's had it's day and now it needs to be rested. Show it once a year if you want but don't tear it to pieces trying to find all the hidden meanings and agendas. There are certainly other, more important, films to take apart and analyze so go at it-but get off this one! JMHO ;( Sue

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Hi Elinor:

 

Not meaning any disrespect, but please, if you don't like the film of THE WIZARD OF OZ and you're sick of it, then may I most kindly suggest that you simply ignore the thread on the movie.

 

I believe you're taking all of these comments much too seriously. Love it or hate it, THE WIZARD OF OZ is a clasic American film, according to some reports, through its' annual screenings on television, etc. it has been seen by more people than any other film in history, that alone would qualify it for the sort of good-natured hypothesizing that has characterized this thread. As I said before, although I don't think OZ is a "perfect" film by any means and has been the subject of serious cinematic analysis on other occasions, these comments are meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek.

 

Of course, you have every right to read the comments on this thread and to post your own if you wish, but I don't understand why you continue to do so given your pointed dislike for and/or weariness over the film?

 

I mean, it's not as if you were duped into checking the thread out by a misleading title. The title of the thread is the title of the movie, so, if it upsets you, just ignore it. As I'm sure you're aware, there are dozens of other threads on this forum along (and many other forums devoted to Classic Movies) on which you could participate without going through an emotional meltdown.

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Alas, after all is said and done "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) remains one of our finest treasures in the annals of moviemaking. The casting was perfecto, as was just about everything else in the movie.

 

The wonderful Wizard of Oz continues to entertain millions of children the world over, as I recently saw in Africa.

Since I'm a kid at heart (thank heavens) I never tire of it.

 

Mongo

 

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