The popular MGM film the Wizard of Oz celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014, with a new theatrical release and a surge of interest among fans, both old and new. Many people first encountered the world of Oz through this film, while others who read the books first have also become fans of the film. This anniversary year is an opportunity to reflect on the influence the movie has had in popular culture, as well as a chance for a new generation of fans to experience Oz.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
The Wizard of Oz premiered in Hollywood on August 15th 1939 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and in New York on August 17th, 1939 at Loew's Capitol Theatre, although several early screenings occurred on August 11th and 12th. It opened in theaters around the US on the 25th of that month. The critical reception was very favorable. One of the first reviews, written by Frank S. Nugent for the New York Times stated that it was "a delightful piece of wonder-working which had the youngsters' eyes shining and brought a quietly amused gleam to the wiser ones of the oldsters". Although the film only grossed $3 million in its original run, just enough to make a small profit after the $2.8 million spent on production costs, it has successfully been re-released and broadcast many times since the 1930s. In 1996, the film critic Robert Ebert suggested that "we still watch it six decades later because its underlying story penetrates straight to the deepest insecurities of childhood, stirs them and then reassures them", a statement that equally applies to the Oz books. The Wizard of Oz is an enduring American fairy tale that will be with us far beyond the 75th anniversary. In 1989, the US Library of Congress selected the film to be preserved in the National Film Registry as a culturally significant work. In 2007, it was listed by UNESCO on the Memory of the World Register.
Toto, I Have a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore
The legacy of the movie has become so enduring, that it is the world and characters of the film that many of us picture when we imagine Oz. In doing so, we become aware of the differences between the movie and the books, most famously the change in the color of the slippers from silver in the book to ruby in the movie, and the altered ending that makes the movie version of Dorothy wake up to find that the whole experience has just been a dream. Despite these differences, the movie is a beautiful interpretation of the original story. One of its most dramatic effects is the shift between the sepia colored Kansas, reflecting the "shades of grey" described by Baum, to the bright Technicolor world of Oz. The visual imagery in the movie is, in its own way, just as spectacular as the illustrations William Wallace Denslow contributed to the books.
Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain
It is a testament to the hard work that went into this movie that it still looks so impressive in its 75th year. The sets and costumes have a theatrical quality that is particularly charming now, alongside the many CGI movies that show us what the Wizard of Oz might have looked like were it being made today. We might have seen a more realistic, four-legged lion, like the one in the book illustrations, rather than the mournful make-up worn by Bert Lahr. The effort that went into making and wearing the costumes is amazing. The Tin Man's costume worn by Jack Haley was particularly challenging, given its enormous weight and lack of flexibility, but many of the actors endured hours in make-up in order to perfect costumes that often made their work much harder. Even the horses of a different color in the Emerald City had to be painted with Jello crystals, and then filmed quickly before they started licking the sweet coloring off their coats. Given the level of detail in the movie's imagining of this world, it is little wonder that it has provided such inspiration for artists, both professional and amateur. Fans and artists have often created their own interpretations of Oz, whether for display in the privacy of their own homes, or for public exhibition. Many of the fans who have used their artistic talents and crafts skills to create their own versions of Oz have drawn on the imagery of the film, rather than the books. The movie has also helped to inspire some of the many new fictional explorations of Oz on the stage and screen, including the musical Wicked. Oz is still very much alive in the imaginations of its fans.
There's No Place Like Oz
Anniversaries like this one reawaken the joy that many of us felt when we first saw Dorothy swept from the dull gray plains of Kansas to the Technicolor land of Oz, while also giving the children of this generation the chance to experience the magic for the first time. The 50th anniversary, in 1989, was marked by the creation of a pair of real ruby slippers, worth $3 million, but the 75th will be celebrated in a form that will enable everyone to get involved. The official plans for the anniversary have been centered on the production of the 3D version of the film, released in 2013. Numerous other items of merchandise, including the commemorative book The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion, have also been prepared to mark the anniversary, alongside the unofficial celebrations that many fans will doubtless enjoy.
May 15,2013. Artist Natalia Babi in the process of creating her painting. In her hands she holds a collector’s edition replica doll “China Girl”.
April 21,2013. I am a happy winner of original painting of China Girl made by the artist Natalia Babi.
I fell in love with this original painting of a rising artist Natalia Babi. I love her unusual detailed artwork that reminding me of filigree jeweler’s masterpiece and like any other fairy tale that ends on a positive note—she introduced a concept of transferring broken china pieces into wonderful fly-away butterflies. Certainly it will become a unique collectible item for my Oz-collection.
Since I donate and displays my collection of Oz memorabilia at various museums regularly ( see About me page), I plan to display “China Girl” alongside with one of a kind Oz marionettes in the National Museum of American History in 2014 in the new entertainment wing.
February 2,2013.Judith Ann Jance referenced Frank Baums books.
At the Big Book Club Getaway event Jance referenced Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz." "I remember being in the school library and seeing all of these Oz books. For the first time, I didn't think about the film and the man behind the curtain. I thought about the man behind the words in all these books. That's when I knew I wanted to be a writer."
Judith Ann Jance is an American author of mystery and horror novels. She writes at least three series of novels, centering on retired Seattle Police Department officer J. P. Beaumont, Arizona county sheriff Joanna Brady, and Ali Reynolds.
February 2,2013 'The Wizard of Oz"' tops greatest movies for kids list
The 1939 Hollywood classic "The Wizard of Oz" topped Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Movies For Kids.
Coming in at No. 2 on the list is "E.T.," followed by "Mary Poppins" at No. 3, "Toy Story 2" at No. 4, "The Princess Bride" at No. 5, "Beauty and the Beast" at No. 6, "Star Wars" at No. 7, "The Iron Giant" at No. 8, "Pinocchio" at No. 9 and "A Little Princess" at No. 10.
"From classics to currents, blockbusters and even little-known gems, the '100 Greatest Movies for Kids,' provides the ultimate movie pass into family entertainment," Nick Friedman, editor-in-chief of Scholastic Parent & Child, said in a statement Wednesday.
January 27,2013 'Oz The Great & Powerful': Four New Posters!
January 19,2013. Jane Albright share photo of Bill Eubank with puppets that I own.
January 14,2013. Another Trailer for new movie Oz:The Great and Powerful
January 12,2013. Editor of movies review magazine in UK asked me to provide him an image below for an article related to new movie Oz:The Great and Powerful to be released on March 8, 2013.
January 10,2013. Another Trailer for new movie Oz:The Great and Powerful