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The Wizard of Oz

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Wizard of Oz

Starring: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger
Director: Victor Fleming
Rated: G
RunTime: 101 Minutes
Release Date: August 1939
Genres: Family, Kids, Music, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action

*Also starring: Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick

Review by Susan Granger
No Rating Supplied

Starting today, the most beloved of all American musicals, recently named the 6th Best Motion Picture of All Time by the American Film Institute, is available on the big screen for the first time in more than 25 years. Made in 1939, this delightful classic now has state-of-the-art technical improvements, including a remastered soundtrack and a digitally restored picture. Judy Garland stars as Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm-girl whom a tornado blows over the rainbow to a magical land called Oz, where she and her dog Toto take a journey down the Yellow Brick Road to find the fabled Wizard (Frank Morgan). Along the way, they're joined by the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Tin Woodsman (Jack Haley) and the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). But did you know that Deanna Durbin or Shirley Temple were the studio's original casting choices for Dorothy, that Buddy Ebsen played the Tin Woodsman until the silver make-up made him ill, that W.C. Fields refused the role of the Wizard, and that the song "Over the Rainbow" was almost cut from the film? Not only did L. Frank Baum write a charming fantasy but it's also an insightful philosophical commentary on the fears, questions, and desires with which all children grapple. Home is the center of every child's universe - but what if that house was transported elsewhere? What if one's drab, everyday existence were suddenly, inexplicably changed to something dazzling yet quite different? The three characters Dorothy meets on her rite of passage represent the head, the heart, and the soul, as she grasps the concept that things are not always what they seem. The issues raised by "The Wizard of Oz" are dilemmas that intrigue and resonate with the child in all of us - which is why this is the quintessential family film. It's a MUST SEE this weekend.

Copyright 1998 Susan Granger

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