Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Wizard of Oz

1939 American Feature

Cast: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin and Clara Blandick
Directors: Victor Fleming and (uncredited) George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe and King Vidor
Writers: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf and (uncredited) Irving Brecher, William H. Cannon, Herbert Fields, Arthur Freed, E.Y. Harburg, Samuel Hoffenstein, John Lee Mahin, Herman J. Mankiewicz, Jack Mintz, Ogden Nash, Robert Pirosh, George Seaton and Sid Silvers, based on the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Songs: E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen

Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale is swept away by a tornado to the magical land of Oz and embarks on a journey to see the Wizard who can help her return home.


  • Internet Movie Database: 8.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 99% / Audience: 83%
  • Metacritic - Critics: 100% / Audience: 8.1%
  • OMG rating: 10/10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Books: Available


  • Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Original Song ("Over the Rainbow"); also nominated for Best Picture, Color Cinematography, Art Direction and Special Effects.

  • L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was originally published in 1900. It has since been reprinted numerous times, usually under the title The Wizard of Oz due to the popularity of the movie.
  • Casting Call: Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, Buddy Ebsen, Deanna Durbin, W.C. Fields, Beatrice Lillie, Edna May Oliver, Gale Sondergaard, Shirley Temple, Ed Wynn and the MGM Lion.
  • Judy Garland received a Special Academy Award (her only Oscar) for "her outstanding performance as a screen juvenile during the past year". The award was a "miniature statuette" that she would later refer to as her "Munchkin Award".
  • There have been three official stage adaptations based directly on the movie, in 1942 (commissioned by the St. Louis Municipal Opera), 1987 (adapted by the Royal Shakespeare Company) and 2011 (with additional songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice).
  • Attributed as the most watched movie in film history, largely due to the number of annual television screenings, which began in 1956 on CBS. 
  • The Wizard of Oz has been identified as being of importance to the GLBT community, in part due to Judy Garland's starring role. Several theories have been expressed about the cause of this, such as "the dreary reality of Kansas implies the presence of homophobia and is contrasted with the colorful and accepting land of Oz" and the "parallels between GLBT people and characters in the film, specifically pointing to the characters' double lives and Dorothy's longing for a world in which her inner desires can be expressed freely and fully".
  • In gay slang, a "friend of Dorothy" (occasionally abbreviated FOD) is a term for a gay man. The phrase dates back to at least World War II, when homosexual acts were illegal in the United States. Stating that, or asking if, someone was a "friend of Dorothy" was a euphemism used for discussing sexual orientation without others knowing its meaning. The precise origin of the term is unknown and there are various theories. Most commonly, it is stated that "friend of Dorothy" refers to the film The Wizard of Oz because Judy Garland, who starred as the main character Dorothy, is a gay icon. In the film, Dorothy is accepting of those who are different. For example the "gentle lion" living a lie who sings "I'm afraid there's no denyin', I'm just a dandy lion".
  • Judy Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli voiced Dorothy and Margaret Hamilton voiced Auntie Em in the 1974 animated movie Journey Back to Oz.
  • In 1989, The Wizard of Oz was inducted into the National Film Registry, one of the first 25 films to be so honored.
  • In 1998, The Wizard of Oz was ranked #6 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movies" list.
  • In 2001, The Wizard of Oz was ranked #43 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Thrills" list.
  • In 2003, the Wicked Witch of the West was ranked as #4 villain on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Heroes & Villains" list.
  • In 2004, "Over the Rainbow" was ranked #1 and "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead" was ranked #82 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Songs" list.
  • In 2005, "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" was ranked #4, "There's no place like home" was ranked #23 and "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" was ranked #99 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movie Quotes" list.
  • In 2006, The Wizard of Oz was ranked #26 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Cheers" list.
  • In 2006, The Wizard of Oz was ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's "Greatest Movie Musicals" list.
  • In 2007, The Wizard of Oz was ranked #10 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movies - 10th Anniversary Edition" list.
  • In 2008, The Wizard of Oz was ranked the #1 Fantasy on the American Film Institute's "10 Top 10" list.

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