The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Today is L. Frank Baum's birthday so I figure it's about time that I added this film officially to the blog! I've mentioned it several times along with Wicked and other Oz-related dramas but although the title has long been listed in my top movies, I've not added photos for it until now.

From Wikipedia:
The Wizard of Oz was based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, (See The Dreamer of Oz, a sweet biopic of Baum) who died twenty years before the film was released. It features Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (The Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda) and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch). Notable for its use of special effects, Technicolor, fantasy storytelling and unusual characters, The Wizard of Oz has become, over the years, one of the best-known of all films.

Although it received largely positive reviews, won three Academy Awards, and was nominated for Best Picture of the Year, The Wizard of Oz was initially a box office failure. The film was MGM's most expensive production up to that time, but its initial release failed to recoup the studio's investment. Subsequent re-releases made up for that, however. "Over the Rainbow" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the film itself received several Academy Award nominations.

Telecasts of The Wizard of Oz began in 1956, re-introducing the film to the public and eventually becoming an annual tradition, making it one of the most famous films ever made. The Library of Congress named The Wizard of Oz the most-watched motion picture in history, and it is often ranked among the top ten best movies of all-time in various critics' and popular polls, providing many memorable quotes of both modern American and world popular culture.

The film centers on Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas, who is transported, along with her dog Toto, to the fantasy utopia of Oz by a tornado that sweeps her farmhouse home away. The storm carries the house with Dorothy and Toto to Munchkinland, a magical place far away from anything that Dorothy has ever seen or dreamed of. She is proclaimed a national heroine by the tiny inhabitants because the luck of the house's landing has caused the house to fall on and kill the Wicked Witch of the East, who holds power over the Munchkins. Suddenly, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, appears and explains all that has happened to Dorothy. Dorothy naturally wishes to return home. However, the sister of the now dead Wicked Witch of the East (the Wicked Witch of the West) makes a startling appearance. Dorothy receives protection from the Wicked Witch of the West by Glinda when magically the Ruby Slippers that were worn by the dead Witch of the East are now on the feet of Dorothy; as long as she wears the slippers, says Glinda, Dorothy will be safe. The Witch of the West leaves, and Dorothy is sent along the yellow brick road by Glinda, the Good Witch of the North to find the Wizard of Oz and get his help to return to Kansas. Along the way, Dorothy overcomes various obstacles and meets a talking scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion, who also are unsatisfied and need to find the Emerald City, of which the Wizard is master, believing that he will give them each what they desire. Instead, the Wizard sends the fellowship on a quest to retrieve the broomstick of Wicked Witch of the West. [source]

Collector plates (shown above right)

Following images found courtesy of Screencap Heaven (no longer online)


  1. I saw the biopic about Baum on Youtube "The Dreamer of Oz". It was very good!

  2. It was a sweet movie wasn't it? I love finding out more about the authors themselves although I realize that it was a loosely based biopic. Still a cute film!

  3. Fans of this site might be interested to know, particularly in today's economic climate, that the "Secret of Oz" is that it may very well be an allegory on the monetary policies of the United States one hundred years ago as the farmers in the great plains battled east coast bankers and the monied elite of their own time. Prof Bill Still's produced a highly instructive and award winning documentary about it, The Secret of Oz. Secret of Oz . com



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