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4 Reasons to Fall in Love with The Wizard of Oz Again — And 1 Reason Not To

Ready to experience the American classic in IMAX 3-D?

by
Kyle Smith

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September 21, 2013 - 7:00 am
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This week marks the re-release of The Wizard of Oz in 318 theaters nationwide to promote a Blu-ray re-release next month. The new version, a painstaking 3-D IMAX restoration of the 1939 classic (which was originally released one week before World War II broke out in Europe and was not a huge success at the time), is a visual marvel and a great way to catch up with the film if you haven’t seen it in a few years. Here are a few things that are wonderful about Wizard (and one that’s pretty lame).

1. It’s fast-moving without being jumpy.

Oz gallops right along from adventure to adventure — the Kansas scenes, the introduction of the witches and the Munchkins, the friendship with Scarecrow and the others, the Emerald City and the Wicked Witch’s castle. There’s barely a chance to catch your breath before the next episode of peril (or the next sparkling musical interlude). Yet the movie is composed of relatively long takes. There are only 650 edits in the entire movie — less than one-third as many as you would expect to see in a contemporary equivalent. It’s a film that consistently rewards the uninitiated with surprises (and the repeat viewer with dazzling set pieces that rank among the most justly famed images in the history of film) without any wasted moments.

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Top Rated Comments   
Kyle, I think you're forgetting something regarding your "1 Reason Not to Like it". It's a dream sequence. The whole thing from the bump on the head to waking up in bed is a dream sequence. Dreams don't follow logical and reasoned scripts.
Best Regards, RD
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I was a kid in the Sixties, there were only three broadcast channels, ABC, NBC, and CBS, and if they didn't show it, you didn't see it. Every year, one of the networks (CBS, I think, but I could be wrong) would broadcast the Wizard of Oz (again, if memory serves, on a Sunday night) after hyping it up all week.

Our whole family was there to see it, every year.

Until sometime in my teens. I think I got tired of Bert Lahr first. I never got tired of Margaret Hamilton. What a performer!

Saw it again much, much later in life, and for the first time, ever, was struck by the sly satire. The movie sure didn't emphasize it (but the book sure did), but it's there. When I was a kid, I'd never noticed that each character was blessed with exactly that character trait they valued the most, and felt they didn't have. The Scarecrow wanted a brain, yet he's the one who always devised their various strategems. The Tin Man wanted a heart, yet he's the sentimental one always on the verge of tears. The Cowardly Lion wanted courage, but when push came to shove, he overcame his fear and met the challenge head on.

They each already had what they sought.

Oz saw this, of course. The dialogue with the Scarecrow is priceless...

"Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity... Back where I come from we have universities, seats of great learning -- where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- and with no more brains than you have.... But! They have one thing you haven't got! A diploma!"

And that about sums things up.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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if villains were rational, James Bond would have died long ago, along with Harry Potter, Jack Ryan and Indiana Jones.

forget the lack of logic, pretend it is the Book of Genesis and accept it reveals truths about God's creation.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The other bad part of the movie is the Wicked Witch of the North. What, you say? There was only one Wicked Witch? Nope. There were two.

Glenda, the Good Witch of the North, is really the Wicked Witch of the North. The difference is that she was blonde and all goody two-shoes nice. Or was she?

Glenda was right there when the other witch had a house drop on her. Coincidence? I think not.

At the end of the movie, Glenda is all "oh Dorothy, you had the power all along to go home by just tapping your heels". Really? And you don't mention that earlier? B**ch.

Glenda was evil.

And the alleged Wicked Witch? Someone (probably Glenda) drops a house on her sister, and the perp (probably framed by Glenda) is a little girl from Kansas who she not only thinks killed her sister, but stole her shoes. So she goes to great lengths to punish the murderer and reclaim her sister's property. Evil? Or just out for justice?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
sounds like it should be Good Witch of Chicago!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Corporate greedheads employing silicon valley vandals to strip-mine the back-catalog. The result is not new art, but graffiti, obscuring the original by overlaying it with digital artifacts. ("Hey, instead of just colorizing Casablanca, let's make Sam and Elsa really pop!") You think it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship? I say round up the usual suspects. Then shoot them.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kyle, I think you're forgetting something regarding your "1 Reason Not to Like it". It's a dream sequence. The whole thing from the bump on the head to waking up in bed is a dream sequence. Dreams don't follow logical and reasoned scripts.
Best Regards, RD
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
back off, infidel
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I recall in the book, the problem the Witch had was that she couldn't actually kill Dorthy, and was trying to figure out how to manage it.

Dorthy didn't realize that, so the witch kept her in line with threats and general nastiness, until she pushed it to far and got doused.

The key to the Wicked Witch was that she was a very nasty, but ultimately powerless villain. She had attained her position by using the magic monkeys, but because she had only a finite number of uses of them, and no strength of her own, just just lorded over her territory in a hovel. The minute somebody actually stands up to her she collapses like a wet paper bag.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are you talking about the witch? Or Obama?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have always hated 'The Wizard of Oz'; my parents took me to see it when I was very young. Early grade school, I think. It baffles me that so many people are so in love with this story.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I never noticed the flawed plot. I will continue to ignore it in blissful ignorance.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Was that "1 reason not to" in the original picture, or is it a new ending?

May be the wicked witch wanted to devise the wickedest plan to kill Dorothy but wasn't bright enough to think of one. After all she could only kill Dorothy once, she must do it right. She's wicked, but not too smart. Ergo, the very explicable delay.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
And if you have never seen it in a theater projected from 35MM film you cannot imagine the vibrant colors. Video cannot do the same colors even yet. The ruby red slippers are just awesome....the color space of that 3-strip technicolor process using ASA 5 film was awesome...can I say awesome again? heh...
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thought that the hour-glass scene was a great stressor. Things don't always have to make sense. People (good and bad) do things that make no sense every day of the week.

What makes no sense to me is doing a 3-D version.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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