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Turner Classic Movies
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Wizard of Oz, The
Written by Diana Saenger   

twizaedoz.jpgSince 1939 The Wizard of Oz, adapted from L. Frank Baum's novel, has been a timeless classic entertaining both children and adults. The story of a small girl (Judy Garland) in Kansas who travels to Oz with her friends the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Tin Woodman (Jack Haley) and the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) has fun with munchkins, sings and dances and encounters good and bad characters in Glenda, the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke) and the Wicked Witches of the West and East (Margaret Hamilton.)

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Judy Garland and Toto © MGM
A simple story about a girl who lives on a Kansas farm with her Auntie Em (Clara Blandick), Uncle Henry (Charley Grapewin) and her little dog Toto soon turns into a magical fantasy when a storm approaches and Dorothy is hit on the head.

Dorothy wakes up in a very beautiful place with lots of fanciful characters like flying monkeys, witches and little people with squeaky voices who call themselves the munchkins. But she misses her home and family and wants to get back home.

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Ray Bolger © MGM
She meets a scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Tin Woodman (Jack Haley) and the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) who become her friends. They're all in need of something - Dorothy and Toto to get back to Kansas and Uncle Henry and Aunt Em.

Glenda,  (Billie Burke)  the Good Witch, sends them off to Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan), who she assures will grant their wishes.

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 Billie Burke    and     Margaret Hamiliton ©  MGM

But when they find the Wizard, he's anything but assuring. Only if you watch this charmer will you know the outcome of the story, and even then, you'll want to watch it again with each new generation that glows with its amazement.

Filled with Wonderful songs and characters and a wholesome theme - "There's no place like home" - that's still used around the world in dialogue, The Wizard of Oz won accolades as one of the best films of the 1930s. It captured two Academy Awards for its music and was nominated for four more including best picture, which lost out to Gone With the Wind. The only drawback because of all the unusual and sometimes outlandish characters, the movie can be somewhat frightening to very small children.

Director: Victor Fleming

Writers: L. Frank Baum - novel, Noel Langley - screenplay

Cast: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton

Rating: G

Classic Movie Guide Rating: 5 out of 5

Run Time: 101 minutes

Studio: MGM

Format: Color

 



                       

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