The Wizard of Oz

May 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm 1 comment

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this movie in my life, but more than 50. It’s one of my all time favorite films, because I like the characters, the quips, the music, and even the scary witch. As a child, when they re-released this movie into theaters, I was scared and started to cry. I wanted mom to take me home. That witch was about the most frightening person I had ever seen and the personification of the scariest witch I could ever conjure up in my head. She was so frightening in the film, many of her scenes had to be edited out!

There has been a lot written about this film, including the fact the Dorothy was supposed to be played by Shirley Temple. I can’t imagine her in that role.

  •  Jell-O crystals covered the horse when it became a horse of a different color.
  • When Judy Garland couldn’t stop laughing during the bit where she slaps the Cowardly Lion, she was slapped by director Victor Fleming and then finished the scene in one take.
  • Margaret Hamilton’s make-up was somewhat toxic, so she was on a liquid diet during the film, apparently taken through a straw.
  • It’s been said that a munchkin or crew member hung himself during filming. No one is hanging in the background. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s a African Crowned Crane.

My favorite line in the film is when the Lion and Tin Man are climbing the rock cliff and the Tin Man is using the Lion’s tail as a rope. The Lion says, “I-I-I hope my strength holds out.” The Tin Man replies, “I hope your tail holds out.” That cracks me up every time I hear it.  I also love, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” With those long, green fingers, and pointy chin, that witch could cast a spell right through the TV.

By now, I should know allll the dialogue by heart. That movie just never grows old for me. I bought the anniversary DVD when it turned 70, so I can watch it whenever I wish. I can’t think of another movie that I have watched so often. If I come across it on TV, I will even park my butt and watch it again. I have a friend who hates this film, but perhaps if he watched it as an adult, he might enjoy it.

Who is my favorite character? Ray Bolger. The way he danced and moved with his limber limbs is amazing. There are a few other actors who had ‘rubber legs’ including Buddy Ebsen, who was supposed to play the Tin Man, but did get ill from the silver paint and had to be replaced by Jack Haley. I do wish I could imitate Billie Burke’s voice…has to be one of the most unusual in the business.

As the mother of a makeup artist, I have to give kudos to the makeup artists on this film. The makeup and costumes added so much to this film, especially in color. And NO, please don’t remake this film! It was perfect and I don’t want to see it ruined by a cheap imitation!

When I was younger, I hated “Over the Rainbow.” I can listen to it now and appreciate the way Judy sang it, but it used to give me the creeps.

I haven’t seen the latest Oz movie, but I will watch it when it comes out on HBO.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rich W.  |  May 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Fat chance that I’ll like it!


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