My favorite scene of the entire was the flying monkey attack because it was slightly darker in tone than the rest of the movie and the stunt was impressive for the time.
Directed by: Victor Fleming
Genre: Fantasy, Musical,
Release Date: August 25, 1939
Running Time: 101 minutes
MMPA rating: G
The Good: Impressive visuals for the time, Top notch production values, One decent song, Revolutionary,
The Bad: Painfully corny, Relies completely on nostalgia,
Plot: The following plot summary is copied from Wikipedia.com.
In 1900, Kansas farmgirl Dorothy Gale lives with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and farmhands Hunk, Zeke and Hickory, but gets little attention and is told to stay out of the way. Land owner Miss Gulch arrives at the farm demanding that Dorothy's pet dog Toto be destroyed after he bit her. Fearing for Toto's life, Dorothy decides to run away from home. On the road, she meets Professor Marvel, a travelling showman who pretends to foresee Aunt Em falling deathly ill. Dorothy rushes home as a tornado forms nearby. Dorothy's family take shelter in the storm cellar, but, unable to get inside, Dorothy and Toto run into the house. Dorothy is knocked unconscious by debris, and wakes up to find that the house got swept up in the tornado and carried into the sky.
Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Plot: 6.1/10- There is not much to the story, it was very simple and straight, however it was original at the time. Sometimes it is difficult to critic some children's movies, since I have overlook many of the flaws, however there were some "family friendly" films from the time that do hold up well today, like the aforementioned Adventures of Robin Hood. The third act of the Wizard of Oz was superior to the rest of the movie because it lacked nearly as many songs. While the actual story was lacking the whimsical atmosphere was great and it did create a fun and visually appealing fantasy world. The movie did offer a few interesting allegories, similar to many classic children stories. *Spoiler* I found it almost kind of funny is that when Oz gave the Tin Man his "heart" Oz said, "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." Isn't that kind of a screwed up moral message? Maybe I am overthinking this, but it is not a general consensus that the message should be the other way around? *End Spoiler*
Acting: 3.5/10- Even though I will give the cast some slack because it was probably intentional, the acting was absurdly hammy. Much of it was painful to watch due to its corniness. Only Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow and Jack Haley as the Tin Man gave decent performances among the cast, and I suppose Judy Garland wasn't terrible, however the other cast members were too far over-the-top.
Special effects: 10/10- While many of the sets are clearly sets with painted backgrounds, for the time, the effects were the best. The size and detail of the sets and the was very well done and it uses color well to highlight certain aspects. The makeup work for Dorothy's companions was revolutionary at the time and it still holds up surprising well today. The Tin Man and Scarecrow were especially well done.
Soundtrack: 6.9/10- Considering that it is a musical, many of the songs were annoying to me, but a few songs were decent. The first one with the Tin Man had a classic Bing Crosby type style to it, so it was enjoyable, however the munchkin's songs overstayed its welcome.
Comedy: 6.2/10- There were a few scenes that I found humorous, although most of it lacked in humor.
Would I Watch This Again: Because it is a "classic," maybe many years from now.
Overall: 6.0/10- The Wizard of Oz is not intended for my demographic, because I never watched it as a kid and musicals are not my thing. For what it is, the Wizard of Oz is not a bad kid's movie, however without the power of nostalgia there is not much there for older audiences, unless the songs are the major draw.
Closing comments: If you do still like the movie because you loved it as a kid, that's great, however for older audiences it does not hold up very well, other than the visuals.
Recommended for: Fantasy fans, Classic film fans, Musical fans,
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