"The Wizard of Oz" Film Review

The Wizard of Oz [75th Anniversary] [DVD] [1939] - Best Buy

"The Wizard of Oz" Film Review

Rating: 5/5

By: Nathaniel Simpson

    "The Wizard of Oz" is the first movie to make audiences notice the huge difference between black & white and color. Back in 1939, almost every film was still being made in black and white. When Dorothy leaves the house after the tornado, it feels like it's a completely different movie than what was set up just moments ago. It's absolutely beautiful, and watching that switch feels like just opening your eyes for the first time. 

    The film follows young Dorothy (Judy Garland), who is whisked off to the magical wonderland of Oz. Upon arriving, she finds a witch, named Glenda the Good (Billie Burke), who tells her that the house she flew in on had killed the Wicked Witch of the East. Trying to get back home, Glinda gives her the Wicked Witch's red ruby slippers, and sends her to the Wizard on the Yellow Brick Road. However, she is pursued by the Wicked Witch's vengeful sister, The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton). Dorothy doesn't give up hope though, and continues her journey, meeting The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Tin Man (Jack Haley), and the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) along the way.     

    This movie, on paper, shouldn't work. Four directors, all being fired and rehired, had worked on this film, each causing lots of controversy between the actors and the crew. Hamilton was badly burned during one of the effects involving the Witch. There are rumors of a dead actor in one of the shots, who had hung himself while filming. This movie seems like a disaster and would flop, but what we have is this timeless classic that is one of the most famous and important films ever made. 

    It's crazy to think that this film was made almost 100 years ago. The effects and cinematography was ahead of its time, and perhaps looks better than modern films today. The story and performances, especially by the three male leads, feels very fresh and modern. The Wicked Witch of the West is still very terrifying today, haunting kid's nightmares when they watch this movie. 

    The scenes with the Wizard are incredible, and the filmmakers do a very good job at making him very intimidating. The lighting and smoke effects, combined with the fire when the wizard talks, are amazing to watch, and like mentioned before, very ahead of its time. 

    "The Wizard of Oz" has inspired many films that come after it. But not only film, it has inspired numerous TV shows and Broadway plays. A famous example of this is the Broadway play "Wicked", which has been hailed as one of the best Broadway plays of all time.  It shows the Wicked Witch of the West's point of view of the events before and during the events of the classic film. By seeing the play, it makes you really think about the events that took place in the film, changing the audience's perspective of it forever. 

    This film is one of the most influential and important films in history, and will certainly remain that way until the end of time. Every film can give a thanks to this movie, as this is what fully brought home the idea of colored film. It still holds up to today's standards, and will be watched and appreciated by generations to come.