The wizard of Oz is an American musical fantasy movie released on 15th August, 1939. The film is based on a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum. The movie was premiered on August 15, 1939 at Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Hollywood. The movie gained plaudits across the world due to its notable use of Technicolor, fantasy story telling as well as some unusual characters. It was seen at that time as one of the best movies and has even become part of the American cultural heritage. The movie was the most expensive production at the time of its release and despite a large positive review across the world; it failed to recoup much of its studio investments.
However subsequent releases made it become an instant success. In 1956 for instance, when the wizard of Oz had a television broadcast, it gained the publicity as the most popular movie in the history of cinema. At this time the Wizard of Oz received the prize as the most viewed movie on television across America and the world at large. Several people then called for the preservation of the movie as a result of it being culturally, historically and aesthetically significant to the American cultural heritage.
The wizard of Oz was made by the collaboration of four directors from the start to the end. The first director was Richard Thorpe; he was in charge for the most part of the movie for almost two weeks. The second director was George Cukor who succeeded Richard Thorpe took charge of the movie for two to three days. The third director of the movie was Victor Fleming who has been credited as the main director of the movie took over for about four months after succeeding George Cukor. Victor Fleming was then hired away by David O. Selznick to take the mantle of directing another movie; Gone with the world in 1939. This opened a way for the fourth director to take over. The name of this director was King Vidor who is seen as an un-credited director for the movie. He took over from where Fleming left it all the way to the completion of the movie in ten more days. The job that King Vidor did directing the wizard of Oz consisted mostly of completing the opening and closing Sepia sequences in Kansas series. A number of music including songs by Arlen Harold an E. Y (Yip) Harburg was integrated into the movie with the actions of the plot.
Cast and Characters
The wizard of Oz movie premiered in America included a number of professional actors and actresses at that time of its release in 1939. The following are some of the main and the most popular characters of the movie.
- Judy Garland (Protagonist) known as Dorothy Gayle in the movie.
- Frank Morgan known as Professor Marvel or the wizard.
- Ray Bolger Known as the Hunk or Scarecrow.
- Jack Haley known as Professor Marvel or the wizard.
- Bert Lahr known as Zeke or Cowardly Lion.
- Billie Burke known as Glinder (The good witch of the north.)
- Clara Blandick known as Uncle Henry.
- The singer midgets known as the munchkins.
The creation and development of the Wizard of Oz was inspired by Walt Disney’s snow white and the seven Dwarfs. The Produces detected that the adaptation of famous children fairytale stories could be successful. Therefore the script of the Wizard of Oz passed through the hands of series of writers and careful revisions were made before the final shooting of the movie.
In the wizard of Oz movie, Dorothy Gayle; a sixteen (16) year old girl lives on a farm in Kansas with her little cute dog (Toto) that she loved very much. When a neighbor tried to have her little dog put to sleep, Dorothy takes her dog (Toto) and tried to run away. All of a sudden a cyclone appears. The cyclone picks up Dorothy Gayle, her little dog (Toto) and their house and deposited them in the magical Land of Oz.
Everything that is seen in the magical Land of Oz looks very beautiful and wonderful. However Dorothy did not like the mysteries in the land and wished to return back home as quickly as possible. This led her to travel to the Emerald city of Oz in search of Help to travel back home. While she was still searching for help, she meets a great witch in the north who offered to help her get back home. Meanwhile there was another witch on the western side of Oz who seeks to trouble Dorothy Gayle by seeking revenge for the death of her sister who was known as the wicked witch of the East. The wicked witch in the west wanted revenge because she blamed Dorothy Gayle for the death of her sister (the witch of the East).
On the magical Land of Oz, Dorothy Gayle and her little dog (Toto) meet a scare crow who was badly in need of a brain, a tin man who was also searching for a heart and then a cowardly Lion who was also desperate in need of courage. They all had hope in them that Glinder (the good witch in the north) can help them to acquire their desires. Just before then, the wicked witch of the West catches up with them.
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