Off to see the Wizard.

17 Oct

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was the first woman/girl I ever loved.

And we’re talking that clean and pure, pre-teen, “I love my dog” type love.

Puberty ruins love for a lot of people.

It kind of becomes this freaky thing that you can only tell people about in a whisper.

But we are not here to talk about that.

We are here to talk about Dorothy.

And Toto, can’t forget him. Girls do love their pets.

The W of O is the first movie, other than cartoons and I Love Lucy, that I can ever remember seeing.

It was pure, it was innocent, back before you even understood what those words meant.

And Technocolor is amazing to a 5 year old.

Kansas looks like a horrible place. There are mean old ladies there that threaten to take away your dog.

To a 5 year old, that makes her a villain like no other, usually seen tying women to railroad tracks.

Which is also something I saw at five. (See also Dudley Doright.)

Kansas is all in black and white. That grainy old school black and white that not only ages it, but gives it weight.

Kansas is oppressive.

By the time the twister hits, we have met the whole cast except for the munchkins and we have established all the major themes.

But, since this is one of my all time favorite films, here are some weird facts about the film.

1. The Nazi Connection – Some of the Munchkins were part of a German troop and defected during the film.
2. No Suicides in Oz – There is an old Urban Legend that one of the Munchkins hung himself in the background and can be seen in the film. Total lie.
3. It’s a Dog’s Life – All of the actor’s got $50 a week during filming, Toto got $125.
4. Oz Was a Flop – Didn’t even make back what it cost to make the film until they started showing it every year on TV.
5. The Nation Was Color Blind – Technicolor was wasted on a nation that had very few color tv’s when they first started showing it.
6. Oz is Not in Black and White – The beginning and end of the film were not shot in black and white, they were shot in sepia, which gives it this smooth, classic look. Much better than black and white.
7. The Creator’s Coat – This is freaky. They couldn’t find a coat for the con-man/Wizard of Oz to wear in Kansas. So they went to a thrift store. The actor picked out a coat that he liked. They found a label inside that said “Frank L. Baum” it had been given to the thrift store when Baum died.
8. Why Frank Morgan Keeps Showing Up -The actor that plays the con-man/wizard, but they really wanted WC Fields to play it. So they added a bunch of parts to be played by Fields, but when he turned it down, they kept them in. He plays the con-man, the Wizard, a cab driver, an Emerald City gaurd, and the Emerald City gatekeeper.
9. Dorothy Wore Silver Slippers – Dorothy’s slippers were silver, but the producers thought red would look better for Technicolor.
10. The Wicked Witch Was Too Wicked – Kids in the test audience found her too scary, so they cut a bunch of her scenes.

This is one of those films that you can study for years and always find something new.

I loved it because it was long, complex and nobody had to explain it to a kid, you just got it.

Plus, Dorothy was beautiful, really brightened up the screen.

I could do with a little Technicolor in my life.




Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


3 responses to “Off to see the Wizard.

  1. Rockstar

    October 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Ever read any of the books?

    Oooh, and didja see The Dreamer of Oz? It was a made for TV movie with John Ritter, and I don’t remember it well but it was really good.

    • Bittermac

      October 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Read the books, but about 30+ years ago. Never saw the Ritter film. I will look it up.

  2. KS

    October 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    You’ve gotta watch “Tin Man,” a sci-fi twist to the Wizard of Oz.


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