Wizard of Oz
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Wizard of Oz

4.4 112
Director: Victor Fleming

Cast: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger

     
 

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The triple-disc collector's edition of The Wizard of Oz is one of the two editions of the 1939 Victor Fleming film released in October of 2005. The other is the two-disc special edition, and both were preceded by the MGM/UA DVD at the end of the '90s and the first Warner Bros. DVD edition a couple of years earlier. The latter, in particular, was very good inSee more details below

Overview

The triple-disc collector's edition of The Wizard of Oz is one of the two editions of the 1939 Victor Fleming film released in October of 2005. The other is the two-disc special edition, and both were preceded by the MGM/UA DVD at the end of the '90s and the first Warner Bros. DVD edition a couple of years earlier. The latter, in particular, was very good in its time, in terms of the transfer and the bonus materials, but this triple-desk version does indeed outclass it and all rival versions. It contains everything that's on the double-disc set: a stunningly crisp transfer that reveals more detail in the image -- elements of the picture that are blurred or barely seen in the older Warner transfer, such as the details in the bricks on the Yellow Brick Road, can be seen in the new edition. The chaptering is close to what was used in the older Warner disc, but fine-tuned in some of the locations and breaks, and the sound is improved somewhat as well. The commentary by John Fricke and surviving cast and crew -- at least the third full-length commentary ever done on Oz, counting the one done by Ron Haver for The Criterion Collection laserdisc (which, itself, set a new standard for transfers of the movie) -- has been updated anew. There are featurettes on the cast and crew, the restoration of the movie, and a free-standing music-and-effects track on the first disc in the package, in tandem with the full-length movie. Disc two is loaded up with the Angela Lansbury-hosted making-of feature, which holds up extremely well, as well as the "Memories of Oz" television special -- but it's mostly filled with the new features "The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz" and "Because of the Wonderful Things It Does: The Legacy of Oz, plus composer Harold Arlen's home movies, outtakes and test footage of the tornado sequences, galleries of stills and trailers, and six hours of audio bonus features, including raw session recordings of the music and radio adaptations and promotional materials. The third disc is for those who genuinely love not only the movie and its origins but the man behind Oz; the centerpiece of the third platter is a full-length documentary on Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum that does about as good a job of telling his life as has ever been brought before the public. L. Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain is lively and entertaining as well as informative and lavishly produced. It is supported by complete editions of the earlier attempts at bringing the world of Oz to the screen, from 1910 through 1933. The silent Oz features have also been issued by some public domain DVD companies, but here they've been restored and re-scored, and each with a different kind of music score, from solo keyboard to orchestra, so that the experience of each film is distinct and different from its companion features. The 1933 cartoon Wizard of Oz is in rougher shape than one would wish, but it is also one of the rarer manifestations of the early Oz films, as its distribution was complicated by legal disputes. The disc opens automatically to an easy-to-use multi-layered menu. The other major features of the triple-disc slipcased set are reproductions of the 1939 publicity art and promotional screening invitational materials.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Hollywood magic has rarely worked as well as it did in MGM's adaptation of L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel. This fairy tale about a Kansas farm girl who is swept by a tornado into the land of the Munchkins has burned itself into the collective consciousness of generations of moviegoers. By today's standards, the special effects look primitive, but when Dorothy (Judy Garland) steps out of monochromatic Kansas into the Technicolor splendor of Oz, the moment still invokes wonder. And the songs, especially the Academy Award-winning "Over the Rainbow," remain infectious. As the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, and Bert Lahr, respectively, bring humor and humanity to their make-believe characters, while the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) remains among the screen's scariest villains. Finally, though, it is the emotional truthfulness of Judy Garland's performance, infused with all the yearnings of adolescence, that makes The Wizard of Oz a masterpiece.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
The lavish MGM production of L. Frank Baum's children's book may have lost a million dollars on its initial release, but its songcraft, technical artistry, star-making performance from Judy Garland, and unexpected TV success turned it into a perennial classic. With future ace MGM musical producer Arthur Freed lending producer Mervyn LeRoy an uncredited hand in pre-production, Cedric Gibbons' art direction, Adrian's costumes, and Hal Rosson's sparkling cinematography maximized the creative potential of Technicolor film, as Dorothy goes "over the rainbow" from a sepia-toned black-and-white Kansas to a fantastically rendered Oz of ruby slippers, emerald cities, and yellow brick roads. Lent ample support by vaudeville vets Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, and Bert Lahr, neophyte Garland delivered a touching performance as Dorothy, proving that she had the acting talent to match her superb singing. As with Gone With the Wind, the film went through several directors and Victor Fleming got the credit; King Vidor directed the Kansas sequences, including Garland's solo "Over the Rainbow." Almost cut for the sake of pacing, "Over the Rainbow" became an Oscar winner for Best Song and a Garland standard. Although the 2.7-million-dollar film wilted at the box office, The Wizard of Oz was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture (which it lost to Gone With the Wind), winning for Herbert Stothart's score and Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg's song. It was the first feature sold for prime-time TV telecast, and its 1956 TV debut was a ratings hit, finally turning it into the crowd-pleasing blockbuster that MGM had always meant it to be.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/2005
UPC:
0012569677050
Original Release:
1939
Rating:
G
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:43:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Reproductions of the original 1939 premiere program, ticket, and invitation; MGM studio news; Photoplay studies guide; Publicity photographs and more; New commentary by historian John Fricke, including archival interviews of the cast and crew; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz storybook; "Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz"; Supporting cast profile gallery; Music-and-effects-only audio tracks; "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic" and "Memories of Oz" TV specials; All-new "The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz" and "Because of the Wonderful Things It Does: The Legacy of Oz"; Harold Arlen's home movies; Outtakes and deleted scenes; The Tornado tests; Vintage vault featurettes; Exclusive stills gallery; Theatrical trailer gallery; Over six hours of audio-only treasures, including a jukebox of recording session materials, radio shows, and promos; "Off to See the Wizard"; Over three hours devoted to Oz creator L. Frank Baum; Pre-1939 screen versions of Oz Adventures; All-new documentary "L. Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain"; The Wizard of Oz (1910); The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914); His Majesty: The Scarecrow of Oz (1914); The Wizard of Oz (1925); Restored silent version (1925) featuring Oliver Hardy and a new score by Robert Israel; The Wizard of Oz (1933 Cartoon)

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judy Garland Dorothy Gale
Frank Morgan Prof. Marvel/The Wizard
Ray Bolger Hunk/The Scarecrow
Bert Lahr Zeke/The Cowardly Lion
Jack Haley Hickory/The Tin Woodsman
Gus Wayne Munchkin
Billie Burke Glinda, the Good Witch
Margaret Hamilton Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch
Pat Walshe Nikko
Clara Blandick Auntie Em
Billy Bletcher Mayor/Lollypop Guild (voice)
Tyler Brook Ozmite
Adriana Caselotti Juliet (voice)
Pinto Colvig Munchkin Voice (voice)
Billy Curtis City Father
Abe Dinovitch Apple Tree/Munchkin Voice (voice)
Major Doyle Munchkin (uncredited)
Daisy Earles Munchkin Villager
Harry Earles Guild Singer
Buddy Ebsen Tin Woodman on "We're Off to See the Wizard" (voice)
Charles Grapewin Uncle Henry
Charles Irwin Ozmite
Lois January Cat Owner
Mitchell Lewis Head Winkie
Jerry Maren Guild Leader
Singer Midgets Munchkins
Walter Miller Bespectacled Munchkin
George Ministeri Coach Driver
Yvonne Moray League Dancer
Lee Murray Winged Monkey
Frank Packard Munchkin (uncredited)
Lillian Porter Munchkin (uncredited)
"Little Billy" Rhodes Barrister
Jimmy Rosen Munchkin (uncredited)
Oliver Smith Ozmite
Terry Toto
Carol Tevis Munchkin Voice (voice)
Bobby Watson Ozmite

Technical Credits
Victor Fleming Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
Harold Arlen Score Composer
George Bassman Score Composer
Bobby Connolly Choreography
Jack Dawn Makeup
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Noel Langley Screenwriter
Mervyn LeRoy Producer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Florence Ryerson Screenwriter
Blanche Sewell Editor
George Stoll Score Composer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Edgar Allan Woolf Screenwriter
L. Frank Baum Source Author

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Wizard of Oz
1. Main Title [1:34]
2. Prologue [:19]
3. Dorothy's Dilemma [3:32]
4. Over the Rainbow [2:34]
5. Miss Gulch [2:21]
6. Toto Escapes [:39]
7. Dorothy Runs Away [1:43]
8. Crystal-Gazing [2:08]
9. It's a Twister [2:05]
10. Inside the Cyclone [2:25]
11. Not in Kansas Anymore [3:32]
12. "Come Out, Come Out." [:44]
13. It Really Was No Miracle [:52]
14. Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead! [2:59]
15. The Lullaby League [:27]
16. The Lollipop Guild [:49]
17. "Who Killed My Sister?" [2:12]
18. What a Smell of Sulfur!" [1:29]
19. Follow the Yellow Brick Road [:39]
20. You're Off to See the Wizard [:49]
21. Dorothy Meets the Scarecrow [2:25]
22. If I Only Had a Brain [2:09]
23. We're Off to See the Wuzard [:37]
24. "Apples!" [1:13]
25. A Man Made of Tin! [2:22]
26. If I Only Had a Heart [2:54]
27. "Wanna Play Ball?" [1:13]
28. "To Oz, To Oz! [:57]
29. "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" [1:06]
30. Meeting the Cowardly Lion [:18]
31. If I Only Had The Nerve [2:44]
32. We're Off to See the Wizard [:43]
33. "Poppies Will Put Them to Sleep!" [:24]
34. Optimistic Voices [4:05]
35. The Emerald City [1:01]
36. The Merry Land of Oz [1:39]
37. Surrender, Dorothy! [2:12]
38. If I Were King of the Forest [1:29]
39. Meeting the Wizard of Oz [5:00]
40. The Haunted Forest [3:59]
41. Attaak of the Winged Monkeys [1:34]
42. Dorothy in Captivity [1:49]
43. Toto's Escape [1:16]
44. March of the Winkles [1:56]
45. The Rescue [3:57]
46. "Seize Them!" [1:30]
47. "I'm Melting!" [1:04]
48. "The Wicked Witch Is Dead!" [1:04]
49. The Wizard Revealed [1:24]
50. Heroic Rewards [:59]
51. The Wizard's Balloon [4:24]
52. Glinda Returns [1:38]
53. Dorothy's Farewell [1:44]
54. "There's No Place LIke Home!" [1:28]
55. Cast List [2:35]
Disc #2 -- The Wizard of Oz
1. Wonderful in Any Language [2:22]
2. The Principals Reminisce [2:24]
3. Credits [:30]
4. The Anniversary [1:36]
5. How It Came to Be Made [2:59]
6. Judy [1:20]
7. The Good Witch [:40]
8. The Bad Witch [2:19]
9. The Wizard [2:05]
10. The Scarecrow [1:56]
11. The T'in Man [2:32]
12. L. Frank Baum [2:10]
13. The Screenplay [:31]
14. The Music [2:29]
15. The Directors [2:35]
16. The Munchkins [2:44]
17. Very Special Effects [2:04]
18. Behind the Scenes [3:29]
19. More About the Munchkins [1:28]
20. Being Crowed Out [2:13]
21. Publicity [3:11]
22. Hollywood's Golden Year [1:21]
23. The Oscars [2:09]
24. A National Institution [2:49]
25. End Credits [:46]

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