The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939): USA

Reviewed by Chelsea Nielson. Viewed on DVD

The Wizard of Oz is an unforgettable classic film that was made in 1939 under the direction of Victor Fleming. With great characters that to whom people can relate, and being one of the first films with color, and a wonderful music score, this film is one that will never be forgotten.

During the 1930s film had gone from black and white to Technicolor, but most of the films were still black and white. The Wizard of Oz was a breakthrough for Technicolor and advanced the movies’ overall affect. This shift to color in this movie was one of this reasons it was such a success. Also, the special effects for its time were incredible. The way they were able to make the monkeys fly, the way the tornado swept across the Kansas field and the way the Wicked Witch looked as if she had melted were all incredible feats for the late 1930s.

This movie was made after the Great Depression and this movie had a lot of impact on the movie industry during that time. During the Great Depression, people were going through terrible times wondering where their next meal was going to come from and how they would be able to make it through the next day. But because of movies like the Wizard of Oz, people had somewhere to escape from the harsh reality of life. All of the characters in this movie were very relatable. The main character, Dorothy, is a sweet innocent young girl who gets swept away from home during a twister to the magical land of Oz. Dorothy wants to run away from her life in Kansas, and any person during that time of the Depression could relate to that feeling because of the terrible things going on. The Wicked Witch of the West represented the “fishy” big business at that time, etc.

Although the first and last parts of the movie are in black and white, it doesn’t mean that they are not as important as the colorful part. The reason the first part is black and white is because Dorothy sees Kansas as boring and a horrible place to be, and see wants to get out of it. The part in Technicolor represents Dorothy’s dream place where she is supposed to be happy and never wants to leave the Land of OZ. Dorothy soon realizes that even though she thought this colorful place would bring her happiness, it does not. She realizes (in one of the morals of the movie), “there is no place like home,” and tries to do everything she can to get back to that “colorless” place.

Even though this film was made over 60 years ago, it is worth watching. It is worth buying because it is a movie that will never “grow old.” This movie is entertaining, with all its dancing and singing, and the songs are priceless. The Wizard of Oz is a perfect family movie.  It is not too scary for children to watch and it will keep their attention; parents will love it along with everyone in between. This musical might be one of the strongest musicals ever made.


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