Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Wizard of Oz review

The Wizard of Oz


The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film, directed primarily by Victor Fleming from a script mostly by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, with uncredited contributions by others. The film was based on a novel called "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" which was published in 1900 by L. Frank Baum.

The Wizard of Oz is a fantastical and visually fulfilling film about a girl who gets blown away from home in a tornado. She lands in a magical land far far away from where she lives in Kansas and has no other choice then to seek out some help. She embarks on a journey along a yellow brick road to see a wizard who is able to help her get home, meeting numerous characters along the way.

The story is based on a girl who goes on a magical journey to find her way back home, but is this a dream or is it real? A strong belief can be developed for either possibility, although it's ultimately up to each viewer to make up his or her own mind. Whichever way you lean, it doesn't detract from the movie's boundless capacity to entertain. The adventure along with a little comedy and happy music is likely to leave a child mind blown into thinking its a real story, while an adult can sit and watch this film and reflect back on their life and know that at the end everything will be the same. The dreamy fantasy may also be enticing for children who may get that "the grass is greener on the other side" feeling, but the film is smart in portraying Dorothys feelings of wanting to get back to "home sweet home" where she is loved. The film is ultimately about a child learning to face their fears and not run from them.

"With its dazzling special effects, costumes, and sets rendered in vibrant Technicolor, The Wizard of Oz represents one of the greatest achievements in movie magic."

The visual effects and technicolour are a splendid achievement that not many films of that time had. The film starts off in brown and white when Dorothy is back at home in Kansas. It is a little slow moving and melodramatic. Half an hour later she is swept away in a tornado, which is pulled of superbly, and lands in this magical land of Oz. In Oz is where the screen is suddenly flooded with loads of bright technicolour, which is a delightful surprise for new viewer and those who have watched the film countless times. What makes the colour better is the long build up, which you dont really know is a build up if you haven't seen the film before, of watching the film in brown and white before being brought into this colourful world.  The tornado scene was seen as an advanced special effect back then, which is still one of the movies most famous scenes. It was created by filming a windsock being blown around by electric fans and was even said to be "more realistic and believable than the computer-generated tornadoes in the movie "Twister", made 57 years later"- David Bezanson, 2004, There is no animation in this film, it is all film and matte painting, which is another thing the film deserves credit for.

The acting in the film is also great, with each character portraying a different personality. There is a cowardly lion, a tin man and a scarecrow who each have weaknesses and strengths. It is clear to any audience that they work as a team to overcome obstacles and without eachother they wouldn't be able to reach the emerald city. There were a lot of casualties and cast changes in this film. The Tin Man, played by Buddy Ebsen, had an allergic reaction to the alluminium and the face make up and became serverely ill, He had to be replaced early on by Jack Haley. The Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton,  was seriously burned when she went up in a puff of smoke. Even Toto had to take two weeks off after being stepped on by a crew member and injured. These are a few of the events which occured that, when you look at the final product, makes you wonder how it still came out to be such a great film.

In conclusion, there isn't much to critisize The Wizard of Oz about, it is simply a great film that is seen as a spectacle across the world.


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