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THE WIZARD OF OZ

Director: VICTOR FLEMING

U.S.A. • 1939 • BLACK AND WHITE/COLOUR • 101 MIN


KANSAS, MAY 1938. A FEROCIOUS TORNADO IS ABOUT TO CARRY OFF AN UNHAPPY LITTLE GIRL AND HER MISCHIEVOUS DOG TO THE MERRY OL’ LAND OF OZ WHERE, IN AN ATTEMPT TO FIND THEIR WAY HOME, THEY WILL ENCOUNTER A SCATTERBRAINED SCARECROW, A TIN MAN, A COWARDLY LION, A GOOD WITCH, A WICKED WITCH, A WIZARD, FLYING MONKEYS AND LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF MUNCHKINS.
The production of The Wizard of Oz was so lavish for its time that nothing quite like it had been seen before. Audiences spoke of the unforgettable thrill as the film switched from black-and-white to Technicolor. The movie has now been treated to a painstaking restoration, resulting in such glorious high resolution that it offers an exciting new experience to today’s cinemagoers— aficionados have even spotted never-before-seen rivets on the Tin Man’s head! At times the film seems so surreal that it makes one feel almost uncomfortable, but at its very heart is a remarkably shrewd performance from Judy Garland, whose wide-eyed sincerity holds the picture together. The movie’s intended message, of course, is ‘there’s no place like home’, but it also unwittingly demonstrates that you can successfully escape your monochrome life and find happiness in other lands. The film is hugely popular with gay audiences, many of whom identify with that yearning to be as accepted at home as they are elsewhere. However, whether you be a friend of Dorothy or not, certain images and melodies will stay with you long after viewing. The wonderful Wizard of Oz is not just for Christmas. —Heather Osborn.

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