Wizard of Oz, The

Director: Victor Fleming, Richard Thorpe

(1939| 101 minutes| PG)

It wouldn’t be Christmas without The Wizard of Oz, which, over sixty years on, continues to mesmerize audiences of all ages. With Judy Garland as Dorothy, Frank Morgan as the Wizard (as well as many other roles), Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion and Jack Haley as the Tin Woodman, the ensemble cast never ceases to delight. The script, based on the classic L. Frank Baum novel, captivates at every turn: the dialogue that is spoken rather than sung still has almost a musical cadence and is always just short of poetry. The music is so infectiously happy that it is basically impossible to keep your toes from tapping and an ear-to-ear grin from appearing on your face. The movie is perhaps best epitomized in Dorothy’s dance as, singing Off to See the Wizard, she skips with infectious joy down the famous yellow brick road. If we could enter the screen, every member of the audience would skip right along behind her.

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