Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Best Family Movie of All Time: The Wizard of Oz (and Other Versions)

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of the prequel, “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a good reason to take another look at what may be the greatest family movie of all time, the classic MGM musical version of “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Margaret Hamilton, and Frank Morgan. The Making of the Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM tells the remarkable story of how the film was made, including four different directors and a failed attempt to borrow Shirley Temple to play Dorothy.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

It wasn’t until well into production that they realized they had something very special that could be an enduring classic. That was when they decided to drop a musical number that was timely when filming but would soon be out of date.

YouTube Preview Image

This was not by any means the first or only attempt to film L. Frank Baum’s classic story.  A very early silent version was made in 1910, just a decade after the book was first published.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

Fifteen years later, silent star Larry Semon appeared in another version, with a Laurel-less Oliver Hardy as the Tin Woodman.

YouTube Preview Image

A sequel with Fairuza Balk was too creepy for kids, but is something of a cult classic.

“The Wiz” was a popular Broadway musical and a less popular movie, with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.  “Wicked” is another Broadway musical, based on a book that tells the story from the witchs’s perspective.

The book and its sequels (by Baum and, later, two other authors) continue to be popular.  There is a theory that the original book was an allegory of the political conflicts of the time.  And there is a very active Oz Society for fans with an annual Winkie-Con.

Advertisement

Coming later this year is “Dorothy of Oz,” an animated film starring Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammar, Hugh Dancy, Dan Aykroyd, Martin Short, Megan Hilty (“Smash”), Spongebob’s Tom Kenny, and Lea Michele, and based on a continuation of the story by Baum’s great-grandson.

YouTube Preview Image
Previous Posts

The New Yorker's Actress Profiles: Tilda Swinton, Angela Bassett, Katharine Hepburn, and More
The New Yorker has created a section with some of its best profiles of actresses, including Angela Bassett, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Tilda Swinton, and Katharine Hepburn. They are a treat to read and will inspire you to check out or revisit ...

posted 8:00:38am May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Wish You Well
[jwvideo vid='sTOlso40' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, and Josh Lucas star in "Wish You Well," a coming-of-age tale based on the best-selling novel by David Baldacci, who also wrote the screenplay. Foy plays 12-year-old Louisa, ...

posted 10:24:09pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

San Andreas
Another summer blockbuster-by-the-numbers, another dad who needs redemption and re-connection with his family, and the only way he can get ...

posted 5:55:26pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Aloha
Writer/director Cameron Crowe presents us with an attractive and talented but messy and compromised hero in "Aloha," and asks us to root ...

posted 5:37:27pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Eva -- Yet Another AI Robot Movie
This is certainly turning out to be the year of the AI robot.  This one stars Daniel Brühl and this time the robot is a child named EVA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ctMc4DFpik&spfreload=10 ...

posted 8:00:25am May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.