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.

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 That was when they decided to drop a musical number that was timely when filming but would soon be out of date.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.

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.

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

Trailer -- Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Story of Moses with Christian Bale
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/t-8YsulfxVI?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Christian Bale and Sir Ben Kingsley star in "Exodus: Gods and Kings," the story of Moses and the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. It opens this December.

posted 8:00:26pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

October 2014: Movies This Month
Happy October! This month is when we start to get the big, award-hopeful fall releases. Some of the highlights of what's ahead this month include: October 3: "Gone Girl," with Ben Affle

posted 3:42:45pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

The Inside Story of "The Princess Bride" by Cary Elwes: As You Wish
Fans of The Princess Bride, which means pretty much everyone, will love the new book from Cary Elwes (Wesley), who takes us behind the scenes for the inside story of the making of the film, from his nervous audition (his imitation of Fat Albert saved the day) to the most dedicated fans (one had "As

posted 8:00:44am Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Believe Me
Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling

posted 11:06:16am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week's "Gone Girl." She's been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It's a good

posted 8:00:23am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.