May 15th 2011: The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Cast and Crew: Victor Fleming (Director); Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke

What It’s About: Dorothy (Judy Garland) is a Kansas farm girl who desperately wants to see the world beyond her drab farm.  She gets more than she wished for when a cyclone picks up her house, with her and her dog Toto in it, and brings it to the land of Oz.  The house lands on and kills the Wicked Witch of the East, and soon her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) appears, ready for revenge.  Can Dorothy make it to the Wizard (Frank Morgan), who rules the land of Oz from Emerald City, and will he help her find a way home?

Why Watch it Today?: L. Frank Baum, who wrote the Oz novels, was born today in 1856.  Baum’s novels were immensely popular in their day, and have been adapted to film countless times, including Baum’s own silent versions, but MGM’s 1939 musical adaptation is still the most well-known, and beloved, version of the story.

Where to Get ItLibraries, Netflix (Rental), or Amazon

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