I’ve done something that few of you all have done, I’ll wager. I’ve been to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz on an actual movie screen!
It’s not for naught that this is the movie at the top of my list of favorites of all time. There’s nothing I like in movies that this one doesn’t have, short of zombies. But even at that, what is the scarecrow after? Braaaaaaains.
The music is fantastic. The songs stick in your head like blood sucking leeches. There’s awesome dancing and slapstick comedy. Wordplay and puns. A tornado with a flying cow. Dark magic. Two creepy forests (one with spooks). Drug references (poppies, poppies, poppies) and flying monkeys. An animal star. A child star. One guy playing five roles. Explosions. And, right off the bat, they put the show stopper right up front. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” would have been the highlight of any other movie, but they toss it in at the beginning like it’s just another song. For some strange reason, it always makes me cry (I don’t have a clue why).
As you can guess, I’ve seen this movie a hundred times. It was the springtime staple for us as kids. Watching it on the big screen with the newly remastered film (HD as the host, Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies introduced it), I was amazed to see so many details that I had never noticed. And as soon as I saw the opening credits in front of that black-and-white cloudy sky, I was transported back to that time.
So, if you ever get a chance to see this movie in HD on a big screen with big sound and I hear that you skipped it on purpose, you’re getting your membership in the cool kids club revoked. I just may come to your house and rip the medal off your chest, reclaim your testimonial and tear up your diploma.