movie film review | chris tookey

Wizard Of Oz

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  Wizard Of Oz Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
9.63 /10
Judy Garland (AAW "for her outstanding performance as a screen juvenile in The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms"), Frank Morgan , Ray Bolger
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Directed by: Victor Fleming (finished, uncredited, by King Vidor)
Written by: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Wolfe from Frank L. Baum's book. Songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg .

Released: 1939
Origin: US
Length: 102

Unhappy girl (Judy Garland) travels and makes unusual friends, has nasty experiences with witches, flying apes, midgets and opiate drugs, understandably decides there's no place like home.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Classic family musical which was slagged off on release for having an overage heroine, garish sets and heavy-handed direction (though it still managed to reach Number 7 on the 1939 Film Daily poll of US film critics). Audiences either believed the hostile reviews or were not in the mood for fantasy, for it did disappointing business; it was not until a re-release in 1948 did it turn a profit. It was TV that made people appreciate the film’s finest qualities. The musical highlight is Judy Garland singing the Oscar-winning Somewhere Over The Rainbow, a song that studio executives wanted to cut out. The art direction by Cedric Gibbons and William A. Horning and visual effects by A. Arnold Gillespie and Douglas Shearer were Oscar-nominated.

"The Sydney trade paper The Film Weekly which reviewed just about every feature released in Australia didn’t bother to review The Wizard of Oz at all - because it was considered of such peripheral interest to exhibitors. The movie was booked almost solely into kiddies’ matinees - and even there it fared poorly.”

(John Howard Reid, long after release)

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