Video Release: September 21, 2004
Theatrical Release: 1939
Rating: G (MPAA)
Studio: Warner Home Video
- Surround Sound, Digital Sound, Stereo, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Surround AC-3, Dolby SR, Dolby
- Closed Captioned
- Colour, Black & White, B&W and Color
- Runtime: 101 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Released in English
Timeless telling of the classic children's story by L. Frank Baum about the magical, musical, mythical land of Oz. During a tornado in her native Kansas, a farmgirl named Dorothy is transported "over the rainbow" to a place where witches lurk, scarecrows talk, lions cower and apple trees throw their fruit at you. There, while embarking on a dangerous journey to the Emerald Kingdom to meet the mysterious and wise Wizard of Oz, Dorothy finds some new and wonderful friends. By the time she has finished her fantastic voyage, however, the sweet and spunky girl has learned a lesson she'll never forget: there's truly "no place like home."
A young girl named Dorothy is bored of her gray life on a Kansas farm. When her house is whisked away by a tornado it lands somewhere over the rainbow in a Technicolor world, and Dorothy knows she's not in Kansas anymore. The beloved, incomparable classic based on L. Frank Baum's 1900 book is a musical and visual candy store. The film has proved so influential that it is impossible to even enumerate those of its elements which have permeated other cultural mediums, or even subsequent films which quote it visually or verbally. Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best Picture. Academy Awards: Best Original Score, Best Song ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow"). **On moratorium from MGM.
"The Wizard of Oz" will go on Moratorium January 31, 1997. The film is in sepia tone and three-strip Technicolor. Originally not rated, but given an MPAA G rating for video. In L. Frank Baum's book, Dorothy's magical slippers weren't ruby-red, but silver. The original Tin Man was Buddy Ebsen. He was replaced after his makeup, which contained pure aluminum dust, coated his lungs and left him hospitalized. Jack Haley took over the role and wore a safer, paste-based makeup. The studio wanted W.C. Fields for the role of the Wizard of Oz, but his asking price was too high. Shirley Temple was considered for the role of Dorothy. "Over the Rainbow" was originally cut from the movie because MGM executives thought it slowed down the film's pace. A "Jitterbug" musical number was also cut from the final print. A longer version of "If I Only Had a Brain" was discovered in the MGM vaults in 1973, choreographed by Busby Berkeley. The versions with additional material run around 119 minutes. Aired originally on the CBS Television Network November 3, 1956. The CBS Television Network celebrated the film's 40th year on television May 10, 1996 by showing an original, unedited print of the film that included the "Jitterbug" dance sequence and other footage never screened in theatres. In addition, the station ran a documentary on the making of the movie. Angela Lansbury hosted the special. MGM/UA Home Video #101656 runs 126 minutes, 55 seconds, and includes a restored print of the film and supplementary materials. Among the additional footage is Ray Bolger's Scarecrow dance number; the "Jitterbug" number; Buddy Ebsen's rendition of "If I Only Had a Heart;" the original trailer; and Judy Garland at the 1939 Oscars. The MGM/UA laserdisc (105204) includes a bilingual analog track with the dialogue dubbed in Spanish on one channel and in French on the other. Additional cast: Pat Walshe (Nikko) and Toto (as Toto, the Dog). Additional credits: Natalie Kalmus (Technicolor director); Henri Jaffa (associate Technicolor director); Allen Davey, ASC (associate photography); and Buddy Connolly (musical numbers staging). Copyright 1939 Loew's Incorporated. Renewed 1966 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.