Aug

16

 I introduced my 28 month old daughter to the Wizard of Oz recently, and we spent the morning watching the entire thing on Blu-Ray. It's hard to believe this movie was made 71 years ago! The Blu-Ray video and audio quality, by the way, is phenomenal. Warner did not skimp on the transfer; the technicolor pops off the screen, and the sound is crystal clear.

It is hard to imagine what this film must have been like to produce. The movie was shot with a film speed of ASA 8! As a result, the amount of lighting required almost defies the imagination, resulting in 100 degree non-air conditioned sets with most of the actors in heavy makeup and costumes. The cameras at that time weighed 500+lbs which presented a challenge for any type of shot where they needed to move. Early Technicolor shot colors differently from their underlying ones, so the ruby slippers and yellow brick road had to be tweaked painstakingly to find the right tone. The sheer number of custom costumes that needed to be designed and created is rarely tackled in a modern day feature.

Amazingly, Over the Rainbow was almost cut from the final movie! It may sound corny, but every time I hear Judy Garland singing that piece, I'm moved and saddened.

Anyways, my daughter is absolutely in love with the movie. I don't necessarily expect her to take away any messages from it as this age, but I think there are worse things to teach a child about than the importance and true meaning of brains, heart, and courage.

I've seen the WOZ many times at this point, having grown up with it on television as a kid, and now that my daughter is hooked on it, I'm sure they'll be more viewings than I care to imagine, but it never gets old. It's a great story, with fun musical numbers, and amazing production values.

I'd recommend giving it a viewing if you haven't watched it lately. The 71st anniversary just passed, Google had a cool homage for the day. My recent viewing has also re-ignited my interest in reading the original novel which somehow I have never done.


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