The Wizard of Oz is a musical fantasy film of the United States, which is produced by Goldwyn Mayer, and is also based on the famous and commercially unbeatable adaptation of the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by Frank Baum in 1900. The film appeals the audience if something special is introduced or used (Lumet, 1995). The film is notable for using Technicolor, unusual characters, musical score, and dreamy storytelling. Because of these features the film has become a well-known film and the part of the popular culture of America. It, however, also featured in the cinema that can be for the time the most explanatory use of the special effects and make ups of the character.
The making of the film commenced on 13 October 1938, on the lot of MGM studio in the Culver City, California, under the supervision and direction of Richard Thorpe. Thorpe had initially shot for about nine days of the footage, the involved the first encounter of Dorothy with Scarecrow, and several consequences in the castle of Wicked Witch, such as the rescue of Dorothy.
Effective decisions during film making can lead to success (Murch, 2001). The producer LeRoy had reviewed the footage and felt that Thorpe was hastening the production, which was badly affecting the performances of the actors, so Thorpe was replaced. Further, during the production re-organization, George Cukor had taken over the temporary basis, under the guidance of LeRoy. All the sequences of the OZ were, however, filmed in the Three Strip Technicolor. Further, The Kansas Sequences and the opening and the closing credits were filmed in the black and white, and they were colored in a sepia tone.
However, the mass production of the Technicolor sequence was a cumbersome and long process that continued for above six months, i.e., from October 1938 – March 1939. Majority of the actors had worked for about six days a week and they have to reach at the studio at four in the morning, so that they fit with the costumes and makeup, and they did not leave before eight at the night (Hermetz, 2013). The awkward makeup and the costumes were, however, made more unpleasant by the bright daylight, the early Technicolor procedure required that could pave the way to heat the set above 100°F. Additionally, most of the OZ actors were also banned from eating in the studio because of their costumes. For example, the witch makeup of Margaret Hamilton indicates that she could not take the solid food for eating, so practically she survived on the liquid diet during making of the OZ sequences. The massive shoot, however, also proved hectic, which is evident from their effort to put together the sequences of the Munchkin land. The talent scouts of MGM had searched the entire country and finally came up with hundred people who would make the population or the citizens of the Munchkin land (Burger, 2012).
The film was, however, not successful on the box office, it had earned only 3,017,000 dollars on the budget of 2,777,000 dollars budget, and failed to recoup the investment of the studio till its successive re-release. However, it was nominated for the sex Academy Awards, which include the Best picture, but remained unsuccessful in achieving this award. It won the award for the Best Original Song. The song was Over the Rainbow and it was also ranked first in the list of Recording Industry Association of America's 365 Songs of the Century", and AFI's 100 Years100 Songs. Further, in the year 1956, the television broadcast of film has introduced the film again to the public that finally made it famous and one of the most recognized film in the history of cinema (Nathanson, 1991).
The Library of Congress has named the film as the most viewed picture on the television. The Library of Congress has also included this movie in its National Film Registry in 1989. Further, efforts were made in order to preserve it for being historically, culturally, and aesthetically important. The movie is usually included in the Top 10 best movies of all the time by the public poll and critics. The film is also a source of the quotes that are referenced in the contemporary popular culture. The movie was primarily directed by Victor Fleming, but then Noel Langley, Allan Woolf and Florence Ryerson received the credit for the screenplay. The lyrics of songs in this movie were by Yip Harburg, and music was by Harold Arlen. However, Herbert Stothart composed the incidental music that was largely based on the songs, and Stothart has composed this song with the combine renderings from the composers of the classical music.
After watching the movie, it can be concluded that alll the images in the film such as the Kansas Twister, and the Yellow Brick Road, all the characters such as Toto, Auntie Em, Dorothy, and the Wicked Witch, the dialogues such as “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!", "We're not in Kansas anymore," the music including Over the Rainbow are perfectly represented and used. The plot of the film is, however, condensed easily, as sad and lonely farm girl named Dorothy from Kansas dreamed in order to have a better place without any annoyance against her dog named Toto from the neighbor named Spinster.
Hence, in the search of a better place she planned to run away. However, during a severe tornado she was stuck on the head and then transported to a place where she met the magical character, and then her life changed within the unconscious state of the dream. She entered the land of Oz after travelling down the Yellow Brick Road, and at the Wicked Witch’s defeat, Dorothy alongwoth her friend was rewarded by the Wizard of Oz according to the desired of their heart, and ultimately Dorothy became capable of returning to home at Kansas.
After watching the movie, it is obvious that the switch from black and white to the color had extraordinary resonance in the year 1939, the time when the movie was completed. Approximately all the films were made in the black and white, and the new color cameras, however, came with the Technicolor consultant who had suggested higher levels of light. The film has indicated major lessons of the childhood the child will not remain the child, and the home will not exist in the long run, there will be no help from the adults as the child has now become an adult, and has to face the difficulties and the challenges of the life all alone. The friends, can however, be asked for providing the help. Even, Wizard of Oz is just human, and just comprised of problem of his own. The Wizard of Oz has amazing surface of music and comedy, excitement and the special effects, it underlying stories, however, penetrate to the deep insecurities of the childhood, rouse them, and ultimately reassures them. Being adults, we love the movie because it reminds on the journey that we have already taken. So, an adult in the control of a child will definitely suggest watching the movie The Wizard of Oz.
The Wizard of Oz strongly fills the void, which is present inside children. However, for many children, home is everything for them, their focal point of the world. But, later on they find the wide world, terrifying and fascinating. ToTo is the indication of a symbiotic relationship, as children have symbiotic association with their pets. The Friends on Yellow Brick Road had indicated the projections of the fears that are present in every child.
Furthermore, there can be seen good as well as bad figures on the Oz, which include Glinda, the Good Witch, and the Wicked Witches of the East and West. Dorothy liked to seek help from her friends, but also wanted to help them. At the Emerald City, there is a dream-like experience as everything looks similar. The ending of the movie is, however, emotional. Dorothy returned back to the Kansas, and the color drained from the movie, and her friends that were magical became ordinary once again. The Land of Oz was not a bad place to remain stuck in, but Dorothy was not contented with the life in Michigan so moved backed to her home town, i.e., Kansas. The Wizard of Oz is rightly regarded as the appreciated, cherished, fantasy and musical film during its golden time and years.
Burger, A. (2012). The Wizard of Oz as American Myth: A Critical Study of Six Versions of the Story, 1900-2007. North California: McFarland & Company Inc., Publishers
Hermetz, A. (2013). The Making of The Wizard of Oz. Chicago: Chicago Review Press
Lumet, S. (1995). Making movies. New York: A.A. Knopf. Murch, W. (2001). In the blink of an eye: A perspective on film editing. Los Angeles: Silman-James Press.
Nathanson, P. (1991). Over the Rainbow: The Wizard of Oz as a Secular Myth of America. New York: Suny Press