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Monday, 8 November 2010

Film Review - The Wizard of Oz 1939

Victor Fleming 1939 film The Wizard of Oz is a film that nearly everyone has seen once in their life. When we first see the land of Oz  the technicolor colours get our imagination going. As well when we follow the story we can see several morals that unfold in front of us.

Lonely and sad Kansas farm girl Dorothy dreams of a better place somewhere over the rainbow. Away form the torment of her horrible spinster neighbour against her dog Toto. So Dorothy and Toto plan to run away but end up getting caught up in a tornado. Where she is struck on the head where she is transported to the enchanted land of Oz somewhere beyond the rainbow. To find her way back home to Kansas she has to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to find the Wizard of Oz. Along the way she meets a scarecrow without a brain, a tin man without a heart and a lion without courage. Dorothy believe that she has met them before and she has they are transformation of her friends form back home in Kansas. When they finally arrive at the Land of Oz the wizard tells them that he will not grant them there wishes. Until they have Dorothy and her new friend have to defeat the wicked witch of the west. After defeating the wicked witch Dorothy and her friends are rewarded by the wizard of oz with their hearts desires. Dorothy is able to return home and realise that “There is no back like home.”

“Oz was groundbreaking in a number of ways, most obviously in its visual impact.” The first half of The Wizard of Oz is shot in black and white (sepia tones more than black and white). Also the first half of the film is quiet slow paced this was Fleming’s way of showing what life in Kansas was like for Dorothy. The second part when Dorothy lands in Oz is in Technicolor colours. Where she end up spending the rest of the film figuring out that Kansas wasn’t as bad as she thought it was. When you watch the film you can easily see the moral to the story “There no place like home”.

Dorothy learns that there is no place like home. She spends the beginning of the film wishing she didn’t live in Kansas and wishes she was somewhere else. But what she figures out that Kansas is as bad as she thought by this time it is too late.  “Countless interpretations have been advanced, of the book and of the film, from almost every conceivable angle: political, economic, religious, feminist, Freudian, you name it.”  

“THE WIZARD OF OZ is timeless. So simple, so honest, but so deep in its messages about love and self-discovery.” For us Oz is this magical place but for Dorothy it is also a place where she finds herself and does some growing up. The Tin man, the Lion and the Scarecrow are all symbolic lessons that we see happening. All three characters had what they wanted to wish for a brain, a heart and courage. They just didn’t know it till the end of the film that they had it all along.

 The Wicked Witch of the West is the representation of the real dangers along the way when you start to grow up. Glinda the Good Witch can be seen as a mother figure to Dorothy. She puts her on the right track to solve her problems. As well as telling Dorothy that along the way she with have to grow up and the problems that she encounters on the way will help here do so.

Having seen this film before I never really paid attention to the visual affects and I was so amazed by how the use of colour can be used to portray something to the audience. The use of dark colours to portray unhappiness and the use of bight colour to happiness. The moral “There no place like home” is portrayed so well and has the audience thinking that there is really no place like home.

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