The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Director: Victor Fleming Cast: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger

DVD (Two Disc Set)

Overview

The double-disc special edition of The Wizard of Oz is one of the two latest editions of the 1939 Victor Fleming film, released in October of 2005 -- it was preceded by the MGM/UA DVD at the end of the 1990s and the first Warner Bros. DVD edition a couple of years later; the latter, in particular, was very good in its time, in terms of the transfer and the bonus materials, but this re-release does, indeed, outclass it. For starters, the transfer is, if anything, even more crisp and reveals more detail in the image -- elements of the picture that are blurred or barely seen in the older Warner transfer, such as the details in the bricks on the Yellow Brick Road, can be seen in the new edition. The chaptering is close to what was used in the older Warner disc, but fine-tuned in location in some of the locations and breaks, and the sound is improved somewhat as well. The commentary by John Fricke and surviving cast and crew -- at least the third full-length commentary ever done on Oz, counting the one done by Ron Haver for The Criterion Collection laserdisc (which, itself, set a new standard for transfers of the movie) -- has been updated anew. There are featurettes on the cast and crew, the restoration of the movie, and a free-standing music-and-effects track on the first disc in the package, in tandem with the full-length movie. Disc two is loaded up with the Angela Lansbury-hosted making-of feature, which holds up extremely well, as well as the Memories of Oz television special -- but it's mostly filled with the new features "The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz" and "Because of the Wonderful Things It Does: The Legacy of Oz," plus composer Harold Arlen's home movies, outtakes and test footage of the tornado sequences, and galleries of stills and trailers, and six hours of audio bonus features, including raw session recordings of the music and radio adaptations and promotional materials. The whole production is rather overwhelming unless its taken in stages, but it's all informative and entertaining, and it's well-nigh essential viewing for all but the most casual fans of the movie. As far as the movie is concerned -- but only in terms of the movie -- it's the ultimate resource for the fan and viewer. This isn't the last word on The Wizard of Oz or the world of Oz in cinematic terms, however -- for that, one can turn to the Three-Disc Collector's Edition, released simultaneously with this double-disc set in October of 2005.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/2005
UPC: 0012569675360
Rating: G
Source: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:43:00

Special Features

Over ten hours of bonus features, including:
Music Clips: Audio Vault Includes: Over the Rainbow; Munchkinland Medley Rehearsal Recordings; Munchkinland Medley Sequence Recordings; Munchkinland Medley Voice Tests; If I Only Had a Brain; We're Off to See the Wizard; If I Only Had a Heart; If I Only Had the Nerve/We?re Off to See the Wizard; Emerald City/The Merry Old Land of Oz; If I Were King of the Forest; The Jitterbug; Over the Rainbow/Triumphal Return to Emerald City; Kansas Underscoring; Munchkinland Underscoring; and more.
Photo gallery: Oz on Broadway; Pre-MGM; Sketches and Storyboards; Costume and Make-up Tests; Richard Thorpe's Oz; Buddy Ebsen; Oz Comes to Life; Behind the Scenes; Portraits; Special Effects; Post Production; Deleted Scenes; Original Publicity
Shorts and extras: Another Romance of Celluloid: Electrical Power - 1938 MGM short; Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo; Good News of 1939 Radio Show; 12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judy Garland Dorothy Gale
Frank Morgan Prof. Marvel/The Wizard
Ray Bolger Hunk/The Scarecrow
Bert Lahr Zeke/The Cowardly Lion
Jack Haley Hickory/The Tin Woodsman
Gus Wayne Munchkin
Billie Burke Glinda, the Good Witch
Margaret Hamilton Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch
Pat Walshe Nikko
Clara Blandick Auntie Em
Billy Bletcher Mayor/Lollypop Guild (voice)
Tyler Brook Ozmite
Adriana Caselotti Juliet (voice)
Pinto Colvig Munchkin Voice (voice)
Billy Curtis City Father
Abe Dinovitch Apple Tree/Munchkin Voice (voice)
Major Doyle Munchkin (uncredited)
Daisy Earles Munchkin Villager
Harry Earles Guild Singer
Buddy Ebsen Tin Woodman on "We're Off to See the Wizard" (voice)
Charles Grapewin Uncle Henry
Charles Irwin Ozmite
Lois January Cat Owner
Mitchell Lewis Head Winkie
Jerry Maren Guild Leader
Singer Midgets Munchkins
Walter Miller Bespectacled Munchkin
George Ministeri Coach Driver
Yvonne Moray League Dancer
Lee Murray Winged Monkey
Frank Packard Munchkin (uncredited)
Lillian Porter Munchkin (uncredited)
"Little Billy" Rhodes Barrister
Jimmy Rosen Munchkin (uncredited)
Oliver Smith Ozmite
Terry Toto
Carol Tevis Munchkin Voice (voice)
Bobby Watson Ozmite

Technical Credits
Victor Fleming Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
Harold Arlen Score Composer
George Bassman Score Composer
Bobby Connolly Choreography
Jack Dawn Makeup
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Noel Langley Screenwriter
Mervyn LeRoy Producer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Florence Ryerson Screenwriter
Blanche Sewell Editor
George Stoll Score Composer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Edgar Allan Woolf Screenwriter
L. Frank Baum Source Author

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