Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1939. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf, adaptation by Noel Langley, based on the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Cinematography by Harold Rosson. Produced by Mervyn LeRoy. Music by Harold Arlen, Herbert Stothart. Production Design by Malcolm Brown, William A. Horning, Jack Martin Smith. Costume Design by Adrian. Film Editing by Blanche Sewell. Academy Awards 1939. Cannes Film Festival 1939.
There’s really nothing I need to say about this awesome fantasy film that has inspired every movie watcher since its first performance in 1939 (when it was originally a box office disappointment, oddly enough); you’ve all seen it, so watch it again. Judy Garland made herself a star in her remarkable performance, one that seems to go unnoticed now because of the film’s incredible fame, but close examination reveals that it’s not for nothing she became a permanent fixture in pop culture for playing Dorothy Gale on her trip over the rainbow. Her uncomplicated portrayal of a little girl looking for a little bit more to life than the dry tumbleweeds of Kansas is marvelous, and the film itself just never seems to age.