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The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

Updated on August 25, 2011

The Classic 1939 Movie "The Wizard Of Oz"

This will be my favorite lens to do because the wizard of oz is very near and dear to my heart! I have always loved it! This lens will cover the history of the children's book and the 1939 movie the wizard of oz itself. You may also learn a few things that you might not have known about the movie.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) is one of everybody's favorite movies. It's a fantasy/musical movie from MGM during its golden years. For many years, it was regularly on network TV as a prime time event. And some of you may remember that it was shown annually for Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes Easter.

The Wizard Of Oz soon became a classic, and probably has been seen by more people than any other movie for many years.

It is known for many quotes like for instance "Lions, and Tigers and Bears, oh my!" , "We're not in Kansas anymore," "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," and then of course you cannot leave out the last line in the movie: "There's no place like home"), and then there is the music ("Over the Rainbow") sung by the amazingly talented Judy Garland, and "Were off to see the Wizard" written by composer Harold Arlen.

The Story Of The Wizard Of Oz The Movie

The beginning of the movie is in black and white. The plot is about an twelve-year-old orphaned girl named Dorothy Gale who lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and three farm hands, Hickory, Hunk and Zeke. In the beginning of the movie, there is a mean powerful townswoman, Miss Almira Gulch. She is bitten by Dorothy's dog, Toto.

Dorothy tries to explain that Miss Gulch hit Toto with a rake, but no one will listen because they are too busy tending to the farm chores. Miss Gulch shows up with a sheriff's order to take Toto away to be destroyed. Miss Gulch takes Toto and Dorothy is hysterical! Toto gets away from Miss Gulch and returns to Dorothy, who is very happy, but then she knows that Miss Gulch will come back for Toto, she decides to take Toto and run away.

While Dorothy is running away, she meets a nice traveling fortune teller named Professor Marvel. He figures out that Dorothy is running away and feels unappreciated at home, and then he tricks her into believing her Aunt Em is sick and might be dying, so that she will go back home. When Dorothy leaves, Professor Marvel, she sees signs of an oncoming twister. She rushes back to the farm house right before the tornado. She runs inside the house, where a window frame hits her in the head andshe is knocked unconscious.

Dorothy Discovers That She Is Not In Kansas Anymore

Dorothy wakes up and discovers that she is no longer in Kansas. She wonders where she is and soon discovers the house was caught up in the twister. Moments later, the twister drops the house back onto the ground. Opening the door and stepping into full Technicolor, Dorothy finds herself in a strange village of great beauty. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North , arrives magically in a bubble. She tells Dorothy that she is in "Munchkin land" and that she has killed the ruby-slippered Wicked Witch of the East by "dropping a house" on her.

Encouraged by Glinda, the shy Munchkins come out of hiding to celebrate the death of the witch, while singing "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" and proclaiming Dorothy as their national heroine. The Wicked Witch of the West, makes a sudden appearance and wants the powerful ruby slippers.

Glinda magically transfers the slippers from the dead witch under the house onto Dorothy's feet and reminds the Witch of the West that her power is not effective in Munchkin land. The witch threatens Dorothy before leaving the same way she arrived. Glinda advises Dorothy to seek the help of the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City in her quest to return home to Kansas.

Glinda tells Dorothy she can find Emerald City by following the yellow brick road, and tells Dorothy that she must never remove the slippers or she will be at the mercy of the Wicked Witch of the West. The munchkins show her the way down the yellow brick road.

As she travels down the yellow brick road, Dorothy meets a Scarecrow with no brain, and then meets a Tin Man with no heart and later on a Cowardly Lion (these characters are portrayed by the same actors as the farm hands back in Kansas). The three of them decide to go along with Dorothy to see the Wizard in hopes of getting what they need.

Along the way, they don't realize that they already have the qualities they think they don't have: the Scarecrow has several good ideas, the Tin Man is kind and sympathetic and the Lion is ready to face danger even though he is terrified.

I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!!

Arriving In Emerald City

They finally reach Emerald City, where they are greeted kindly. The group talks to the Wizard of Oz, a intimidating projection of a head of a man, who says that he will consider granting their wishes if they can bring him the broomstick of the Wicked Witch.

On their way to the witch's castle, they are attacked by a gang of flying monkeys who carry Dorothy and Toto away and deliver her to the witch. The Witch demands that Dorothy hand over the ruby slippers. The witch threatens to drown Toto in the river, and then Dorothy agrees to give her the shoes, The witch tries to take them but there are sparks. The witch forgot that the shoes cannot be taken off unless Dorothy dies first.

While the witch is distracted, Toto escapes. The witch then locks Dorothy in a room and leaves to consider how to kill Dorothy without damaging the shoes' magic. Toto finds Dorothy's friends and takes them to the castle. Once inside, they free Dorothy and attempt to escape.

The witch and her Winkie soldiers corner them, where the witch sets the Scarecrow's arm on fire. To put out the flames, Dorothy throws water on them while accidentally splashing water on the horrified witch, causing her to melt. To the group's surprise, the soldiers are delighted. Their captain gives Dorothy the broomstick in gratitude as they begin their journey back to the wizard again.

Upon their return to Emerald City, Toto exposes the wizard as a fraud by pulling back the curtain where the wizard is operating a giant console which has a bunch of buttons and levers. He was just an average guy. They are outraged at the deception, but the wizard solves their problems through common sense and a little double talk rather than magic. He say's that they already had what they had been searching for all along and only need things such as medals and diplomas to confirm that someone else will recognize it.

Dorothy Returns Back Home To Kansas

The wizard tells Dorothy that he, was also born in Kansas and his presence in Oz was the result of an escaped hot air balloon. He promises to take Dorothy home in the same balloon, leaving the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion in charge of Emerald City. Just before takeoff.

Toto sees a cat and jumps out of the balloon's basket. Dorothy gets out to catch him and the wizard, unable to control the balloon, leaves without her. She will now have to spend the rest of her life in Oz until Glinda appears and tells her that she has always had the power to return home, with the power of the ruby slippers. Glinda explains that she did not tell Dorothy at first because she needed to find out for herself that she doesn't need to run away to find her heart's desire.

Dorothy cries and says goodbye to her friends and now in order to get home Glinda tells her to close her eyes, click her heels together 3 times and say "There's no place like home." The movie returns to black and white and she awakens in her bedroom in Kansas (still saying "There's no place like home," in her sleep) surrounded by family and friends she tells them of her journey.

Everyone laughs and tells her it was all a dream, except Uncle Henry, who says "Of course we believe you, Dorothy." Toto appears and jumps onto the bed. Dorothy is still convinced the journey was real, hugs Toto and says one last time, "There's no place like home."

The Wizard Of Oz Movie Trailer

The Creator Of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

The story of L.Frank Baum (the the creator of the story of the Wizard of Oz)

Lyman Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, New York, on May 15, 1856, and was the seventh of nine children,

When he was four years old his family moved to Syracuse, New York. His father wanted to pursue a career in the oil business.

He spent most of his childhood at home with his family, because he had a weak heart and also because his parents were over protective.

In 1868 Frank was sent to a Military Academy, but unfortunately suffered a heart seizure and had to go back home. While at home he began to take up some interests which included writing short stories poems and riddles.

In his teens he and his brother had issued a few newpapers. "The Rose Lawn Home Journal" and later "The Empire"

As he became a man he had many professions. He was an actor, a playwright, a theater manager, newspaper reporter, salesman, and a chicken breeder. It was as a breeder that he began a magazine called The Poultry Record and then published his first book, The Book of the Hamburgs,

He then met and married Maud Gage.They had two sons and Baum, loved being a father and with an his ability to please children, told his boys fantastic stories. At this time, Baum was working in the family oil business but after the death of his father in 1887 it was discovered that a clerk had embezzled most of the capital of the company.

After all of the trouble they moved to South Dakota and Frank opened a store called "Baum's Bazaar" which didn't last long. It was foreclosed in 1889.

He then had several other jobs including having a newspaper called "The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer", The Baum's had two more boys and then moved to Chicago. Baum then became a reporter, a department store window dresser, and a traveling salesman. In 1896 he applied for copyright on his first two children's books, "Adventures in Phunniland" and "Tales from Mother Goose".

How The Story Of The Wizard of Oz Was Created

The collection of short stories, with an appearance of a little farm girl named Dorothy, inspired L. Frank Baum to produce a magazine called The Show Window, a magazine for window dressers which was an immediate success.

Baum then decided to earn his living as a writer. In 1899 he wrote a book called Father Goose with an artist William W. Denslow and it sold 60,000 copies.

He then wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1899 and was published in 1900, and it was a huge success!The critics loved it and he had over 200 reviews. Many of the reviewers, such as The Bookseller, compared it with Alice in Wonderland.

He didn't realize the importance of the book right away and continued to publish other works until he wrote The Marvelous Land of Oz in 1904. He wrote this partly because of the success of the first book and partly because of financial issues. This book was a great success. Baum was at the height of his productive powers and then he published several books between 1904 and then he wrote the third Oz book, Ozma of Oz, in 1907. From this point on, Baum, wrote one Oz book a year.

Each was as popular as the last and although they tended to vary in quality, they were certainly more successful than any of his other works. Baum loved writing fantasy books but not all of them featured Oz and so, when he wrote The Emerald City of Oz in 1910, the series was ending.

With all of his financial problems he ended up having to sell the rights to his Oz books to a group of creditors and when Baum passed the rights to the Oz books weren't regained to his widow until 1932.

He moved to Hollywood, California, and wrote a few more non- Oz books, but they were not as successful. He later had an overwhelming number of letters from children asking for 'more about Dorothy', so, Baum published The Patchwork Girl of Oz and became, until his death, the Royal Historian of Oz.

Baum continued to publish an Oz book once a year, with a whole generation of American children growing up with the tradition of an adventure in that far away land every Christmas.

In February 1918 Baum entered the hospital, writing to his publishers that he had "finished the second Oz book - beyond The Tin Woodman of Oz - which will give you a manuscript for 1919 and 1920. Also there is material for another book, so in case anything happens to me the Baum books can be issued until and including 1921." Baum survived his hospital operation but spent his last year bedridden, dying nine days before his 63rd birthday in 1919.

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    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Block buster and filled with optimism. You chose one of my all time favorites. OBTW, I remember seeing it in black in white (on TV). Does that date me? Great lens munchkin squid!

    • Michelle77 LM profile image

      Michelle77 LM 6 years ago

      One of my favorite movies!

    • profile image

      maxnic11 6 years ago

      great lens, good fun! x