The Wizard of Oz, 1939, Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz

Regie: Victor Fleming (as well as George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, all uncredited); Screenplay: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf after The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum; Cinematography: Harold Rosson; Music: Herbert Stothart, Harold Arlen; Cast: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton. US, 1939, 35mm, color, 102 min. English 
A fundamental work of American cinema: a myth of self-discovery, intoxicating Technicolor, a film distorted by several directors and even more screenwriters into a dream factory horror trip – a fairy tale. A tornado catapults Judy Garland out of the sepia brown peacefulness of rural Kansas into the wonderland of Oz where she finds new, scary friends, evil and good witches, cute and horrid munchkins, and many more oddities. With the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man, she sets off to present her requests to the magical wizard of Oz. But just like in a Hollywood spectacle, his reputation is entirely based on word of mouth and machines of illusion – you still have to find happiness for yourself, somewhere over the rainbow. (C.H.)