"The Wizard of Oz" (1939) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #121 Gem Mint 10.0

“The Wizard of Oz“ (1939)

Director: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor

Writer: L. Frank Baum (book), Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf & more

Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Boler, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe

Rated: G

Runtime: 1h 42min

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical

Country: United States

Language: English

Available on: HBO Max & Various VOD platforms

"Dorothy Gale is swept away from her home in Kansas to the magical Land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home and help her friends as well."

You might like this if you like: Adventure, Family Movies, Fantasy, Musicals, L. Frank Baum, Victor Fleming, Animals, Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Boler, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe

Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

Probably one of the earliest films I can remember watching, this was a household favorite that I cannot deny being in my bloodstream of inspiration! To the point where I’ve almost seen it too many times...

If this film hasn’t shaped the way films have been made, I don’t know what else has. A magical adventure that sparked my imagination for years to come!

Judy Garland (left) & Billie Burke (right) in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

I’m a massive “Lord of the Rings” fan and certainly didn’t see the connections until I was older, but this truly was the first epic fantasy of its time! J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson pay many homage to this film in both the stories and the films.

Magic, creatures, flying, all those good things that come with imagination came for me from this film! The Witches, the Castle, the Monkeys, the Spells! Something a kid will capture and keep forever in their hearts!

Margaret Hamilton in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

This film taught me bravery, independence, love and perseverance and I will be forever grateful for its lessons within its wonders!

Judy Garland is a standout and one of my earliest heroes I can remember! Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr will forever remain in my head, heart and soul as one of the greatest teams that have ever graced the screen!

Jack Haley (left) Judy Garland (middle, left), Ray Bolger (middle, right) & Bert Lahr (right) in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

This classic is hard to break in new ways, but I couldn’t have forgotten it in my “Gem Mint 10.0” series! It has shaped my life more than I can say!

Written by Sam Gall on 08/09/21

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

"It is, of course, a "must" for the juveniles, and they will have a high old time. This is a real fairy tale, brought to the screen with all the trappings, color, and wondrous charm of the printed word that has. kept many a youngster late for dinner." - Nelson Burns (Te Pana), Courier Mail

"Victor Fleming has made, with living people this time, the most delightful film of its kind since Disney's Snow White." - Guardian Staff, Guardian

"The Wizard of Oz is an all-family picture, with all the charm of Baum's delightful book. But the story has an adult-appeal in plot, with cleverness in lines and situations, and lilting lyrics to delight all from 3 to 103." - SLTrib Staff, Salt Lake Tribune

"Hollywood could give us no Dorothy more lovely, more charming, than Judy Garland." - Dick Pitts, Charlotte Observer

"From a production standpoint, it is something to marvel at, for the settings are not only exceedingly lavish, but also unusually imaginative; and the technicolor photography adds to their beauty." - P.S. Harrison, Harrison's Reports

Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes:

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