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The Wizard of Oz (1939) Movie Review

This 1939 adaptation of the popular children's novel by Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has been an integral part of movie history. Its humongous set designs, practical effects, costumes, and characters made its mark as one of the most ambitious movies of its time.

The Wizard of Oz also spearheaded Judy Garland's career in Hollywood.

Plot Overview

Wizard of Oz follows the story of Dorothy Gale. She lives on a farm owned by her Uncle and Aunt in Kansas. After an accident involving her dog Toto biting the wealthy Almira Gulch, they ordered it to be euthanized. Dorothy runs away with Toto and meets Professor Marvel, an inventor. He tells her that she needs to go home because her Aunt is heartbroken. However, just as she is about to head home, a massive storm with tornado ravages across the farmlands. Dorothy cannot get to the storm shelter on time and gets knocked unconscious.

Dorothy awakens and gets surprised when she is greeted by a witch named Glinda. She explains that the young girl is in Munchkinland. in the land of Oz. Her sister, the Wicked Witch, arrives and threatens Dorothy and her dog. Glinda tells Dorothy she must travel and meet the Wizard of Oz to guide her home. She must follow the yellow brick road toward the Emerald City and into the wizard's house.

Along the way, Dorothy meets a few unkind companions, the brainless Scarecrow, the rusty Tin Man, and the crybaby Cowardly Lion. Together they venture into a journey of self-discovery and change with hopes that the Wicked Witch will not hinder their plans.


Wizard of Oz has been marked by many as one of the greatest films ever. For something to be one of the first that used technicolor technology indeed gets respected. The most remarkable thing about Wizard of Oz is the transition from black and white to technicolor when Dorothy arrives at the mysterious land of Oz.

I liked the performances of all the actors in this movie. Judy Garland's exceptional talent was showcased creatively.

Wizard of Oz popularized the song "Over The Rainbow." It's one of those monumental pieces of music that transcends time, and even with so many renditions and covers, nothing beats the original.

I am surprised at how this film executed everything. The practical and visual effects are outdated, but it's still good if you consider the era this movie premiered. I like the costumes as well. The story is very engaging, and I find the side characters hilarious.

The Wizard of Oz is not a perfect film. I liked most of its 100-minute runtime, but some of the musical performances were a tad too long for me. However, the creative idea to make this classic should be respected and admired.

A good 4 out of 5 stars.

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