The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

on August 15, 1939 by BOXOFFICE Staff
This is a completely charming and wholly delightful film in a direction rarely attempted by Hollywood. L. Frank Baum's story of the land of Oz, its Wizard, Straw Man, Tin Man, Lion and witches, no doubt, needs no recounting. This is a fantasy with all of its nostalgia, its escape and its appeal. And because it deals with the Make-believe, production boundaries have given way to new approaches in sets, costuming and conception which make "Oz" a beautiful thing to behold in Technicolor. Comedy, music and vastly diverting touches are visible on all sides. Merit on every account is present, but, despite it all, the answer on acceptance rests with the public. If there is any justice, however, "Oz" should be, and may be, a roaring success.

Straw Man, Tin Man, Lion, the Munchkins and the assorted costumes used by the principal characters are, of course, a natural for street ballyhoo. Tie-ups with music stores on the well-known "Oz" music, likewise, are a cinch. The pressbook suggests a coloring or caricature contest based on the characters and an elaborate plan for cooperative advertising. Animated character heads, soap sculpture, giant book display in lobbies, cardboard tire covers -- these and a very wide variety of ideas are encompassed within the covers of the extensive campaign book prepared for the film. Exhibitors, by all means, should consult it.

The wonder show of shows... The greatest magic film ever made... As great as "Snow White" and with a cast of living actors. MGM 101 mins.

Tags: musical, adaptation, fairy tale, dream, witch, munchkins, classic, fantasy, L. Frank Baum, Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton

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