‘Gone With the Wind,’ ‘Wizard of Oz’ Returning to Theaters
Two of the greatest films of all time, ‘Gone With the Wind’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ celebrate — brace yourself — their 80th anniversary this year.
Frankly, my dear…it’s time to take another trip down the Yellow Brick Road. Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz are returning to the big screen this month.
Both films, released in 1939, are celebrating their 80th anniversary.
I’m nowhere near 80 years old, but even so, that makes me feel old!
The musical The Wizard of Oz was adapted from L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland stars as Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm girl who finds herself transported to a magical, colorful world from which she searches for a way back home.
For those of us who have never read the actual book, this movie might be among the first we remember seeing…but on television for its annual showings in years past, not on the big screen.
We were mesmerized by the transition from the dull, sepia-toned world of Depression-era Kansas to the brilliant Technicolor of Oz and Emerald City. The Wizard of Oz is often mistakenly called the first Technicolor film. It wasn’t…by a long shot. But because of our fondness of the film from our childhood, it’s an easy mistake to make.
The musical also featured Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Burt Lahr as Dorothy’s friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, respectively, who join her on her quest to meet the mysterious wizard.
The film’s most famous song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, was initially deemed a scene-killer and was nearly stricken from the film, according to a documentary on the series. Fortunately, that decision was ultimately reversed and the song helped make Judy Garland a favorite for generations.
For the 10th anniversary of its 100 Years, 100 Films list of the greatest films of all time, the American Film Institute ranked it at 10th place.
Gone With the Wind, meanwhile, was based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel about the Old South’s destruction during the Civil War and its fight to recovery during Reconstruction. The film starred Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler.
With a supporting cast that included Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard and Hattie McDaniel, the epic was ranked as the sixth-greatest movie of all time by AFI.
It received 10 Academy Awards, including 1939’s Best Picture trophy.
Fathom Events is holding showings of both The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind at various theaters nationwide. ‘Oz’ screenings are nearly over; they began over the last few days of January. ‘GWTW’ showings begin in late February, depending on your area.
I’m tempted to buy a ticket to see the movies as they were meant to be seen: on the giant screen.
Having watched both on Blu-Ray, I can say that I was amazed at the beauty of the films after restoration for high-definition. Gone With the Wind in particular is an absolutely beautiful film, even its subject matter was a particularly dark chapter in our nation’s history.
How about you?