Jump to content


The Wizard Of Oz


45 replies to this topic

#1 July Diaz

    Earwolf Buddy

  • Administrators
  • 5,796 posts
  • LocationUnder a roof

Posted 30 May 2018 - 09:55 PM

Close your eyes, tap your heels together three times, and join Paul & Amy as they discuss 1939's The Wizard Of Oz! Discover what makes the land of Oz so satisfyingly tactile, how the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion tormented each other on set, and whether this is the most influential film of all time. Plus: Paul & Amy talk to Walter Krueger, who owns one of the world's biggest collections of Oz memorabilia.

What do you think the Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire musical "Swing Time" is about? Call 747-666-5824 with your best guesses! Don't forget to subscribe to Unspooled on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or your favorite app, and follow us on Twitter @Unspooled.
listen to carmen christopher on the latest ep of my podcast trends with benefits twb.cool

#2 grudlian.

    Debbie Downer Award Winner

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 677 posts

Posted 31 May 2018 - 04:49 AM

Judy Garland getting slapped on set or being called well fed is nothing compared to the worst stuff that happened to her. Sexual abuse, assault, forced to smoke cigarettes (and I think speed) to keep her weight down, girdle to keep her breasts from showing. She was 16.

Sorry for bringing down the discussing with the first post but, Paul describing her being slapped then responding with a kiss really made me feel awful. Then describing MGM as awful and kind of skipping over the worst of it.

#3 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 519 posts

Posted 31 May 2018 - 07:58 AM



#4 Cameron H.

    Jabber-whoppin'

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,117 posts
  • LocationWerewolf Warehouse

Posted 31 May 2018 - 01:50 PM

Not to make this completely about The Simpsons, but this is my favorite Oz reference...


Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#5 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 519 posts

Posted 31 May 2018 - 03:01 PM

It's okay, we can make the whole thing about The Simpsons.



#6 LindsayNelson

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • LocationTokyo, Japan

Posted 31 May 2018 - 04:12 PM

1) I love a movie that knows with every fiber of its being that it's a MOVIE. I love the fact that the backdrops of the Emerald City and the witch's castle were so obviously paintings, that everyone's costumes looked very costume-y, and that the whole thing seemed to be stuffed with as much movie-ness as possible (musical numbers, a good-vs.-evil storyline, a sentimental ending).

2) I think my lifelong love of horror movies might have begun with The Wizard of Oz, because it is legit TERRIFYING at times. I mainly remember the scene where the witch tells Dorothy that she has only an hourglass worth of time to live, and then her friends desperately axing the door to get her out. Ah, the days when children's movies threatened their main characters with ACTUAL DEATH.

(Also agree with previous posters that it's hard to watch the film now without seeing it as yet another example of the horrific abuse inflicted on movie stars, though.)

3) "And you, and you...and you were there!" I was trying to think of examples of other movies where the main character essentially dreams a fantasy world that's populated with different versions of people / things from her real life. A few film versions of Alice in Wonderland do this, Labyrinth does it...it's always made those stories just a little creepier for me, because the characters are familiar, but they're not familiar, you're home, but you're not really home...

(PS I love Candyland too.)

#7 Cameron H.

    Jabber-whoppin'

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,117 posts
  • LocationWerewolf Warehouse

Posted 31 May 2018 - 07:19 PM

I feel like - especially with this viewing - my relationship with Oz is that I respect it more for its impact on popular culture, performances, and technical achievements than I do as a “movie.” I found the pacing confounding at times. I agree with Amy that “King of the Forest” is a fun number, but at the same time, I agree with Paul that it comes at a terrible time in the movie. We’ve been building up to this moment and we’re going to stop and do this kind of self-indulgent, novelty number? Okay...

Also, as they mentioned on the show, I found the ending to be a bit confusing - especially in light of my newfound appreciation for the early Kansas scenes. I honestly couldn’t figure out why she wanted to go home so bad. The people in her life treat her like garbage, and unless Elmira Gulch was killed in that twister, she still has to deal with the whole Toto thing.

Most of all, I found it odd that the movie ended with the same sepia tone with which it began. It just seemed to imply that nothing had actually changed. All Dorothy has to look forward to is a bleak, colorless existence in which she lives out her life on her Aunt and Uncle’s dirt farm. There’s no hope nor imagination. I honestly started to wonder if this was the intention. Maybe it was trying to say we *shouldn’t* be as insulted as it seems to suggest. We prefer a nostalgic past (that never really existed) to change and a future fraught with risk. We find comfort in empty tokens.

Now, had the movie ended at the farm *in color* I might be able to buy it as place of comfort. It would provide a visual metaphor for Dorothy’s journey. In the beginning, everything is dull and brown. She then goes on a Seuessian journey through a Technicolor wonderland at which point she comes to realize that maybe things weren’t so bad after all. Then the movie ends with muted color - it’s a good place to be, but not without its issues.
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#8 Cam Bert

    Foreign Correspondent

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,435 posts
  • LocationOsaka, Japan

Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:31 AM

In regards to this being an a typical Joseph Campbell "hero's journey" type story they are right that it does tick all the boxes. Yet I wonder if the reason that is it not considered up there like Luke Skywalker is less to do with Dorthy being a woman and more to do with the ending. I'm sure that in reality that does play a part but I think the fact the this is the one of the iconic "it was all a dream" type endings robs it a bit of it as well. A large part of the hero's journey is the return home at the end but with the new found power, knowledge, and growth achieved along the way. Yet, at the end of Wizard of Oz the question of was she really on a journey is brought into question. If it was all just a dream, does that count as a journey? Did she actually gain anything or change as a person? I think this all muddies the water and as a result and that could possibly be why it isn't thought of in the same way.
My Howdy sense is tingling. Break out Google maps and my abacus...there's a C&O to be solved! And this time, it's personal...
(credit to Elektra and Cameron H)

#9 Cam Bert

    Foreign Correspondent

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,435 posts
  • LocationOsaka, Japan

Posted 01 June 2018 - 07:40 AM

Simpsons aside my favourite parody of Wizard of Oz is Fistful of Yen in Kentucky Fried Movie. It is a parody of extraordinary magnitude forged in the traditions of our ancestors. It has my gratitude.
My Howdy sense is tingling. Break out Google maps and my abacus...there's a C&O to be solved! And this time, it's personal...
(credit to Elektra and Cameron H)

#10 Cameron H.

    Jabber-whoppin'

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,117 posts
  • LocationWerewolf Warehouse

Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:42 AM

With all do respect to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, I think my two favorite Wizard of Oz covers have to be the ones by Bob Schneider.






Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#11 Cameron H.

    Jabber-whoppin'

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,117 posts
  • LocationWerewolf Warehouse

Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:45 AM

Does anyone else have favorite covers?
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#12 Crummy Scrimmage

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 109 posts
  • LocationAmityville

Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:58 AM

Everyone I know who likes this movie saw it as a child, and has an affection for it based on watching it repeatedly on TV as they grew up. I, however, somehow managed to avoid it my entire childhood, only watching it as a young adult when I read about the possible political allegory. I disliked it to say the least, and didn't understand what all the fuss was about -- even when put into the proper context. So I'm curious if anyone else saw it later in life and didn't care for it. (I never had the interest to go back and view it again, but Paul and Amy are making me feel like I should.)

#13 Cameron H.

    Jabber-whoppin'

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,117 posts
  • LocationWerewolf Warehouse

Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:14 PM

View PostCrummy Scrimmage, on 01 June 2018 - 11:58 AM, said:

So I'm curious if anyone else saw it later in life and didn't care for it.


Ah, you’re talking about the “Goonies Conundrum.” ;)

I’m kind of the opposite. I saw it as a child. We had the soundtrack. However, as an adult, I find that I can appreciate it on an academic level, but I don’t exactly love it. Appropriately enough, it falls somewhere in between Citizen Kane and Ben-Hur. What works, works really well, but I feel like the whole thing could have tightened up a bit.
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#14 Crummy Scrimmage

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 109 posts
  • LocationAmityville

Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:17 PM

View PostCameron H., on 01 June 2018 - 10:45 AM, said:

Does anyone else have favorite covers?


I don't know about my favorite, but I HAAAAAAATE that ukulele version of "Over the Rainbow" that has somehow taken over as the definitive version of the song in recent years. That guy is over-simplifying everything that's harmonically interesting about the song.

Haha, I used to like this version of the song as a kid, but listening to it now, I can't help but wonder why:

#15 Crummy Scrimmage

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 109 posts
  • LocationAmityville

Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:26 PM

View PostCameron H., on 01 June 2018 - 12:14 PM, said:

Ah, you’re talking about the “Goonies Conundrum.” ;)


Haha, I'd never heard of that theory but I get what you're saying. I might be the odd man out though, because I saw Goonies in the theater (I was 9) and thought it was stupid. Time has only made it much, much worse.

If I'm making it sound like I hate everything, it's because I do.

#16 sycasey 2.0

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 519 posts

Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:30 PM

View PostCameron H., on 01 June 2018 - 12:14 PM, said:

Ah, you’re talking about the “Goonies Conundrum.” ;)

I’m kind of the opposite. I saw it as a child. We had the soundtrack. However, as an adult, I find that I can appreciate it on an academic level, but I don’t exactly love it. Appropriately enough, it falls somewhere in between Citizen Kane and Ben-Hur. What works, works really well, but I feel like the whole thing could have tightened up a bit.


I did, of course, see the movie as a kid. But I've generally been very willing to accept that something I liked as a kid was actually crap (for example, almost anything Transformers related). The Wizard of Oz has never fallen apart upon rewatch. Still a great entertainment.

The story has some hiccups for me, but the songs are basically unimpeachable, as are the performers. And of course it's beautifully designed. I'm also impressed by how great-looking the effects are for a movie made in 1939.

#17 Crummy Scrimmage

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 109 posts
  • LocationAmityville

Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:37 PM

Oh hey, I never thought of this until just now, but I saw "The Wiz" before seeing "The Wizard of Oz". And I hated that shit, too!!! :lol:

#18 EvRobert

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 368 posts
  • LocationKansas

Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:45 PM

What has always bugged me about the Wizard of Oz is that they cut the Tin Man's original story to nothing in the film. The Tin Man is my favorite character in the Wizard of Oz and I remember reading the book and being STUNNED at the origin story Baum gives him.

Basically the Tin Man was a woodsman who fell in love with a munchkin girl, but the woman that the girl lived with didn't want to lose her slave help so she struck a deal with the witch and every time the woodsman used his axe it cut off part of his body. Everytime it did a local tinsmith made a new part of the body for him until he was all tin but with no heart.

Paul and Amy talk about how dark the movie is but it's NOTHING compared to the darkness the bark has. The Witch threatens to tear Dorothy piece by piece, the tin man and the scarecrow kill wolves and crows that are sent to attack them, it's wild.

As for the lack of WoO in the discussion of Campbell, it totally should be, and the book does not end with the "it's all a dream!" sequence. But it seems that any time people bring up Campbell, it is in the context of movies not in storytelling as a whole (also, IIRC, since Amy brought up Return to Oz, it's suggested that it wasn't a dream but maybe it was).

On a personal note, I like the Wizard of Oz as a movie, and even more as a book, but as a Kansas native, I H-A-T-E all the "Dorothy/Toto" jokes people make about Kansas.

#19 grudlian.

    Debbie Downer Award Winner

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 677 posts

Posted 01 June 2018 - 01:39 PM

LET'S ALL STOP PRETENDING THE GOONIES ISN'T CINEMA AT ITS PUREST!!!!

JK. I like Goonies but it's definitely a "see it during childhood or never" movie.

With Wizard Of Oz, I don't remember how I felt as a kid but I definitely saw it a bunch. I saw it on tv as an adult and loved it. They were playing it two times in a row and watched the first half hour a second time type loved it. I haven't sat down and watched it with full attention since then but I've liked it as background entertainment. So, idk.

#20 Dan Engler

    Ombudsman

  • Administrators
  • 1,646 posts
  • LocationSeattle

Posted 01 June 2018 - 04:23 PM

View Postgrudlian., on 31 May 2018 - 04:49 AM, said:

Sorry for bringing down the discussing with the first post but, Paul describing her being slapped then responding with a kiss really made me feel awful. Then describing MGM as awful and kind of skipping over the worst of it.

Please do a "Debbie Downer" column for every episode of Unspooled, akin to taylor anne's "This Week in Feminism" in the HDTGM forum. It'll save me the work of having to look up all of the horrific abuses that surely occurred on the set of all 100 films.
Disclaimer: I am not an Earwolf employee. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Midroll Media LLC.