24 movies Guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy

December 13th - The Wizard Of Oz

The Wizard Of Oz Poster

Year : 1939

Director: Victor Fleming

Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley.

The Wizard Of Oz

There surely cant be many films as closely associated with Christmas TV than this. Miss Garland was always busy at Christmas no sooner would The Wizard of Oz finish on one TV channel, then Meet Me in St Louis would be on another.

You all know the story but here goes anyway. Dorothy lives on a Kansas farmstead. One day a tornado hits the farmstead and Dorothy and her dog Toto are transported to the land of Oz. Despite Oz being a beautiful land Dorothy is keen to get back to Kansas to see her family and friends again. To do this she must follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City so she can meet the Wizard of Oz, the only person who can get her back to Kansas. Along the way she makes friends with others who are also looking for things from the mighty Wizard of Oz. The Scarecrow wants a brain, the Tin Man wants a heart and the Cowardly Lion wants a reversal of his bodged botox injections (or something). But the journey wont be easy - Dorothy has accidentally landed her house on top of the Wicked Witch of the East and so her sister The Wicked Witch of The West means to hunt her down.

What Christmas would be complete without watching this on the TV. What is striking about this film is just how good it looks bearing in mind the film was made in 1939? I can still remember seeing this film for the first time in the late 1970's and being amazed at the transition between the black & white at the start of the film and the stunning technicolor when Dorothy walks in to Oz. The sets and the special effects were also pretty amazing (epecially for its time). The performance of Judy Garland is stunning, most especially her rending of "Over The Rainbow" which seems so heartfelt - strange to think this was almost cut by the studios as the film was running long! Also its frightening to think what the results would have been like had the studios been successful in getting their first choice for Dorothy - Shirley Temple! Thank heavens she wasn't available.

The Wizard of Oz (reputedly the most watched film in cinematic history!) is a truly awesome film, stunningly realised and beautifully performed but it begs one question - Did anyone ever think that looked anything like a Lion?

The Wizard of Oz is placed at December 13th on our Films guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy (UK edition).

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