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April 11, 2010


I was just on the Walk of Fame today and there was a big hullabaloo surrounding the Munchkins star. Large standing spray of flowers and lots of people taking pics.

Thanks, Danny, for such an insightful post.
The Wizard of Oz -- specifically the wicked witch -- scared me. I still am hesitant to watch it when it airs, truth be told.

My parents had a clothing store and as a youngster, I was often there; especially after senior kindergarten classes in the morning, my mom would pick me up from school and take me back to the store for a few hours. One day, a female customer walked in, I took one look at her and announced to my mother, "She looks like the Wicked Witch of the West!" Unfortunately, I can't recall what shade of red my mother turned, or if she made a sale!

Like you I am HORRIFIED at the thought of a re-make!!!
Wonderful tribute Danny, and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only person in the world that's mildly obsessed with this movie! ;-)

Although I'm slightly mortified to admit the flying monkeys scare me so badly that I have to walk out of the room, I adore the rest of the movie and like you I have it memorized. There is something so special about it and the thought of some monstrosity being made with horrid special effects and a complete lack of understanding of what makes the origional so great makes me physically I'll. Are origional thoughts impossible these days?

That's too bad about good ol' Meinhardt. The mother of one of my sister's elementary-school classmates played a Munchkin at age four. She was one of the three ballerinas (I can't remember what they were called).

I always looked forward to the yearly showing of the movie, but I would run to my parents' room and wait out the scene when the witch throws the fireball at the scarecrow. That was terrifying.

Wonderful tribute. I never knew much about the Coroner Munchkin until reading the obit. I did know that not many associated with the film were still around. I got to know Margaret Hamilton a bit in the late 1970s. She was a nice lady. Hate to think of any remake being done.

Love this post. I've always been a big fan of Oz (what did you think of the sequel?) and loved this bit of insight from 'behind the scenes.' I can't imagine a present-day remake.. how horrid that would be. Say hi to Charlie from Hunter.. :)

Still one of my favorite movies, and one that no amount of CGI effects can improve on. Thank God nobody's thought of colorizing the Kansas parts (Oops. Shouldn't say that. I don't want to give anyone ideas)

I, too, mourn the fact that hardly any of the original cast survives. That said, back when most were still alive, things could get pretty weird. I remember a Paul Lynde Halloween special from when I was in High school. Margaret Hamilton revised her Wicked Witch character, appearing alongside Witchiepoo from Pufnstuf!

Too funny - It WAS every bit as much a cultural icon as any religion we had at home too growing up. Every year I'd watch it... at least once a year, a lot more often with the advent of videotape, then DVD.

I've watched it with Yakira's 5 year old several times, and I annoy her every time with the fact that I know (and won't keep to myself) every word in the movie.. but the last time we watched it, I learned something else about myself that I didn't know. This last time it was on network television.. probably the first time I've seen it on that medium since Reagan was president. And much to my astonishment, I called (again, out loud) every single commercial break. Apparently they run them in the same spots they did for the last 50 years. It's like it was genetically coded or something. It's moderately disconcerting to have a 5 yr old girl look at you like you're possessed. But then after the fourth time I did it, she just glared.

As far as a remake goes: As long as they're creative. I really liked (and was expecting to HATE) Tin Man... with Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, and Neal McDonough. Nicely done homage in places without being a "remake"

I too loved this movie. I remember going to the movies and they had it on the big screen. I don't remember how old I was but I stayed in the movie theater all day seeing it 3 times before I went home. I just couldn't leave. This was in the 50s. I used to play the album constantly, alternating with Peter Pan. I also watched it annually. I love Yip Harburg and have a cd where he sings his own songs. My husband met his son when Yip's archive was at NYU but he moved it to the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center because he didn't like the treatment they gave to Yip's work. I also have Yip's biography, written by his son, Ernie. A great read. He also wrote funny poems, commenting on the politics of the day.

This is such a beautiful tribute!

The Wizard Of Oz was the very first movie I ever saw in a theater, sometime around 1982 (I am, obviously, a bit younger than you). I've read all of the books many times and could probably recite most of the movie.

However, I welcome the idea of more movies. I would hate a straight-up remake of the 1939 version, but another movie (or three) based on the source material would be cause for celebration for me! Unfortunately, I do not think my first-choice director is attached to any of the films in development (Guillermo del Toro -- oh, it would look amazing!) but I remain cautiously optimistic.

wonderful post! i can't wait to introduce my kids to some of childhood favorites (mary poppins is at the top of my list and thankfully, theirs already, too!) and to see their reactions, hear them sing along to the music. there's just something magical about t*those* movies that can;t seem to be replicated in anything else! thanks for a lovely tribute.

I love the way you ended this post. Also the way you worked in a reference to the Holocaust.

The movie terrified me as a child - I can now watch it all the way through, but still wince at the trees grabbing at Dorothy and the flying monkeys. Too horrible.

We love this movie and like in your family, the annual showing of the movie usually around Easter was a major event. In some ways, the fact that you can now get the DVD and watch it at anytime (which I often do with our 3 and 6 year olds) takes a bit of excitement and magic away of that special event television feeling. Nevertheless, it's such a wonderful movie.

My mother, who is 83, vividly remembers going to the 1939 World's Fair in NY and seeing Judy Garland and the other major cast members up on stage. That's where she first remembers also seeing a demonstration of television for the first time! Amazing...

Do you own or have you ever seen that pop-up book about the Wizard of Oz? My mother in law gave that as a gift to our children and it's just wonderful!

haha, my dad's name is Reinhardt! >.<
has nothing to do with the post, just thought I should point that out... ha...... ha........

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This remains my favorite movie of all time. My oldest son [12] has a parakeet and while he's at school, he plays the soundtrack from "The Wizard of Oz" on a little CD player over and over and over. Wonderful tribute. I learned something, as usual.

I was thrilled to have interviewed each of them, Margaret, Meinhardt, Jerry, Mickey, Ruth, Karl and Clarence. I still have the tapes and am thrilled anew every time I listen to them

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