75 years of memories

The Wizard of Oz celebrates 75th anniversary


Monday marks the 75th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz. Throughout its years, this film has been held close to the hearts by viewers of all ages.

The film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, a young girl from Kansas who gets swept up in a tornado that drops her in the Land of Oz She makes friends and enemies during her adventure down the Yellow Brick Road. Dorothy desires to return home while her new friends have hopes for a brain, a heart and courage. They all think that the Great Wizard of Oz can grant their wishes.

First released August 25th, 1939, The Wizard of Oz was not initially a box office success. Then in 1956 with the television broadcast of the film it was reintroduced to the public, which was when it finally became one of the most renowned films in cinema history. The movie is definitely eminent for its use of Technicolor in the Land of Oz, but its musical soundtrack, fantasy story elements and characters made it truly memorable.

There are unforgettable scenes throughout the movie, such as Dorothy in the poppy field, the Wicked Witch of the West with her flying monkeys and the Munchkins’ sprightly dance when greeting Dorothy. Viewers haven’t forgotten a single detail from watching it many years ago. Several had great memories of watching the film as a family tradition, and they still cherish these joyful recollections to this very day.

“The first time I saw this movie was in 1959. I saw it in the Circle Theatre downtown. I’ve watched it every year since then,” Ben Davis parent Jackie Sumner said.

“The first time I watched the movie I was six. We had a colored tv then, and I got to lay down in front of the tv and watch it,” Ben Davis graduate Dale Tryon said.

“I hadn’t watched it until after my kids were born, so that would have been around 1971. We used to always watch it every year when it came on, and we’d make a special deal out of it. All of us would curl up and watch it together with popcorn and chips. It was a family tradition,” Ben Davis graduate Carol J. Smith said.

Even teenagers of our generation have watched this movie too, enjoying the same wonderful memories that their family had from years ago.

“I first watched the movie when I was about 4 or 5. I asked my mom once why she name me Dorothy, and she said it was because she really liked The Wizard of Oz,” sophomore Dorothy Roggero said.

“I just remember sitting right in front of the tv watching it and playing with dolls, acting it out. I love the music in The Wizard of Oz. I like old timey music; it’s magical,” sophomore Samantha Hoerger said.

We consider The Wizard of Oz a classic not only because of its popularity and profound use of special effects but also because of the messages it offers to its viewers.

The quote “There’s no place like home” always pops into the mind whenever The Wizard of Oz is mentioned. The quote emphasizes that no matter where you go in life, home will always be there for you when you get back. Along with this message other viewers felt these messages were portrayed as well in The Wizard of Oz.

“It was a story about hope, and the idea that there’s still a little bit of magic left in the world,” Tryon said.

“The movie lets people know that there’s always hope. No matter what you face in life, you can overcome it,” Smith said.

Even though The Wizard of Oz is 75 years old, the morals it present to its audiences still apply today. This classical movie has withstood the test of time, helping generations with the message about how to deal with hardships in life.

The classic also has bridged the gaps between generations, allowing grandparents and their grandchildren to make wonderful family traditions. Join in the celebration of the classical movie, The Wizard of Oz, and its memories that were made throughout its years by watching it this month.


Fun facts:

  • The film was deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress, which selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1989.
  • Won the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score in 1940.
  • Won the Satellite Award for Best Classic DVD in 2005.
  • On initial release, the film only earned $3m.
  • The production costs came in at $2,777,000.
  • Has spawned two major sequels:  Wicked, a Broadway show based loosely on the movie; and Oz, The Great and Powerful, a 2013 movie based on the life of the Wizard.