Friday, August 15, 2014

Positively, Absolutely, Undeniably, and Reliably... Perfect

This hasn't been the brightest shining week hereabouts, what with one thing and another, so it's nice to take a moment and experience some pure joy.  The picture had its premiere at Grauman's Chinese 75 years ago today, and I hope you'll agree that it really rather holds up.

It's useless to pretend to have any objectivity about The Wizard of Oz; it is what it is, which to me is pretty much the movie-est movie ever made, a perfect coming together of talent, resources, and inspiration, one possible only at MGM, just at the moment when the project could bring together an incredible range of on- and off-screen contributors at the height, in various ways, of their game.  Judy Garland is just past the gawky awkwardness, the sense of an odd little girl with a trick voice, that marked her first films; Billie Burke is just old enough to lend an air of fey knowingness to her Good Witch; and then there the Munchkins, next to whom the most vivid CGI would seem ridiculously lifeless.

How is that watching this one film - and this of all scenes - can so totally recall the feeling, entirely intact, of first seeing, all the way back when it was a once-a-year event around which a whole Sunday would be built?  I couldn't begin to count the times I've seen it, and yet it never fails, never fades.  Not bad for 75...

1 comment:

  1. Margaret Hamilton makes that movie for me! Jx