Classic musical adaptation of the L. Frank Baum novel starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr and Jack Haley. A tornado whisks Dorothy (Garland) and her house from Kansas to Munchkin City, squashing the Wicked Witch of the East upon landing. The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) vows revenge, while Dorothy sets off on the yellow brick road to see the Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan), hoping he can tell her how to get home. On the way she makes friends with a scarecrow (Bolger), a tin man (Haley) and a cowardly lion (Lahr) - all of whom have specific reasons for wanting to meet the magical Wizard. With the Wicked Witch out to get her, will Dorothy ever get home again?
Young Dorothy Gale (played by Judy Garland), her dog, Toto, and her three companions on the yellow brick road to Oz -- the Tin Man (Jack Haley), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), and the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) -- have become pop-culture icons and central figures in the legacy of fantasy for children. Actress Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch who covets Dorothy's enchanted ruby slippers, has had the singular honour of scaring the wits out of children for more than six decades. The film's still as fresh, frightening and funny as it was when first released in 1939. It may take some liberal detours from the original story by L. Frank Baum, but it's loyal to the Baum legacy while charting its own course as a spectacular film. Partly shot in glorious Technicolor, befitting its dynamic production design (Munchkinland alone is a psychedelic explosion of colour and decor), The Wizard of Oz
may not appeal to every taste as the years go by, but it's nonetheless required viewing for kids of all ages. --Jeff Shannon