Something baffling to me is the inability of Hollywood to mine the rich work of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. I actually am not a huge fan of the 1939 musical. As a film buff, I completely acknowledge its importance, but the film never made much of an impact on me other than instilling a deep fear of flying monkeys. I think it has to connect with you when you’re young and it never did with me. I do love Oz, though. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t mined the books (I mean Baum wrote over 20 of them) for other films, but I think the specter of the classic is too daunting. That’s rubbish to me. You can make perfectly good stories that take place in Oz and I’m pretty sure at this point nothing is going to diminish this movie in the hearts and minds of the world. There have been attempts: Return to Oz in the 1980s and the James Franco clunker Oz: The Great and Powerful, but the next attempt to return to the land over the rainbow will be the big screen adaptation of the Broadway sensation Wicked in 2019.
While I don’t love the movie, you can’t deny this scene and this song. It is as iconic a cinematic moment as any that have ever graced the screen. The song itself has transcended the film and is one of my favorite of all-time (I’m partial to Ray Charles’ cover). I have no problem with The Wizard of Oz; it just doesn’t hold the magic for me that it does for a lot of people. Except this scene. If this scene doesn’t spellbind you; you don’t love movies.