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Tag: The Wizard of Oz (1-6 of 6)

Why are the Oscars embracing 'Oz' but not 'Gone With the Wind'?

Yesterday’s announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that the The Wizard of Oz will be celebrated at this year’s Oscars was met with widespread enthusiasm. After all, it’s one of Hollywood’s most beloved films, multiple generations have grown up singing its tunes, and it’s celebrating its 75th anniversary.

But The Wizard of Oz wasn’t the only classic movie to come out in 1939. That prolific Hollywood year also boasted Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, John Ford’s Stagecoach, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Ninotchka (“Garbo laughs!”), Gunga Din, William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights (with Laurence Olivier), Dark Victory (with Bette Davis), Destry Rides Again, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Of Mice and Men, and Young Mr. Lincoln (with Henry Fonda). There was also a little movie that was based on an obscure novel called… wait, let me check to make sure I have this right… yes, it’s called Gone With the Wind. Only the biggest, most popular movie of its time. Scarlett O’Hara must be seething at the Oscar slight. READ FULL STORY

This Week On Stage: Orlando Bloom takes on the Bard and a Return to Oz

Everyone’s back to school and back to work, and that includes theater folk, as EW reinstates its This Week on Stage column to let you know what’s going on all over the country and what you should be spending those ducats on. The past week has seen a variety of new productions, from a new tour of a beloved family classic and the newest by one-half of the acclaimed Coen brothers to an unlikely opera chronicling a tragic pop culture figure and Legolas on the woo in the first Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet in 36 years (click on the links below for the full reviews):

Anna Nicole  The late Playboy centerfold and troubled pop icon gets her very own opera, debuting at Brooklyn Academy of Music after a debut at London’s Royal Opera House in 2011. Could our Kyle Anderson resist the buxom beauty? He asks, “Are we meant to have sympathy for Smith or is she a figure of scorn? The show can’t decide.” but has nothing but praise for Sarah Joy Miller in the title role, countering, “[The show] is held aloft by Sarah Joy Miller’s performance in the title role.” EW grade: B-
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This week's cover: 'Oz the Great and Powerful' hits the yellow brick road

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Close your eyes and begin listing all of the various characters, dialogue, imagery, creatures, props, sets, and songs you can from The Wizard of Oz. Chances are, it’ll take you about as long to finish as it took Dorothy and her companions to traipse their way to the Emerald City. That’s because the 1939 film is a part of our collective cultural memory, a work of American mythology so fundamental that it permeates our everyday lives. (Don’t believe me? Grab a box of Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, visit the ruby slippers in the Smithsonian, or watch any one of these movies.)

So how do you go about making a movie that tells the story of what happened before Dorothy’s house flew over the rainbow and landed lickety-splat on the Wicked Witch of the East? Basically, how do you make a prequel to everyone’s childhood? “Very carefully,” says Sam Raimi. The director of the Spider-Man and Evil Dead trilogies was at first extremely hesitant to take on Oz the Great and Powerful—the huge and expensive family film out March 8 that Disney hopes will hit the same sweet spot as 2010’s Alice in Wonderland—for a very simple reason: “The original is my favorite film of all time,” he says. ” I didn’t want it sullied. I didn’t want to be involved in a production that might trade off the goodwill of that film, so I didn’t even want to read the script at first. Luckily I did. And then I realized that it wasn’t at all what I thought.”
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Does Rachel Weisz spill the beans about who's the evil witch in 'Oz, The Great and Powerful'?

Which witch will be green-faced by the end of the movie?

In Disney’s upcoming film Oz, The Great and Powerful, there has been much speculation about which of the three witches – Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, or Rachel Weisz — will be the baddie.

Weisz seems to let the winged monkey out of the castle in a new interview with U.K.’s Sun, where she told the paper about her role as the witch Evanora: “It was a fun idea to be playing someone who is really, really bad. I can’t think of any roles that I’ve had like that before. My character is more than mean, she’s really evil. She is a pathological liar, she’s a narcissist, an egomaniac and a megalomaniac. She’s really, really a bad person and she revels in being bad.” READ FULL STORY

'Wizard of Oz' movie description goes viral

There’s no place like the Internet.

An old one-line movie blurb has gone viral this week thanks to mentions all over the world wide web. In 1998, for a Wizard of Oz listing on TCM, writer Rick Polito wrote, “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

This morning, Polito told JimRomensko.com, “That line is going to follow me to the grave. It was just on Leno, it was a clue in a crossword puzzle, it showed up in Playboy, and people use it as their email sigs.”

It’s easy to see why the terrifying silly line caught on. It got us at PopWatch thinking about how we could cryptically describe some other popular movies in one sentence: READ FULL STORY

Make your own munchkins with the 'Wizard of Oz' Facebook game

Waiting a day to harvest your soybeans is sooo 2009. Forget the fields, Facebook’s next big game centers around a certain Yellow Brick Road. That’s right, my pretties. The Wizard of Oz is coming to Facebook.

Spooky Cool Labs has developed the classic film into a multi-platform game that is currently in beta testing on the social networking site. (For those of you that are desperate to try it, you can pick up a beta key on the site’s Facebook page.) The fully 3D virtual world reunites you with your favorite Oz characters — Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion — while you journey down the Yellow Brick Road, building your own Munchkinland as you go.

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