Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies: Oh those flying monkeys


My internet friends CJ and Kathy are part of this meme where you post your all time favorite films.   I'm not sure I have more than about FOUR favorite films, but I have films I have seen that I can share.  Some I've even seen more than once!  However, unlike CJ, who says the meme cites there is no need to explain why you like the film, I prefer the way my internet friend Birgit reviews films.   They are often hilarious, many times irreverent, but always really fun to read.  Her synopses are not to be missed. If you aren't familiar with her movie reviews, please check out her blog.  I assure you, you won't be disappointed and will probably come away either laughing or smiling.

One thing you should know about my choice is you won't find any "chick flicks" here and any romance is simply a side effect of the major overall film.  And I assure you, most of you will have heard of or seen

the wonderful Wizard of Oz!  It starred Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, Frank Morgan as the Wizard, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Jack Haley as the Tinman, Billie Burke as Glinda the Good Witch of the North, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West, Charley Grapewin as Uncle Henry, Clara Blandick as Auntie Em, and the Munchkins.

If you don't know the story, its about a young girl who lives in Kansas who decides to run away because her dog Toto has bitten Almira Gulch.  Gultch wants to take Toto to the sheriff to have him destroyed/euthanized.  When Toto escapes and returns to Dorothy, she and Toto leave right before a tornado hits their farm.  The dream sequence is where Dorothy and Toto are in the house that is caught up in the tornado which lands on the Wicked Witch of the East in the land of Oz.

Much dancing, perceived magic, and singing ensues as Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion on the way to find the Wizard so Dorothy can return home to Kansas.

This high budget film, started in 1938 and released in 1939, caused people to get sick, burned, have permanent damage from facial masks, and have asbestos spread on them.  It's a wonder anyone survived the film.  Horses were covered in Jello powder, and costumes and makeup took forever to be applied each day.  Apparently, it could take up to a dozen takes to get Toto to follow the characters on the yellow brick road.  It is, however, a film that is often shown this time of year both on network and cable television. 

EDIT: Divers and Sundry pointed out that Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the TInman until the aluminum powder they used on his body made him deathly ill.  Haley had no idea Ebsen was hospitalized and assumed Ebsen had been fired.  Even the studio didn't realize how sick Ebsen was until some of the execs visited him in the hospital. 

Margaret Hamilton had severe burns to her arms and face when there was a fire when she was exiting Munchkin land.  She was wearing her toxic green copper powder when she was injured, and this added to the problems she had from the burns.  Ray Bolger had permanent lines around his face as a result of wearing the mask that took nearly an hour each day to apply.  Like I said, I'm surprised anyone made it through this film in one piece.


Thanks for visiting today and joining me for Saturday afternoon at the movies.  I'm sure there are several places you can find this film and I believe it can be rented from Prime.

13 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

As a kid my Auntie Fanny took me to see this film, more than once. It had some fun songs in it, but I wouldn't want to watch it these days! I still prefer a good book to a film any day. Have a fun weekend, Valerie

aussie aNNie said...

Can't remember ever seeing this as a child but I am sure it was fabulous with Judy Garland in it...xx

Iris Flavia said...

Never seen it, but, wow, the circumstances! Asbestos! Powdered horses, oh, my!!!
Ingo had headaches for years, later they found out there was asbestos in the school-walls. To have it on your body I don´t wanna even imagine!
These days... soooo different!
Luckily.

Laurie said...

I’ve watched The Wizard of Oz many times, and will probably many more , it’s right up there on my favourite list for sure. I listen to movies now instead of watching but still enjoy the experience just as much,

CJ Kennedy said...

This is one of my favorite horror movies.We also get a kick out of the fact that Ray Bolger and Jack Haley are two Boston boys. Ray from Dorchester and Jack from Newton. Jack's accent really comes out when the Tin Man sings, "If I only had a haht"

kathyinozarks said...

Great choice-I used to watch this every year. awhile back I ran into the original book online that this was based on-I don't remember where now but it was free to read.
Happy Saturday

Meggymay said...

That was a favourite Christmas time film with us as well although it is years since I last saw it. Have a good weekend and if you watch the film again I hope you enjoy it and it brings you memories like this post did for me.
Yvonne xx

Anne (cornucopia) said...

This is one of my all time favorite movies. And those flying monkeys were scary.

Divers and Sundry said...

I didn't realize it was shown during the Christmas season, as I think of it as a horror/fantasy film. The stories of its making are horrifying, anyway. I've read Haley only got cast as the tin man after Buddy Ebsen was given the part and the aluminum powder in the make-up sent him to the hospital near death. Yikes!

Rita said...

A classic, for sure. Loved to watch this every year when I was a kid! :)

My name is Erika. said...

This is an amazing film. I knew about Buddy Epson but not the other trivia from the film. Wow, who knew it was such a dangerous fil to work on. I read the book earlier this year for the first time, and it was somewhat different from the movie. But still good. Nice pick this week Elizabeth. Hugs-Erika

Lowcarb team member said...

Do you know! I've never watched the film!

Interesting to read your post though :)

All the best Jan

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