News / USA

Wizard of Oz Gets a Movie Prequel

Wizard of Oz Gets a Movie Prequeli
X
March 19, 2013 1:16 AM
The story of the Wizard of Oz, the magician who inhabits the Emerald City has weathered time. Written by Frank Baum in 1900, the fantasy has become a movie and a play many times over. Its most famous incarnation was MGM’s lavish 1939 production starring Judy Garland and her ruby slippers. Now, a prequel to the original has been made to court audiences in the 21st century. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Penelope Poulou
The story of the Wizard of Oz, the magician who inhabits the Emerald City has weathered time. Written by Frank Baum in 1900, the fantasy has become a movie and a play many times over. Its most famous incarnation was MGM’s lavish 1939 production starring Judy Garland and her ruby slippers.  Now, a prequel to the original has been made to court audiences in the 21st century. 
 
Like the original, Oz the Great and Powerful, a new release by filmmaker Sam Raimi, opens in black and white. 
 
Circus magician Oscar Diggs, played by James Franco, is taken to the Emerald City where he’s destined to claim the throne. First, he’s told, he has to kill the Wicked Witch. He meets three witches. They deny they're wicked.
 
It will take time for him to figure out who the bad witch is.
 
James Franco says the original story inspired him. “I have been a fan of the world of Oz since I was probably eleven, maybe younger. So, I thought it was a really great opportunity to jump into the role of my childhood and imagination," he said. 
 
Sam Raimi’s 3D  film offers a good story, rich visuals, good acting and great special effects. 
 
But it can't match the 1939 Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, played by Judy Garland in her ruby slippers, made history. 
 
She travels to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard who will show her the way back home - only to find that Oz is a fake.
 
The journey is an allegory of self-discovery. 
 
The Library of Congress named The Wizard of Oz the most watched motion picture in history, says Patrick Loughney, Executive Director of the National Audio Visual Conservation Center at the Library.  
 
“It’s a magical film because it captures that concentration of energy, genius and creativity that was apparent in Hollywood, in the movie industry at that time," he said. 
 
Loughney says the 1939 film carried a post-depression message of endurance. “To me it's the message of hope in the movie that ultimately connects with everybody at that time, and even today," he said. 
 
Other incarnations of The Wizard of Oz have reflected changes in popular culture.  In 1974, The Wiz featured Dorothy played by Diana Ross, with an all-black cast. 
 
"I think it reflects a social change that already occurred in America since the 1950s and 1960s. And so you have major movie studios beginning to accommodate artists coming out of the African American community," said Loughney. 
 
Now, Sam Raimi’s technical marvel, Oz the Great and Powerful, may give new life to the wizard until the next incarnation of Frank Baum's beloved story.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid