100 Movie Musicals #14: The Wizard of Oz (1939)

What can I say? An utter classic, gorgeous, heartfelt, catchy as hell, tremendous performances from everyone involved, as great today as it was in 1939.

The ur-text of US sci fi and fantasy films

It’s hard to overstate the importance of The Wizard of Oz. The narrative and structural beats of the film cemented the rules of musicals for almost a century, from the yearning I Want of Somewhere Over the Rainbow to the importance of a campy, vampy villain; heck, the full-on special effects assault that plagues the third acts of superhero movies today is right out of Oz‘s playbook. It’s been a cultural touchstone for queer people, stoners, libertarians, and socialists. It’s also incredibly watchable and approachable in a way a lot of similar milestone films from the same era aren’t.

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