When I was a kid, an Easter tradition was the annual television viewing of “The Wizard of Oz” with a basket of candy in tow. The cowardly lion jumping through the window made me laugh belly laughs for decades, and those flying monkeys still creep me out.
Colleen Steenberge (sister of Kathy Dahlkemper) and I wrote and directed the play during our junior year at Villa Maria Academy. I know this movie by heart.
The 1939 film was based on the 1901 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum., according to Wikipedia. It starred Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan, with Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins.
When I had my kids, the Easter Sunday TV tradition expanded right through the year because they loved the movie as much as I did. My older two watched the videotape of ”The Wizard of Oz” so often that it finally broke.
I never thought I could tire of hearing Judy Garland sing “Over the Rainbow,” but I came close.
When the movie “Twister,” came out, my kids were excited to see the flying cows — a flying house in “The Wizard of Oz“ had merely whet their appetites for more tornado footage, and that year — 1996 — was a particularly bad year for storms so we spent a lot of time in the basement.
I’m not sure I want to see the new movie “Oz,” a supposed prequel that gives us some wizard history background. Some memories are better left alone. The backstory behind the film is fascinating. Buddy Ebsen was the original Tinman, and that makeup nearly killed him. Read it all here.