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Voted by the American Film Institute (AFI) as the Best Family Film of all time, The Wizard of Oz has charmed audiences of every age for more than 60 years. On October 25, Warner Home Video (WHV) will celebrate this beloved classic with two bonus-packed DVD treasuries – a Two-Disc Special Edition and a Three-Disc Collector's Edition. For the very first time, these versions of The Wizard of Oz boast a stunning new digital transfer of the original film, using Warner's "Ultra-Resolution" technology, plus a newly remastered soundtrack. As a result, viewers will experience the movie's Technicolor splendor and unforgettable, award-winning songs and music like never before.
Both DVD editions offer extensive bonus content, including four revealing new documentaries; a new feature-length commentary by Emmy Award®-winning producer and Oz historian John Fricke; an Emmy®-nominated making-of documentary hosted by Angela Lansbury; a Lansbury-narrated onscreen storybook treatment of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with its colorful original illustrations; outtakes and deleted scenes; vintage vault featurettes; and more than six hours of audio-only treasures, including original recording sessions for songs and underscoring and rare Oz radio programs.
The Wizard of Oz Three-Disc Collector's Edition includes an additional disc of special content, featuring a new documentary about Oz author L. Frank Baum and a newly restored transfer of the 1925 feature-length silent version of The Wizard of Oz starring Oliver Hardy and Larry Semon with a fresh score by Robert Israel. Disc three is also highlighted by several additional rare Oz film features and shorts, originally produced between 1910 and 1933. In addition to the bonus disc, the Collector's Edition DVD will include reproductions of the original eight-page Grauman's Chinese Theatre Oz souvenir program from August 15, 1939, the invitation to that premiere; the sixteen-page Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio News magazine from August 14, 1939, celebrating The Wizard of Oz; nine beautifully restored natural color Kodachrome portraits and publicity photos from the film...and more.
The Wizard of Oz Two-Disc Special Edition will be available for $26.99 SRP and the Three-Disc Collector's Edition will sell for $39.92 SRP.
Adapted from L. Frank Baum's timeless children's tale about a Kansas girl's journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz opened at Loew's Capitol Theatre in New York on August 17, 1939. The film was directed by Victor Fleming (who that same year directed Gone With the Wind), produced by Mervyn LeRoy, and scored by Herbert Stothart, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. Ray Bolger appeared as the Scarecrow; Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Jack Haley as the Tin Woodman, and Frank Morgan was seen in six different roles, including that of the "wonderful Wizard" himself. Dorothy was portrayed by a 4'11" sixteen year old girl who quickly earned her reputation as "the world's greatest entertainer"-- the incomparable Judy Garland.
The Wizard of Oz received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and captured two Oscars® – Best Song ("Over the Rainbow") and Best Original Score -- plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Judy Garland. The Wizard of Oz was an overwhelming popular and critical success upon its initial release and repeated its ability to captivate audiences when M-G-M reissued the film in 1949 and 1955. The film made a new kind of history with its network television premiere in 1956 on CBS. Nearly 45 million people tuned in for this initial telecast, marking the beginning of a tradition. Ever since, The Wizard of Oz has been shown virtually annually on network (and then cable) television; its magical story and heartfelt performances have enabled it to grow from a perennial classic to its current status as a treasured icon of popular culture.
The DVDs' Special Features
The Two-Disc Special Edition
- New 2005 "Ultra Resolution" digital master from restored film elements
- New commentary by historian John Fricke with selected archival audio comments by Barbara Freed-Saltzman (daughter of Arthur Freed), Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Ken Darby (orchestral and vocal arranger), John Lahr (son of Bert Lahr), Jane Lahr (daughter of Bert Lahr), Hamilton Meserve (son of Margaret Hamilton), William Tuttle (make-up artist), Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy, John Lee Mahin and Jerry Maren
Disc 1 (Con't):
- Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz
- We Haven't Really Met Properly…supporting cast profile gallery, narrated by Angela Lansbury
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz storybook, read by Angela Lansbury
- Theatrical trailer gallery
- 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack
- Original mono and music-and-effects-only audio tracks
- Languages: English (Both Dolby 5.1 & original mono) & French
- Subtitles: English, French and Spanish (feature film only)
- Documentaries on the movie's creation and impact
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic hosted by Angela Lansbury and Memories of Oz -- two original TV specials
- All-New: The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz,
Because of the Wonderful Things it Does: The Legacy of Oz
- Harold Arlen's on-set home videos
- Outtakes and deleted scenes
- It's a Twister! It's a Twister! The tornado special effects tests
- Vintage vault featurettes
- Extensive stills gallery
- More than six hours of audio-only treasures, including an "Oz jukebox" of recording session materials, radio shows and promos
- Off to See the Wizard
The Three-Disc Collector's Edition -- includes Disc 1 and 2 plus:
Four hours devoted to Oz creator L. Frank Baum, who published his first Oz book in 1900.
- New documentary L. Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain
- Pre-1939 versions of Oz on screen
- The Wizard of Oz (1910)
- The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914)
- His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz (1914)
- The Wizard of Oz (1925): restored silent version featuring Oliver Hardy and Larry Semon, with a new, fully orchestrated score by Robert Israel
- The Wizard of Oz (1933 Cartoon)
Print Reproductions Include:
- The Wizard of Oz Comes to Life Eight-page Grauman's Chinese Theatre Souvenir Premiere Program from August 15, 1939
- Studio's Invitation to The Grauman's Premiere and the envelope that included tickets to the original Opening Night -- with a newly designed commemorative ticket
- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio News Sixteen-page edition of the studio's internal "house organ" newspaper, celebrating the release of The Wizard of Oz for the week of August 14, 1939
- Photoplay Studies Rare secondary-education study guide to the film -- Volume V, Number 12 (circa August 1939) -- completely devoted to The Wizard of Oz, with articles with articles revealing surprising insights from its producer, director, cameraman and scenarists.
- Deluxe Collectors' Portfolio Reproductions of original 1939 Kodachrome publicity stills, including nine portraits and onset photographs