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Magic of classic movie endures

POSTED: March 5, 2014 3:01 p.m.
 

If I were forced to make a list of all-time favorite movies, “The Wizard of Oz” would be in the top 10.

I have such fond memories of watching that movie as a child, when it aired just once a year. If you missed it, you had to wait an entire year to see it again.

My father would always see it listed in the newspaper and remind us what night it would air. With the commercials, it took hours to get through that movie, and we loved every minute of it.

I was glad to see that “The Wizard of Oz,” which is marking its 75th anniversary, was honored during the recent Oscars.

Considering the academy rarely seems to get anything right, I’m glad it recognizes the significance of this American classic.

The movie really has something for everybody. It opens with harsh reality, portraying Dorothy and her family’s difficult life working a farm in Kansas. The challenges are certainly visible for all to see, as Dorothy lives with her aunt and uncle, after all.

Dorothy’s dreams of a different life, a life over the rainbow, are certainly something to which children can relate. And on a deeper level, most adults can as well. After all, who hasn’t wondered what their life would have been like, if only?

After a tornado strikes, Dorothy is knocked unconscious. When she awakens and steps outside her once drab and dreary home, she finds herself in the world of Oz, a place where there is nothing ordinary and certainly not colorless, drab or dreary.

As Dorothy takes in her colorful and magical surroundings, she is immediately aware that although this world is fascinating, all she really wants from the beginning of her adventure is to get back home. She wants to return to where there are people who love and understand her and where things are predictable.

The “Wizard of Oz” was first released in 1939. Through my research, I discovered that the movie was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 1939. It lost to “Gone with the Wind,” which is tough even for me to argue with.

That was obviously when the academy was able to recognize a “best picture” when it saw one, but that’s for another column altogether.

Our children also loved watching the “Wizard of Oz” and I tried to keep it special by bringing it out once a year. I sometimes relented when one of them was sick or if we were having a particularly grueling day.

I wanted them to see the movie as a special treat, just like I had as a child.

One sad thing about children growing older is when they begin to complain about celebrating traditions over which they used to get so excited.

I remember when our oldest boycotted watching it with the family, and then one by one, everybody (except me) lost interest.

As with so many family-movie memories, I still remember watching their sweet faces sometimes more than the actual movie itself.

Seeing your child mesmerized and taking in the magic is a wonderful thing. As I watched them, my eyes would inevitably fill with tears.

I loved knowing what Dorothy knew so well, that there is no place like home.

 

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.com.

 

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