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The Wizard of Oz

Film

The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American Fantasy film and directed by Victor Fleming (and others) from a script to which Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf contributed, based on the 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, with musical elements. It features Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Frank Morgan, with Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charles Grapewin, Clara Blandick and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins.

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    The Wizard of Oz                                  

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  • The Wizard of Oz, however, contained more than the leftovers of a major Protestant text or of the more everyday features of American life. Baum introduced into his fairy tale a mind-cure vision of America quite at home with commercial development of the country. Baum could have criticized American society. He could have used his fairy tale as a means of drawing attention to economic suffering and racial injustice, to the alienating new forms of industrial labor, to the extravagance and greed of many affluent Americans, and to the pooling of wealth and power that was becoming a distinguishing, abiding feature of American capitalist society. Evidence for these things had been all around him in the 1890s in cities where he lived—in the unrest of farmers in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and in the labor conflict in Chicago. Writers of fairy tales in other countries, where conditions were just as troubling, wrote about such matters. Kenneth Grahame, Charles Kingsley, George MacDonald, and John Ruskin turned to the fairy tale as a medium for debunking and even damning the new industrial order in England. Many Americans read these tales, but Baum did not choose to follow such writers.98

    William R. LeachLand of Desire

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