Burt Lahr

wizardofoz_commentary1

With the release of Sam Raimi’s CGI-heavy fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful coming this weekend, it seems appropriate to look back in time more than 70 years to the release of one of the most influential films of all time: The Wizard of Oz. Based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the story had been made into a film previously (once as a silent film in 1925 and again as a short film in 1933). However, it was Victor Fleming’s musical rendition of the story that left the brightest mark on the cinema landscape. This commentary was included on the 2005 DVD release, which is also included on the 70th anniversary 2009 DVD and Blu-ray discs. The late Sidney Pollack serves as emcee for the commentary, introducing archival interviews with cast, as well as family members of deceased cast and crew.

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Just as the fears of global cataclysm at the end of the last century fueled films like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the ticking clock to December 21, 2012 has led to more end-of-the-world movies that rely on something larger than a zombie outbreak or a deadly contagion (although those have been recently popular as well). The latest entry into Hollywood’s obsession with the Earth’s last days is the apocalyptic rom-com Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and if the Mayans were right, that might very well be the last one made. Film School Rejects responds to your concerns about the end of the world, as evidenced by the Apocalypse Soon feature currently running on this site. While you’re catching up on these films to see before the end of the world, we wondered who would be the best people to spend that time with. Steve Carell’s character gets to spend the end of the world with Keira Knightley, and here are some cinematic characters with whom we’d like to spend our last days.

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