Johnny was going to talk about other stuff tonight until he realized that today is the 70th anniversary of perhaps THE greatest pop culture icon in American history. It's not a person, it's not a product nor is it a food item. It was August 25th 1939 when The Wizard of Oz opened in theaters. Johnny has long said this is the one movie that connects us all here in the USA, rich, poor, black, white, Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Whig. He'd dare say everyone over the age of 30 has seen it. More than likely 85% of those under 30 have seen it as well. It's iconic on so many levels. It's probably the first movie you saw as a kid where things really didn't go well for the star. It was probably the first movie that terrified you. Has there ever been a better tornado scene in movie-dom even in the movie Twister?
Then there are the incredible influences it has had on other movies. There is a great article you can read here as to just how deep the movie's influence goes in television and film (and yes they make mention of the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon legend). Do you or have you ever found yourself doing the Lollipop Guild song or dance? Have you ever asked if somebody only had a brain? A heart? Da nerve? Ever repeat the line "We're not in Kansas anymore?" Mockingly imitate Billie Burke by saying "Toto too?"
It's Johnny's favorite movie to this day. Tonight before bed a tribute to the bestest movie in film history, The Wizard of Oz.
And now some awesome Wizard of Oz history, the famed 'Jitterbug' scene which was cut from the movie. If you listen to the Wicked Witch of the West in the final cut of the movie as she sends out her flying monkeys she makes mention that they should have no trouble with Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion because "I've sent a little bug on ahead" to take the fight out of them. Also you'll notice in the final cut of the film The Scarecrow has an old school bug spray pump with him. Without the Jitterbug scene both of these references seem odd. The clip is in rough shape but sometimes historical gems are.
Here's your homework assignment, how would YOU recast the major parts with today's actors and actresses?
Time for Jersey City, After Dark