Movies in the Park, the City’s free outdoor movie series, continues Saturday, June 28, with a screening of the 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” at Heritage Park, 1241 Peachers Mill Rd., Clarksville.
The ‘Wizard of Oz,’ is rated G, and will be shown at approximately 8:30 p.m. (dependent on sunset).
The Wizard of Oz is an American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercial adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Dorothy is a farm girl who lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry in sepia-tinted Kansas in the early 1900s. She is in big trouble with a cruel neighbor, Miss Almira Gulch, but Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and farmhands Hunk, Hickory, and Zeke are all too busy to pay attention to her. Miss Gulch arrives with permission from the sheriff to have Dorothy’s dog Toto destroyed for biting her on the leg. He is taken away, but escapes, much to Dorothy’s delight.
She runs away from home with him to escape Miss Gulch. They meet Professor Marvel, a phony fortune teller, who realizes Dorothy has run away and tricks her via his crystal ball into believing Aunt Em is ill. As Dorothy returns home worried for her Aunt Em’s health, a powerful tornado comes. Unable to get into the storm cellar in time, she runs to her room for safety.
Dorothy is hit in the head by a broken window pane and becomes knocked out on her bed. She wakes up to discover the farm house is being carried aloft by the twister. As she looks out a window to watch the storm, she sees Miss Gulch also caught up inside, while simply pedaling her bicycle. To her horror, Gulch transforms before Dorothy’s eyes into a cackling wicked witch on a broomstick.
The farm house crash lands in the Technicolor world of Oz in Munchkin Land. Dorothy is greeted by Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, and the Munchkins, who treat her like a heroine, because her house has killed the Wicked Witch of the East. Her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, arrives. As she is about to claim the magic ruby slippers from her sister’s feet, Glinda transfers them to Dorothy’s feet instead. The Witch of the West swears revenge on her (and Toto). Glinda tells Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz might be able to help her get back home.
On her way to the Emerald City, Dorothy meets and befriends the Scarecrow who wants a brain, the Tin Woodsman who desires a heart, and the Cowardly Lion who is in need of courage. (All were played by the actors who played the farmhands.) They decide to join her to ask the Wizard for a brain, heart, and courage respectively, though in truth they each have what they want (the Scarecrow shows signs of wisdom, the Tin Man is very sentimental, and the Lion shows signs of bravery). After some danger, they meet the Wizard (in the form of a flaming head) who agrees to grant their wishes, but not until they bring him the Witch of the West’s broom.
On their way to the Witch’s castle, the Witch’s flying monkeys ambush the four and capture Dorothy and Toto. At the castle, the Witch again fails to get the slippers due to magic, and remembers Dorothy has to be killed first. Toto escapes and leads her friends to the castle. After defeating three Winkie Guards and stealing their uniforms, they march inside and free her, but the Witch and her guards eventually trap them. After she sets the Scarecrow on fire, Dorothy accidentally melts her with a bucket of water as she puts out the flames. The guards unexpectedly rejoice now that she is dead, and give Dorothy the charred broom in gratitude.
Back at the Emerald City, the Wizard still refuses to grant their wishes, but Toto exposes the “Wizard” as a normal middle-aged man (who resembles Professor Marvel) and he admits to being a humbug. He still grants their wishes by giving the Scarecrow a diploma, the Lion a medal, and the Tin Man a heart-shaped pocket watch, and that convinces them that they have what they wanted all along. He then offers to get Dorothy home in his hot air balloon, but Toto runs away and Dorothy follows, and it leaves without her.
Glinda soon arrives and tells her that she can still return home by clapping her heels together three times and repeating, “There’s no place like home.” She “returns” home to her family, with the farmhands and Professor Marvel by her bedside.
The film stars Judy Garland; Terry the dog, billed as Toto; Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin and Clara Blandick, and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins, with Pat Walshe as leader of the flying monkeys. Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture. It also featured what may be the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects in a film up to that time.
Activities begin at 7:30 p.m. and include face painting, a costume contest, and badminton with Clarksville Parks & Recreation. Movie-goers should be sure to dress as their favorite character to participate in the costume contest!
Admission is free. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs, as well as your appetite, since food vendors will be on-site. Arrive early to get a good seat and to participate in our pre-movie activities.
Sorry, no pets or smoking allowed. Like us on Facebook for inside information on the pre-show activities, weather updates, and other event news and photos. For more information, call Clarksville Parks & Recreation at (931) 645-7476.
The mission of the Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department is to provide a variety of positive recreational experiences to enhance life values for individuals, families, and our diverse culture. To learn more, visit www.cityofclarksville.com, like us on Facebook, or call (931) 645-7476.