Calige­nous Junk! It was al­ready per­fect in two di­men­sions

THE WIZARD OF OZ 3D ★★★★ Di­rected by Vic­tor Flem­ing. Star­ring Judy Gar­land, Frank Mor­gan, Ray Bol­ger, Bert Lahr, Jack Ha­ley G cert, Cineworld IMAX, 103 min

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - DON­ALD CLARKE

Any­body who knows what he or she is talk­ing about will clar­ify that there was more to the French au­teur the­ory than the no­tion of di­rec­tor as sole cre­ator. Noneth­less, two films from Hol­ly­wood’s fa­mous An­nus mirabilis of 1939 do much to dis­patch that more sim­plis­tic def­i­ni­tion of the phi­los­o­phy. Both Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz went through a host of direc­tors dur­ing their trou­bled pro­duc­tion. The re­li­able, if largely un­cel­e­brated, Vic­tor Flem­ing ended up with sole credit on both films.

If there is any les­son here it is that, at that stage in the Dream Fac­tory’s his­tory, per­fect popular en­ter­tain­ments could, from time to time, emerge from a co-oper­a­tive coali­tion of de­part­ments work­ing to a strong pro­ducer. It’s not re­ally Flem­ing’s pic­ture. It’s not even pro­ducer Mervyn LeRoy’s pic­ture. It be­longs to MGM.

You will know the myths and leg­ends. Shirley Tem­ple was in­volved in early dis­cus­sions. Some­where Over the Rainbow nearly didn’t make it in. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon proves an eerily per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment. All that mat­ters is that this ver­sion of Frank L Baum’s book (by some reck­on­ings the eighth, se­quel-phobes) re­mains one of the most creep­ily en­ter­tain­ing fam­ily films ever made. We are happy that it is back in cin­e­mas. We are un­happy that it is now in stupid 3-D. For that rea­son, we dock this clas­sic a star.

Bert Lahr: Not no­body! Not no­how!

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