Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments:#86-The Wizard of Oz(1939)

By Eric Polk-
Seriously? This movie? When I first saw the Bravo special back in 2004, my mouth dropped a good twenty feet. I mean how could this centerpiece of everyone's childhood movie viewing be considered for a scary movie moment.  The more I thought of it, the more I realized, there are some genuine scares in this film, though only if you're under 7. Rather than give a traditional Eric review(Intro/plot/opinion), I'm going to delve into two aspects of this film I find fascinating.

1) The Urban Legend:An old urban legend claimed that, in the film, a Munchkin could be seen committing suicide (hanging by the neck from behind a prop tree and swinging back and forth) far away (left) in the background, while the Tin Man, Dorothy and the Scarecrow are singing We're Off to See the Wizard and skipping down the yellow brick road into the distance. The object in question is actually a bird borrowed from the Los Angeles Zoo, most likely a crane or an emu, one of several birds placed on the indoor set to give it a more realistic feel.

2) The Dark Side of the Rainbow: As a huge Pink Floyd fan, I find this urban legend intriguing.  pairing of the 1973  album The Dark Side of the Moon with the visual portion of the The Wizard of Oz This produces moments where the film and the album appear to correspond with each other. The title of the music video-like experience comes from a combination of the album title and the film's song "Over the Rainbow". Band members and others involved in the making of the album state that any relationship between the two works of art is merely a coincidence.

In this instance, Reaplings, I'm going to let you be the judge of whether or not there's a synchronicity involved.


Faycin A Croud said...

Snow White actually has some scary scenes. The transformation of the wicked stepmother into the witch is rather hair-raising. Conceptually there are parts of the Wizard of Oz which are unsettling, but visually the film is more light than dark throughout.

Jack Veasey said...

When I first saw Disney's "Pinocchio" as a child, I was terrified by the sequence showing the boys being turned into donkeys. There are some big scares (for kids, that is) in some children's films.

I didn't see the Bravo special, but I'm curious: what scene in "Oz" did they identify as the scariest moment?

Eric Polk said...

@Jack...just watched a snippet of it...The flying monkey sequences!!!!! Scary for a child, but not an adult.