Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wizard of Oz VS. Gone With The Wind

 Silly Banner made by me.

WARNING long rambling possibly boring post ahead, read at your own risk! XD 

A new sort of game I like to play.  Like two competitors in a boxing ring I take two subject matters, it can be anything or everything.  Like two celebrities, two songs and obviously, two movies, and ''VS" them off against one another. In an attempt to decide which one is 'better' then the other. It's going to be hard, because both are very different films. One is considered more adult and the other more child-like. Still, these two films are undoubtedly two of the most famous ones to exist from 1939, a year that saw very many classics produced. It will be tough, yes. And it will be certainly be more then a little unfair, but that's the fun of it! What's life without a bit of challenges? And even if I end up failing terribly at this, at least I got to explore two of my favorite films in such detail... Of course this is all my personal opinion and I understand lots of people wouldn't agree with it. But I thought this would be fun anyway. :)
I chose, as you probably can see, Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Comments and opposing arguments/points are very much appreciated. :D

Gone With The Wind
 Lets get ready to rumbllleeeee!! *DING DING*

Directed primarily by Victor Fleming. 
Produced by David O. Selznick. 
Filmed in technicolor. 
Duration; nearly 4 hrs.
Often hailed as one of the best films of all time Gone With The Wind, has stood the test of time. Though by today's standards the ideals and subject matter expressed by the individuals/characters in the movie are outdated, the lasting effect of Gone With The Wind is so strong that it still continues to delight audiences, seventy one years after it was first released. 

  The story as most will know is set during The Civil War, and also after it. Showing how war can effect you even after it is long finished. The main character Scarlett O'Hara is an unlikeable, yet at the same time strangely likeable, selfish shrewd woman. Who deludes herself to be in love with Ashley, when we all know that it is Rhett she should be with. Add together more characters such as Mammy, Melanie, Belle, Pork, etc, one hell of a musical score  and add all sorts of twists and turns, and you're bound to be in store for one hell of a ride. 

Pretty dress :)

When it was first released Gone With The Wind was an instant smash hit. Based on the hugely popular book with the same name, Gone With The Wind went on to break box office records everywhere and also, go on to win 8 oscars, including Best picture and also best supporting actress, for Hattie McDaniel, the first african-american to win such an award. 

The appeal of the book and the movie, as I said before, are so strong that they still continue to sell very well and enchant audiences. Gone With The Wind has found a place in pop culture and mainstream society, and is constantly referenced to openly by different forms of media... 
I personally love this film. It has everything, right? Romance, action, war, friendships. It was not afraid to show human nature at it's worst as well as showing it at it's best.  It is interesting that this film was made in 1939, a year were an unprecedented amount of classics were produced. It is primarily, among being a epic romance it is also in my opinion any way a anti-war story, and yet it was in this very year that World War Two began. Hmmm.

It is very long, that is true. And as such it puts of a lot of people viewing it. ut the actresses, actors and the general tone of the movie are very good and still hold up even in today's standards.  I think the appeal of this film lays also in the fact that it was filmed in color, which, let's face it, is always going to win more votes in this modern day, then a black and white movie. 
Yes, Gone With The Wind, despite your own opinions of whether you may like it or not, had a profound effect on cinema. It was one of the first ''Blockbusters'' akin to something like Titanic, Avatar, etc. 

But despite that all, is it as universally recognized as Wizard of Oz? Is it better then Wizard of Oz? Is it as LOVED as Wizard of Oz?  

*dramatic music here* Only time will tell. 


The Wizard of Oz 
Directed primarily by Victor Fleming.
Filmed primarily in Technicolor, using Sepia in the begining and the end. 
Duration; nearly two hours.

Contrary to the myth that circulates this movie, Wizard of Oz was NOT a flop. It wasn't a smash hit either, but it was very warmly received by the public, and certainly put Judy Garland more on the map. This is evident by the two oscars the film received. 
This movie was based on the first of the popular children book series. It diverted a lot from it's original material, but nonetheless managed to capture the spirit of the books. A musical, The Wizard of Oz features some of the most recognizable songs in history, particularly, the iconic song ''Somewhere over the Rainbow."

Like Gone With The Wind this movie is one of the most easily recognizable films from the Golden Era today. The Wizard Of Oz popularity grew more and more as the years went on, thanks to viewings of television, videos and DVDs. It too is quoted and referenced often.  It is the epitome of children fantasy- and unlike Gone With The Wind, it is a movie the whole family can watch at any age and enjoy. 
The film is about a young girl who lives in the dreary sepia world of Kansas, with her aunty and uncle and her little dog. After being caught up in a hurricane that carries away her house, while she is in it, the house lands in a magical technicolor land called OZ and on a wicked witch who possesses red ruby magical slippers. After a series of events; including her being rewarded said magical slippers in thanks for killing the evil witch, making an enemy of the sister of the dead witch (who also happens to be quite evil, green and wants the slippers for herself) and a delightful merry song to set the tone for the rest of the movie, we watch Dorothy struggle to find the Wizard Of Oz, the only person who can seemingly help her to return back home along with her new friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, each of whom need something from the wizard too, a heart, a brain and courage.

I think the appeal of Wizard of Oz is strong to those that are in touch with their inner child. Since I have yet to really grow up, I still adore this film very much. It is a staple in most young childrens viewings and is still magical and terrifying (I mean, come on, who when younger WASN'T afraid of the green wicked witch?!)  as it  was all those years ago. The Wizard of Oz is very much an icon. People don't associate it as an old movie, they just see it as it is- a magical escape. Audiences of that time could sort of relate because they were doing it hard back then, so everyone could understand the notion of wanting to escape to a more prettier, more different world. It's one of those rare films that are both timeless and watchable by anyone- Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows what the Wizard of Oz is. 

The Lowdown

If you have managed to read through the above ramblings, you deserve a medal! *awards shiny medal*

So, the whole point of this post was to ask what is the better film? What has endured better? What is loved better? Here are some interesting similarities between the two...

-Both films were made in 1939.
-Both are probably the two most famous of all the classics released from that year. 

-Both have a female as the main heroine, and both have four main characters, Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie and Ashley... Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion.

-Both deal with different messages and core values, but in the end ultimately say the same thing; There's no place like home (or in GWTW's case, Tara).

-Both are directed primarily by Victor Fleming. 

-Both made bigger stars of the herorine who played them. 

-Both were based on very popular books.
-Both are different types of films. 
-Both cost a lot of money to produce.

-And both have seemingly transcended time, and continue to delight audiences even today. 

When I asked around 11 people, in which film they preferred better, only 3 knew what Gone With The Wind was, 2 of those people were over the age of 30, and 1 was my own age. Out of those 3, 2 said Wizard of Oz was their favorite film, and the other 1 said Gone With The Wind was her's.   The rest all said Wizard of Oz, because well they didn't even know what Gone With The Wind was, but also because the vast majority of those left loved Wizard of Oz as well...

So bearing all this in mind, what is the answer? What film is better?

There is no answer. Yeah, I just wasted all this time blabbering on, for no reason. But the truth is, that no matter how much you break it down, even if I went into statistics and stuff, it all comes down to personal choice,  our own personal choice of what we like and what we this is better. However, I will say this; I think Gone With The Wind is regarded more highly as a film, because of it's importance of our cinema and the actual brilliant romance of Rhett and Scarlett, but I think The Wizard of Oz is more known to all and more beloved, because as I stated many times, it is a film EVERYONE can watch, and because of that I think it will endure forever.

In my personal opinion, though I love Gone With The Wind very much and I will always love it,  The Wizard of Oz will always be that more magical to me. It is more of an escape for me. When I watch Gone With The Wind (and believe me I watch GWTW probably more then that is healthy) I have to really concentrate and be able to watch it all. But with The Wizard of Oz, I put it on and I'm instantly drawn in to another world, that hardly takes any effort at all to watch because soon it will be over. It is a safe film for me, one I watch when I am moody, tired, sad or even when I am just happy and I need something to express that happiness for me, and what better way to do that then watching Oz? Because no matter how old I get, no matter how many other movies I see of the same sort of genre, there is none like The Wizard of Oz. 
Of course it may just be because I love Judy Garland a lot, so I am a tad biased. But there it is. 

Phewf! I am FINALLY done. I hope that this post wasn't too idiotic. I am glad to be back after a small hiatus. I have a few more things I want to post in the next upcoming days... But for now let me know your opinion; which film do you prefer? if any?  and Why?


  1. I've read everything :D
    Interesting waht you said.
    The Wizard of Oz is the first classic I saw, when I was 6 with my school. I didn't know it was an old movie, and I loved it. I saw it again this year, and I still enjoy it with 10 years more. It's, as you said, a movie that everyone can watch, child or not. Tome, it's like a Disney movie, you wan escape, it's beautiful, colorful, and it has great song. Over the rainbow is one of my favorite song of all time.
    And Gone with the Wind is simply my favorit movie. The 1st time I watched it, I was fascinated. The movie stay in my mind all the following day. The cast is perfect, the costume, the story...
    How many time those 2 movies has been quoted or referenced. In the simpson foe example there are many sequence of both of these. Or "After, tomorrow is another", it've heard this line many time without know it was in GWTW.

  2. You read it all? Wow!! *awards double medal* haha.

    Yes, exactly my thoughts. I *heart* disney :) I love both movies a lot, but I think Wizard of Oz will always hold a special place in my heart. And I just introduced my little 4 year old cousin to it, and she LOVES it.

    I think these two are undeniably two icons of the golden era, along with Casablanca, Citizen Kane, etc etc.

    And lmao! Yes! I was actually thinking of The Simpsons when I said they were both referenced in different forms of media- GWTW in particular seems to referenced constantly. :D

    My friends quote all the time, "Frankly my dear I don't give a damn." Solely because it was on the Simpsons. I asked them whether they actually knew what movie that quote came from, as per usual I got a blank stare in response.

    Thanks for reading it all. It was exhausting to write it, I can't imagine how tiring it was for you to read it. :P

  3. During my last year in college I took a course in user interfaces and our teacher referred to things that weren't implemented, but were faked for the sake of demoing or evaluating the the interface as "Wizard Of Oz Techniques".

    I love to change the lyrics to the yellow brick road song and make it say, "Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail. Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail. Follow it, follow it, follow it, follow it, follow the Ho Chi Minh trail." That always seemed funny to me.

    On the list of movies that I work off of Gone With The Wind and The Wizard Of Oz have been bouncing around only a few films apart for the past 2-3 years. Sometimes one is ahead then the other will move in front of it. I prefer Oz. Oz and The Princess Bride are two films that every child see.

    And don't worry, I have read longer and written worse.

  4. I absolutely adore the Princess Bride! It's so funny and witty and manages at the same time to whisk you away on this wonderful journey. It's funny, because The Princess Bride was sort of the ''Wizard of Oz" of the 80s.

    LOL @ your change of the lyrics, very funny indeed.

    I doubt you have written worse,no one could XD but thanks for reading it. *also awards medal* Heh :)