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*

1939. 
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 Though by today's standards the ideals and subject matter expressed by the individuals/characters in the movie are outdated, the lasting effect of Gone With The Wind is so strong that it still continues to delight audiences, seventy one years after it was first released.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 
1939. 
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.