Oz in the News 9.19.13

Original Oz Munchkin Jerry Maren Places Hands In Cement                         

Jerry Maren, 93 – was at the TCL Chinese Theatre, formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Wednesday in Los Angeles for a hand-and-foot-print ceremony.  The theater is actually the same location of the film’s original Hollywood premiere on Aug. 15, 1939.  Maren, dressed very dapper in a checkered shirt and blue sweater vest, proudly sang “The Lollipop Guild” for the crowd and even added a small dance move or two.

This scathing 1939 review is the worst critique of The Wizard of Oz on record  “The Wizard of Oz was intended to hit the same audience as Snow White, and won’t fail for lack of trying. It has dwarfs, music, technicolor, freak characters, and Judy Garland. It can’t be expected to have a sense of humor as well — and as for the light touch of fantasy, it weighs like a pound of fruitcake soaking wet. Children will not object to it, especially as it is a thing of many interesting gadgets; but it will be delightful for children mostly to their mothers, and any kid tall enough to reach up to a ticket window will be found at the Tarzan film down the street. The story of course has some lovely and wild ideas—men of straw and tin, a cowardly lion, a wizard who isn’t a very good wizard — but the picture doesn’t know what to do with them, except to be painfully literal and elaborate about everything…”

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