Search - The Wizard of Oz (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) on DVD

The Wizard of Oz (Three-Disc Collector's Edition)
The Wizard of Oz
Three-Disc Collector's Edition
Actors: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Dorothy Dwan, Charles Murray, Oliver Hardy
Directors: George Cukor, J. Farrell MacDonald, Jack Haley Jr., King Vidor, L. Frank Baum
Genres: Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts
UR     2005     1hr 43min

An All-New Wizard of Oz With State of The Art Ultra-Resolution Picture Quality and Over 10 Hours of Bonus Extras.DVD Features: — Audio Commentary:Commentary by John Fricke and multiple cast and crew members. — Biographies:We...  more »


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Movie Reviews

An OZ-some DVD Experience
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 12/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Like most baby boomers, I've watched this film dozens of times in the past on broadcast TV, then VHS tape, then LaserDisc ... but I had never actually SEEN "The Wizard of Oz" until this newly restored DVD came out. It's an amazing transfer. The sepia-tone Kansas sequences are startlingly sharp and clear, and the Technicolored world "Over the Rainbow" is truly dazzling. I found myself fascinated by details I had never noticed before: the glittering corn stalks in the Scarecrow's field; the mirror-like floors of the Emerald City; the polished buttons on the guardsmen's uniforms. Incredibly, even the individual grains of red sand in the Witch's hourglass stood out and glistened! All these minor-but-sumptuous visual details served to heighten the magical spell that the film has always woven, enhancing the performances, the story, and the music.The DVD extras are a mind-boggling embarrassment of riches. The "Making Of" documentary hosted by the incomparable Angela Lansbury is worth the price of the DVD alone, but there's so much more: an international poster gallery, interviews with cast members, deleted scenes, production stills, radio clips, etc, etc. There's enough material to keep even the most casual viewer fascinated for hours, and a true Oz buff will be occupied for days!If you only bought a DVD player to watch this one disc, it would well be worth the expense. Treat yourself, and fall in love with this classic film again ... for the first time."
(Blu-ray update) Not a restoration, but an entirely differen
William Sommerwerck | Renton, WA USA | 10/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was just critized for foisting off the following review of the 3-disk DVD set as a review of the new Blu-ray. I didn't; Amazon did. As anyone who's been here for a while will notice, Amazon throws all DVD reviews into the same bucket, regardless of the edition. So don't blame me.

I just got the Blu-ray, and will have some comments on it at the end.

There's no need to discuss "The Wizard of Oz" itself, a classic among classics (though I'll have something to say about its "philosophy" later on). You probably want to know whether the UltraResolution transfer justifies the purchase.

It does. Oh, yes it does.

"The Wizard of Oz" has always looked good, one of the better Technicolor films. Unlike "Gone With the Wind", which was generally dark and desaturated, and which UltraResolution greatly improved, I didn't expect much enhancement for "Oz".

Was I ever wrong. I stared with my jaw hanging open. "Oz" is the best UltraResolution transfer by far -- and the others were not exactly chopped liver.

The improvement in detail and sharpness is startling, especially as the original prints did not seem obviously lacking in either. Even more amazing is the expansion of the tonal scale. Dark scenes (particularly those in the forest and outside the "witches" castle) are now filled with rich detail. Have you ever noticed how beautiful the Winkies' red, white, and gray uniforms are? I hadn't -- until now.

These enhancements combine produce the biggest improvement of all -- a major revelation of _texture_. The "feltiness" of many costumes is obvious. The burlap of the Scarecrow's face is now plainly visible, particularly in the close-up where he misstates the Pythagorean Theorem. And the Lion's costume is a thick pile of fur you want to reach out and stroke. You can see every last strand of hair.

I'm exaggerating only slightly when I say the improvements of this UltraResolution transfer are not much less than those from cleaning the Sistine Chapel's frescos. It's as if layers of murk and grime -- that you never even knew were there! -- have been stripped away. Until you view it, you cannot imagine what this film (that is, the original camera negatives) _really_ looks like. It's a shame the people who created "Oz" never got to see it this way.

The image quality is so high that I often felt as if I were looking through a window at live performers. (Well, almost.) No matter what versions you already have, you won't be disappointed with this one. I watched it twice in two days, and I might even view it a third time tonight.

My only quibble is that several matte paintings do not blend properly, because the hues at the join lines do not match those of the scene. This could have been fixed; I suspect it seemed too much work for a small improvement. (A friend suggested that these sorts of things are left in because videophiles enjoy finding them.)

As to the differences between the two- and three-disk sets... The latter includes a packet of original programs and promotional material of the sort we haven't seen in 40 years ago. (Remember the 50-cent deluxe programs for road-show films?) There's also a set of 10 reproductions of Kodachrome publicity photographs. For this viewer, these extras alone justify the higher price.

The third disk will be of most interest to lovers of all things Oz. It includes a handsomely produced biography of L. Frank Baum (interesting enough that you might want to watch it more than once), plus all the silent Oz films and a Technicolor Oz cartoon. The existence of these is well-known to anyone familiar with the history of Oz productions, but they've never appeared (as far as I know) in any home-video format.

The films are problematic. The two from Baum's production company are the best -- they have style, charm, and imagination. The others are cheesy ripoffs that bear little relation to the original book. The Larry Semon -- a once wildly-popular but now virtually forgotten cartoonist and comic * -- version is especially obnoxious, as it is little more than a vehicle for Semon's brand of physical comedy. The Baum estate is at least partly to blame -- _any_ movie version must have seemed more attractive than none, especially as the technology to make a convincing version of "Oz" would not exist for another 15 years.

The film's opening titles praise the book's "kindly philosophy", which seems to be either "You already have everything you need to be happy", or "The answer to your problems lies within yourself". These are not so much "kindly" as reflections of the hard-nosed "All your problems are your own fault" and "If you're not a success, it's because you're lazy" homilies that grew out of the great opportunity for personal development and material success this country offered.

I believe L. Frank Baum had something a bit different in mind. "The Wizard of Oz" is a fairy tale in which magic has no bearing on the issues at the center of the story. I believe Baum wanted to discourage children from fantasizing that magic could be a solution to one's problems.

So... he has the four principals make a grueling journey to the Emerald City, then find the wizard is a humbug. (What a shame the blander "fake", "fraud", or "phony" have replaced that delightful word.) He posesses no magic to supply wit, love, or grit, which the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion have demonstrated they already have.

Baum's "moral" is simple -- Love, wisdom, and courage are what we need to get through life. No one can _give_ them to us, because we _already_ possess them, and all we need to do is express them.

"Is that right?"

"That's all it is."

Now... the question you've been waiting for the answer to... Is the Blu-ray set worth the price?

I viewed the Blu-ray on a Pioneer 60" Pro Kuro, fed from a Sony BDP-S550. I also watched the DVD on the Pioneer (fed from the same Blu-ray player), and on a 36" Sony 400-series WEGA "improved definition" TV (fed from a Sony DVP-S7000).

The DVD remains a terrific DVD, and looks terrific on a high-quality 480i monitor. (See the preceding review.) It was, and still is, a demo-quality DVD.

When played on the BD player, and upconverted to 1080p, the DVD's image on the Kuro is pretty darn good -- the sharpness and detail are at least "acceptable". But when you play the Blu-ray disk, the image goes from "acceptable" to almost-startling. Two examples... Note the enhanced detail and texture in the weather-beaten wood above the WWE's lifeless legs. And in the crowd scenes, you can see (just about) every Munchkin face. There is virtually no smearing of detail.

So... should you rush right out in a buying frenzy and get the BD edition? It depends.

The DVD is good enough for an excellent picture on a high-quality SD monitor. But even upconverted, it isn't good enough for a _large_ HD display. If you have, say, a 40" display; your BD player has a good upconverter (not all do); and you don't sit "on top of" the screen (as I do); you might see little difference between the DVD and the Blu-ray.

But if you're a video fuss-budget (as I am) and sit closer than the "experts" recommend (why _shouldn't_ you?), you will almost certainly prefer the Blu-ray. It's your call.

A few remarks on the extras... The wristwatch, as the kid in the Ally bank commercial says, is a piece of junk. The design shows no particular style, wit, or imagination. And as others have said, "The Dreamer of OZ" is a wretched transfer, very badly unpconverted to 1080. It is not of acceptable quality, and should have been put on the DVD disk.

I will come back later (I hope) with some more comments on the sound and the other extras. Forcing yourself to repeatedly watch large chunks of a movie, regardless of its quality, is an ennervating experience."
2009 two, four and blu-ray version contents:
Jon | NY | 08/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Completely irritated by the lack of info I raked up my own for your pleasure:

THE WIZARD OF OZ 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition (4-Disc DVD Set or 2-Disc Blu-ray Set)

Also available in 2-Disc DVD Special Edition
(or 1-Disc Blu-ray)(CONTENTS BELOW)

Warner Home Video celebrates the beloved classic with spectacular new DVD or Blu-ray version, September 29, featuring 16 hours of enhanced content (four of which are brand new) -- includes New Documentaries, Featurettes, a Sing-Along Track and Extraordinary Collectibles!

Burbank, CA -- It is difficult to imagine a motion picture more magical and more wonderful than Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's beloved and classic 1939 musical, The Wizard of Oz. Over the last seven decades, the film has indelibly woven itself into America's cultural consciousness: Is there anyone who doesn't immediately think of the film upon hearing the words, "Dorothy," "Toto," "Emerald City," "Ruby Slippers" and "Yellow Brick Road" -- or the lines to the song "Over the Rainbow?"

Now, the colorful characters and unforgettable songs of Oz come alive as never before when Warner Home Video brings this cinematic treasure into the digital age with the September 29 Blu-ray release of The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition. The commemorative edition contains nearly 4 hours of all-new and never-before-available bonus features and is housed in numbered collectible packaging, and will be available for a limited time only for $69.92 SRP (DVD) and $84.99 SRP (Blu-ray Hi-Def).

In order to bring all the visual splendor of The Wizard of Oz to the Hi-Def world of Blu-ray Disc, the film has been entirely remastered, with each of the original Technicolor camera negatives scanned using 8K resolution. From this scan, a final "capture" master was created in 4K, yielding twice the resolution seen in the master utilized for the film's previous DVD release.

Working in "full film Resolution", extreme care was taken to ensure that all of the image fidelity contained in the original negatives was properly captured for this new presentation. The sounds of Oz will come alive on Blu-ray disc utilizing the full audio spectrum capabilities available through Dolby TrueHD audio. The net result is one of unprecedented quality that is sure to make The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition a benchmark in the history of the Blu-ray format.

There will also be a dedicated official site for all Oz-related events and products:

The following components are ALL-NEW and exclusive to the Ultimate Collector's Edition:

The Dreamer of Oz -- which makes its long-awaited home video debut. Also remastered the occasion, this full-length motion picture was an NBC-TV special event in 1990 and thrilled critics and audiences as it told the back story of author L. Frank Baum, "the Royal Historian of Oz." John Ritter shines in the title role -- the man who defied all odds to create the famous characters and stories. Annette O'Toole beautifully co-stars as his supportive wife, with Rue McClanahan as his challenging witch of a mother-in-law.

Victor Fleming, Master Craftsman -- a new feature-length documentary produced specifically for this release about the Hollywood director who, in the same year, miraculously brought both Oz and Gone With the Wind to the screen.

Hollywood Celebrates It's Biggest Little Stars -- a new featurette stars seven of the original "Munchkins of Oz" and tells the saga of the long journey, culminating in them receiving their own 2007 Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Magic Cloak of Oz -- the first release of the complete 1914 silent film, including lost footage never before included in a home video presentation of this feature (produced by Baum himself).

The Patchwork Girl of Oz -- another 1914 Baum-produced, feature-length silent film, new to Warner Home Video.

The Wizard of Oz Sing-Along Track -- here making its home entertainment debut.

Reproductions of Archival Material -- Extraordinary renderings of the original 1939 Oz campaign, exploitation, and press books. These materials constitute a Hollywood "holy grail" for Oz, Garland, and motion picture fans alike and, for decades, have been among the most sought-after and impossible-to-find collectibles.

Behind The Curtain -- a 52-page miniature coffee-table book, assembled by pre-eminent Oz historian John Fricke. Encompassing much previously unpublished material, the deluxe volume includes behind-the-scenes Oz photographs, studio memos, and script pages for abandoned scenes and musical numbers.

Exclusive Wizard of Oz Watch -- A collectible and numbered 70th Anniversary watch, incorporating art from the film and enhanced with genuine crystals. Available nowhere else, this beautiful timepiece was created specially for this DVD edition.

DIGITAL COPY (on the disc)

And for the Blu-Ray Ultimate Collector's Edition, the original extended version of "If I Only Had a Brain" performed by Ray Bolger has been remastered in hi-definition especially for this release.


4-Disc DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition:
Includes 16 hours of enhanced content (4 of which are brand NEW)
Disc One:
* Remastered feature with Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio (NEW)
* Sing-along Track (NEW)
* Commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman (daughter of Arthur Freed), Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr (son of Bert Lahr), Jane Lahr (daughter of Bert Lahr), Hamilton Meserve (son of Margaret Hamilton), Dona Massin (MGM choreographer), William Tuttle (make-up artist), Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy, and Jerry Maren
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook
* Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz
* We Haven't Really Met Properly
* Music and Effects Track
* Original Mono Track
Disc Two:
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic [1990 TV special]
* Memories of Oz [2001 TCM documentary]
* The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz
* Because of the Wonderful Things it Does: The Legacy of Oz
* Harold Arlen's Home Movies
* Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
* It's a Twister! It's a Twister! The Tornado Tests
* Off to See the Wizard
* 3 Vault Shorts
* Audio Jukebox Selection
* Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo
* Good News of 1939 Radio Show
* 12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast
* Still Galleries
* Six Theatrical Trailers
Disc 3 & 4 are Exclusive to this edition
Disc Three:
* Victor Fleming: Master Craftsman (NEW)
* L. Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain
Celebrating Hollywood's Biggest Little Stars (NEW)
* The Dreamer of Oz [1990 TV special] (NEW)
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)
* The Wizard of Oz [1933]
Disc Four:
* His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz
* The Magic Cloak of Oz [1914] (NEW)
* The Patchwork Girl of Oz [1914] (NEW)
* The Wizard of Oz [1925 feature]
* Collectible and numbered 70th Anniversary Wizard of Oz watch with genuine crystals
* Replica of the original film budget
* "Behind the Curtain" (a 52-page, coffee-table book)
* Reproduction of the original 1939 campaign book
* Bonus DIGITAL COPY (on the disc)

Here's is what the TWO DISC 2009 dvd contains:

Available in 2-Disc DVD Special Edition (SRP $24.98) or 1-Disc Blu-ray, both of which include the following:
* Remastered feature with Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio [DVD] or Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Audio [Blu-ray] (NEW)
* Sing-along Track (NEW)
* Commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman (daughter of Arthur Freed), Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr (son of Bert Lahr), Jane Lahr (daughter of Bert Lahr), Hamilton Meserve (son of Margaret Hamilton), Dona Massin (MGM choreographer), William Tuttle (make-up artist), Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy, and Jerry Maren
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook
* Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz
* We Haven't Really Met Properly
* Music and Effects Track
* Original Mono Track
Disc Two:
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic [1990 TV special]
* Memories of Oz [2001 TCM documentary]
* The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz
* Because of the Wonderful Things it Does: The Legacy of Oz
* Harold Arlen's Home Movies
* Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
* It's a Twister! It's a Twister! The Tornado Tests
* Off to See the Wizard
* 3 Vault Shorts
* Audio Jukebox Selection
* Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo
* Good News of 1939 Radio Show
* 12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast
* Still Galleries
* Six Theatrical Trailers
If you are new to DVDs, this should be your first purchase!
shortywithtwins | 05/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of the DVDs I own or have rented, this one is the most impressive. The special features are numerous and incredible. Who knew that Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Tinman or that Ray Bolger had a wonderful dance scene that was deleted from the final cut of the movie? I especially enjoyed the interviews with the cast and the commentary on the other vintage movies that were also released in 1939 (if only we were so lucky to have as many outstanding movies to be released in one year as were released in 1939). Besides the special features that make this DVD a must own, the sound and picture qualities are superior. Since I was old enough to remember, I watched The Wizard of Oz on TV every year. Now, I get to watch it with my daughter in all of its glory and splendor on DVD. Though the hallway to the Wizard doesn't seem nearly as long and the Wicked Witch is not quite as scary (as when I was a child), the magic of the movie remains. If you loved the movie as a child and you are looking for an exceptional quality DVD that your family will enjoy for years and years, you must buy this DVD! Recapture the magic of the first time you saw The Wizard of Oz by watching it on DVD."