Here’s a tough call. A perennially beloved book (the mega-smash Harry Potter of its day) is also considered one of the best movies of all time.
And timely as well! Our patrons voted for The Wizard of Oz over Singin’ in the Rain and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the category “Family Musical” for the Best of the Best series we’re screening at the branch on June 26th. Take a look at the poll here.
Opinions, however, are split on whether the adaptation improves the book. The topic is so divisive, that they’re even split from the same review source.
The book came about when L. Frank Baum was telling stories to the children in his Chicago neighborhood. Word has it, he was stumped for the wizard’s name and, glancing at his “O-Z” file cabinet drawer, Baum had an epiphany. A reviewer over at Common Sense Media (a terrific resource in finding age-appropriate media for young ones) says it’s got “magic, great characters, tongue-in-cheek humor, a good deal of sturdy American self-reliance, good deeds and kindness rewarded, and a cheerful appreciation of hucksterism…” …and that Hollywood ruins this elegance. However, the same site also says: “Everyone should see The Wizard of Oz multiple times in their lives; it’s simply a must-see film.” Further, a Boolean Google search for “Wizard of Oz” “better than the book” returns some 7,510,000 hits!
So, take a look at The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and come watch The Wizard of Oz — at the Evergreen Branch on Wednesday, June 26 (1:30 for screening and discussion, 6:30 for just the film). Then decide for yourself. And take a look at http://www.epls.org/films/ to vote on upcoming screenings in the series. For now, get ready for the screening by reading this article detailing all of the changes the book and movie went through before it became the 10th best movie ever made and the one Everett Library patrons like you voted as best of all family musicals.