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WHV Press Release: The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary UCE (DVD/Blu-ray)


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#1 of 19 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 09 2009 - 08:48 PM

70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition
Warner Home Video Celebrates the Beloved Classic
with Spectacular New Blu-ray Version September 29
16 Hours of Enhanced Content, Four of Which Are Brand New, Includes
New Documentaries, Featurettes, a Sing-Along Track
and Extraordinary Collectibles

THE WIZARD OF OZ
70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition



Burbank, Calif. June 9, 2009 – It is difficult to imagine a motion picture more magical and more wonderful than Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's wonderful 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: Warner Bros..
The following components are ALL-NEW and exclusive to this release:

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.

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.

About the Movie

Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s timeless children’s tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz opened at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939. The film was directed by Victor Fleming (who that same year directed Gone With the Wind), produced by Mervyn LeRoy, and scored by Herbert Stothart, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. Ray Bolger appeared as the Scarecrow; Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Jack Haley as the Tin Woodman. Frank Morgan was seen in six different roles, including that of the "wonderful Wizard" himself. Dorothy was portrayed by a 4'11" sixteen year old girl who quickly earned her reputation as “the world’s greatest entertainer”-- the incomparable Judy Garland.

The Wizard of Oz received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and captured two Oscars® -- Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score -- plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Judy Garland. The film was an overwhelmingly popular and critical success upon its initial release and repeated its ability to captivate audiences when M-G-M reissued the film in 1949 and 1955. The film made a new kind of history with its network television premiere in 1956 on CBS. Nearly 45 million people tuned in for this initial telecast, marking the beginning of an annual tradition. Ever since, The Wizard of Oz has been shown virtually annually on network (and then cable) television; its magical story and heartfelt performances have enabled it to grow from a perennial classic to its current status as a treasured icon of popular culture.


TWO DISC DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

Disc 1
· 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 2
· 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
o Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo
o Good News of 1939 Radio Show
o 12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast
· Still Galleries
· Six Theatrical Trailers


DVD & BLU-RAY HI-DEF ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS
Includes everything listed in the Two Disc SE as well as the following:

Disc 3
· 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 4
· 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]

(Blu-ray Hi-Def will have Discs 1 & 2 and Discs 3 & 4 combined)

Also included are unique premiums:
· 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

EXCLUSIVE TO THE DVD and BLU-RAY HI-DEF RAY ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS
· Digital Copy on Disc

EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY HI-DEF ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS:
· MGM: When The Lion Roars Documentary


The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition
Street Date: September 29, 2009
Rating: G

Blu-ray Hi-Def Ultimate Collector’s Edition
$84.99 SRP

Ultimate Collector’s Edition (SD)
$69.92 SRP

Two-Disc Special Edition
$24.98 SRP

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted June 10 2009 - 12:05 AM

Wow! I didn't they had a chance of convincing me to re-buy this title for the umpteenth time, but I think they did it.

Those additional extras are amazing!

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   EricSchulz

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Posted June 10 2009 - 12:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Peterson
Wow! I didn't they had a chance of convincing me to re-buy this title for the umpteenth time, but I think they did it.

Those additional extras are amazing!

Yeah, it's hard to believe that they can keep coming up with worthwhile extras that will get me to buy this title yet again!

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Bleddyn Williams

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Posted June 10 2009 - 01:20 AM

The discs sound great, but why oh why can't they issue a straightforward version on blu-ray? Not everyone wants to pay a premium for tchotchkes.

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted June 10 2009 - 01:22 AM

One thing, though- why no commentary from Judy's kids? I'm sure Liza, Lorna and Joe have a lot of stories regarding their mother and the making of the movie.

BTW: any truth to the rumor of Warners getting their hands on a complete pre-release print of the 1954 A Star is Born from a private collector?
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#6 of 19 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleddyn Williams
The discs sound great, but why oh why can't they issue a straightforward version on blu-ray? Not everyone wants to pay a premium for tchotchkes.
There are several of us wondering the same thing in this thread.





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#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Tim Tucker

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Posted June 10 2009 - 02:39 AM

Wow! The Dreamer of Oz, The Magic Cloak of Oz AND The Patchwork Girl of Oz! For a card-carrying member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, this is a dream come true. I'm just hoping that the quality of the silents is better than previous versions. I wonder if Patchwork Girl is going to have the original 1913 score by Louis F. Gottschalk.
BARBARA WRIGHT: You're from Earth?
MORTON DILL: No... no, ma'am, I... I'm from Alabama.
Doctor Who: Flight Through Eternity

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted June 10 2009 - 06:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Ellis
One thing, though- why no commentary from Judy's kids? I'm sure Liza, Lorna and Joe have a lot of stories regarding their mother and the making of the movie.

Yeah, but they'd only know what she told them, and most of what she said were exaggerations and outright lies, mainly to get a laugh. For instance, she said Bolger, Haley and Lahr would try to push her off the Yellow Brick Road -- and the director would yell at them.

Even Clark Gable at MGM wouldn't get away with wasting time like that, much less Bolger, Haley and Lahr, who weren't even big stars! Why Garland felt the need to slander her co-stars is something (like so much about Garland) that's very hard to understand.

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   danielmartin

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Posted June 10 2009 - 08:03 AM

I'm hoping there's lots of archived interviews of the stars -- because they appeared time and again on tv talk shows etc over their final decades. I know most were not saved but plenty were.
I'm likely to double- (i guess it's triple- now) dip on this, but i'm kind of tired of those 'completely new' feature and featurettes that have some young gun director talking about 'what john ford means to him...

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted June 10 2009 - 08:07 AM

So this is it. The ultimate, last-time-I'm-ever-paying-a-dime-for-this-movie-no-matter-what edition. This sounds like The Wizard of Oz release for the ages. Never again will I need to upgrade unless they find "The Jitterbug" and throw in some ruby slippers to go with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielmartin
but i'm kind of tired of those 'completely new' feature and featurettes that have some young gun director talking about 'what john ford means to him...

Agreed. The only other thing I could think of adding would be the CBS (and NBC from 1967-1975) intros; the early ones include people unrelated to the film, like Dick Van Dyke, introducing it. Ironically, the year Judy Garland had her TV show (also being re-released on DVD in July in 2-episode volumes [why not a complete set?]), CBS did NOT ask her to introduce the annual showing of the film.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#11 of 19 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted June 10 2009 - 08:13 AM

I'm gonna wait for the 100th Anniversary Edition on hologram
 

RIP Roberto Gomez Bolanos. 


#12 of 19 OFFLINE   KellyVO

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Posted June 10 2009 - 10:08 AM

Just think in 5 years we will have the 75th Anniversary set!

I'm guessing the Gone with the Wind Anniversary set is just around the corner?
Most Wanted on DVD: Dragonwyck (1946),  Little Nellie Kelly (1940), Bachelor Mother (1939), Tin Pan Alley (1940), Mother Wore Tights (1947), The Devil and Miss Jones (1941),  Penelope (1966)Fox Please release Betty Grable Vol. 2!

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   mdnitoil

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Posted June 10 2009 - 11:16 AM

I don't know. I have barely watched the last massive edition set I got so I'm just not convinced that plunking down yet another 50 bucks on this movie is a good idea.

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   JeffMc

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Posted June 10 2009 - 12:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdnitoil
I don't know. I have barely watched the last massive edition set....

Mine is still sealed!

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted June 10 2009 - 12:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
For instance, she said Bolger, Haley and Lahr would try to push her off the Yellow Brick Road -- and the director would yell at them.

This story is also actually in Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master (2008), in which the director told this story and said the Miss Garland was correct in what her co-stars were doing.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Art_AD

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Posted June 18 2009 - 07:34 AM

Wished Warners would have included the A & E documentary "Treasure: The search for the Ruby Slippers" (Although it needs to be updated a little bit). It would have been a great addition. I know it would cost them money to licence this but I have bought so many versions of this film already (2 CED versions, 3 laserdisc versions, 1 VHS version & 2 DVD versions) they really owe us to provide the most behind the scenes content available.

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted June 18 2009 - 09:27 AM

Should've included "UNDER THE RAINBOW". Posted Image

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted June 18 2009 - 10:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art_AD
Wished Warners would have included the A & E documentary "Treasure: The search for the Ruby Slippers" (Although it needs to be updated a little bit). It would have been a great addition. I know it would cost them money to licence this but I have bought so many versions of this film already (2 CED versions, 3 laserdisc versions, 1 VHS version & 2 DVD versions) they really owe us to provide the most behind the scenes content available.

There were 2 CED versions?

That's a format that really surprises me even today. Makes me think a little of the UMD format for some reason, a kind of "why is this necessary when better alternatives are already available?"

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   felipenor

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Posted June 19 2009 - 03:10 PM

Here's the artwork: Fórum Cinema em Cena: Edições Especiais e Catálogo em DVD


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