The Wizard of Oz 80th Anniversary UHD Review

Even more wonderful in 4K 5 Stars

In honor of the film’s 80th Anniversary, Warner Bros. has released the classic The Wizard of Oz on 4K UHD Blu-ray taken from an 8K scan of the original Technicolor camera negatives.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Released: 25 Aug 1939
Rated: PG
Runtime: 102 min
Director: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Cast: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr
Writer(s): Noel Langley (screenplay), Florence Ryerson (screenplay), Edgar Allan Woolf (screenplay), Noel Langley (adaptation), L. Frank Baum (from the book by)
Plot: Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.
IMDB rating: 8.0
MetaScore: 100

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 1.0 DD (Mono), Spanish 2.0 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: G
Run Time: 1 Hr. 42 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD eco keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 10/29/2019
MSRP: $41.99

The Production: 5/5

What more can be said of MGM’s classic The Wizard of Oz? Released in 1939, the film received critical praise but was a disappointment at the box office (earning just over $3 million against a $2.7 million budget, in 1939 dollars). Although it eventually turned a profit following a 1949 re-release, it wasn’t until MGM sold the television broadcast rights to CBS in 1956 (marking the fist time a major Hollywood film was presented uncut on a national broadcast network) that the film started to become a beloved classic. So much so, that the movie has been referenced in several movies and TV shows, including Good Morning Vietnam, Wreck It Ralph, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Emperor’s New Groove, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Top Secret!, Stargate SG-1, etc. I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret Hamilton, who plays the Wicked Witch of the West, back in the late 1970s or early 1890s when she was interviewed for a locally syndicated cable access TV show that an after-school program I attended produced called Cinekyd Theatre. I distinctly remember her telling us of how she had been typecast as the Wicked Witch (and even appeared on Sesame Street as that character), the many issues in making the film (including the more caustic make-up they used in those days and the third-degree burns she suffered from during the fire-ball explosion during her exit at the beginning of the film), and being the spokesperson the Maxwell House coffee in her later years. Eighty years after its initial release, though, The Wizard of Oz is just as magical today.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

The Wizard of Oz is, at the time of this writing, the oldest movie to be released in 4K UHD Blu-ray. Warner’s press release is a bit confusing, though, in that it states that a new 8K 16-bit color scan of the original Technicolor camera negative was the basis of this new 2160p release with all three flavors of high dynamic range, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+. What is confusing is the word “new” when mentioning the 8K scan. The previous Blu-ray release from 2013 (as well as that year’s 3D conversion) also used an 8K scan as the basis of their 1080p transfer, so it’s hard to say if the same 8K scan was used for this release but spruced up a bit with high dynamic range. Viewing this on an HDR10-capable display, this is a much more film-like presentation (not that the 2013 Blu-ray was a slouch by any means), with more balanced and naturalistic colors and much more controlled contrast (which often appeared boosted to some degree on the 2013 Blu-ray). Detail is also more refined, obviously from the increased resolution, as this is a true 4K release. This is the best The Wizard of Oz has ever looked.

Audio: 4.5/5

Good news, bad news here. The good news is that the included DTS-HD MA 5.1 track has been slightly remixed to boost some sound effects and dialogue in many of the key sequences and increase the LFE presence in those sequences as well (notably the fireballs during Wicked Witch’s exit from Munchkinland and the Wizard’s grand hall). It is still a fairly front-heavy track (as was the 5.1 Dolby True HD track from the original Blu-ray and the 5.1 DTS-HD MA from the 2013 releases), spreading the music across the Left, Center, and Right channels with occasional surround activity. The bad news is that the original mono track was not included on this 4K release.

Special Features: 4.5/5

The 4K UHD disc includes two special features. The remaining extras can be found on the included 2013 Blu-ray release.

UHD Disc:
Audio Commentary: Film historian John Frick hosts this commentary track featuring excerpts from archival interview recordings with Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton, Buddy Ebsen, Jack Haley, etc. This track has been included on just about every single Blu-ray release since 2009.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic (upscaled 1080p; 51:38): The 1990 documentary hosted by Angela Lansbury that first aired on CBS returns in this release after being absent since the 70th Anniversary Blu-ray release in 2009.

Blu-ray Disc:
Audio Commentary: This is the same track as on the UHD disc.

The Making of “The Wizard of Oz” (1080p; 69:02)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook (480i; 10:27)

We Haven’t Really Met Properly (480i; 21:23)

Music and Effects Track

Original Mono Track

Sing-Along Subtitle Track

Audio Jukebox

Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo (1080p; 12:25)

Good News of 1939 Radio Show (1080p; 61:01)

12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast (1080p; 60:48)

Stills Galleries

Trailers

Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy (in UHD where available) from Movies Anywhere that also includes some additional extra features, such as It’s a Twister! It’s a Twister! The Tornado Tests, Deleted Scenes, Excerpts from 1967 TV Series “Off To See the Wizard”, The Magic Cloak of Oz and His Majesty, The Scarecrow 1914 silent films, etc.

Overall: 5/5

Many will likely agree thatjust the mere mention of The Wizard of Oz in 4K UHD with HDR makes this disc a must-have, and strong sales hopefully will let the studios know that we want more classic films from their vault in this format. Highly Recommended.

Published by

Todd Erwin

editor,member

71 Comments

  1. For someone like me, who first saw the movie on our family’s black and white living room TV, the most recent version I bought is good enough. On the regular Blu-ray, I noticed Judy’s freckles for the first time. I was mad they digitally removed the wire holding up the Cowardly Lion’s tail however. It was clearly visible on the VHS and DVD. Historical context was gone.

  2. Albert71292

    For someone like me, who first saw the movie on our family's black and white living room TV, the most recent version I bought is good enough. On the regular Blu-ray, I noticed Judy's freckles for the first time. I was mad they digitally removed the wire holding up the Cowardly Lion's tail however. It was clearly visible on the VHS and DVD. Historical context was gone.

    Todd, thanks for your fine review.

    As someone that first watched this great film on an old black and white TV circa 1960, I think this 4K/Dolby Vision video presentation looks terrific and is now good enough for me.;) Seriously, I watched it on Saturday in a Dolby Cinema theater and again today on my 65" LGOLED and was more impressed with the 4K/DV video presentation on the latter. My earliest recollection of TWOO was being scared of the flying monkeys so I had to be around 4-5 naive year old at that time.

  3. Albert71292

    I was mad they digitally removed the wire holding up the Cowardly Lion's tail however. It was clearly visible on the VHS and DVD. Historical context was gone.

    I think the original dye transfer prints would have hidden the tail and 1939 audiences would have missed it. I don't think it was even visible until VHS?

  4. Robert Crawford

    Yeah, unlike the 4-5 years old today, we were very sheltered in 1960. Kids today would just laugh at those flying monkeys compared to what they're exposed to in 2019.

    Are you kidding? Those monkeys STILL freak me out!

  5. I hate that they digitally removed the wires. I always loved watching for those wires where the lion sings “If I Was King Of The Forest.” I found it charming that the wires showed, but they’re gone now. Not cool to mess with this. They also did that for MARY POPPINS. I loved watching for those wires, too, in the scene leading up to “Step In Time” where they pop out of the chimney.

  6. I settled in last night to sample only a few minutes of this 4K/UHD release and, of course, ended up watching the entire film. Like so many of you, I have many versions of this film: VHS, the Criterion CAV, the LD Deluxe set (in that gorgeous box!), the Blu-ray, and now the 4K/UHD. The only down side is that I am one of those losers who got stuck with an OLED prone to burn in from only normal day to day use of my TV over a period of a few months — and the specific sepia tone for the opening sequences really brings out those compromised areas of my TV screen in ghastly clarity. Cloudy green splotches hover over Kansas and the cast of characters like a miasmic spillage…if only if only a Wiz there was who could solve that! Luckily the burn in disfigurements become less noticeable when we venture over the rainbow to full color. Wish I could send my TV over the rainbow, too.

  7. Removing wires – I’m not mad at that. I ge the historical context thing, but if the guiding principle in restoration is “What would the filmmakers have done if they had today’s technology”, then yes, they would have 86’d the wires in a heartbeat.

  8. My comment is in reference to what seems to be all relatively recent official reviews here at HTF. Why the change in formatting? Now on the main post we get a graphic, with an active link that leads to the actual review. The link doesn’t spawn a new window, but it does switch to a different “format” for lack of a better word, and that different format lacks most if not all the features that are allowed on regular posts, such as the ability to “like” a comment or capture a quote from a comment. I don’t live here, but I don’t remember this being the case in the past. Reviews were presented in much the same way as other posts.

  9. Why is it sometime I only see “Reply” and other times I get the full “More, Quote, etc”. How do I get the later and not the former. Is it due to iPhone iOS and not regular OS?

  10. warnerbro

    I hate that they digitally removed the wires. I always loved watching for those wires where the lion sings "If I Was King Of The Forest." I found it charming that the wires showed, but they're gone now. Not cool to mess with this. They also did that for MARY POPPINS. I loved watching for those wires, too, in the scene leading up to "Step In Time" where they pop out of the chimney.

    I get where you are coming from. There should exist a maximally presented picture with mono sound, no changes. Such a thing would be the most authentic presentation of the classic. AND, I am very happy that the wires are gone.

    This issue is only going to grow over time. In 20 years they'll be selling the 100 year anniversary addition. How will they sell it? By improving it—there's no other way. Perhaps they'll add digitally fabricated strips on either end of the image to render it widescreen. Perhaps it will be completely digitally re imagined. Maybe the faces of the actors will be all that remains of the original image, the sound also will be completely up-graded to modern levels. The original film as originally presented will also be available, but many, like yourself, will be horrified just the same. My ask of people with your sensibilities is please, be horrified quietly. Don't spoil it for those of us who are drooling to see WoOz presented in a whole new way. You who are horrified need never look upon the heinous thing. You can watch the exact same thing in the exact same way for the thousandth time, your eyes never tormented by anything fresh or new or improved.

    As far as I'm concerned the worst possible outcome of a full re-imagining is a bad viewing experience, in which case, I won't watch it again, no harm done—no harm AT ALL. But, the best possible outcome is something wondrous. It is the product of film geniuses, a labor of love, a fresh new experience, NOT identical to the experience I've already experienced a hundred times. Hate on it all you want, but please don't create a hostile environment that shuts such a project down and prevents me, and others like me, from what we want.

  11. Timothy A Goldich

    I get where you are coming from. There should exist a maximally presented picture with mono sound, no changes. Such a thing would be the most authentic presentation of the classic…

    Wires or no wires, the fact that it's in 4K with HDR and 5.1 now means it's already far removed from anything authentic – this is nothing what it would have looked or sounded like to audiences in 1939.

  12. Regarding the confusion about whether or not this is a new 8K scan, according to the article that was posted in the RAH Oz thread containing an interview with George Feltenstein, this is, indeed, a brand new 8K scan.

    From the article:

    Warner improved on the 8K, 10 bit scan made 10 years ago for the Blu-ray HD release with an 8K, 16 bit scan and used updated technology.

    https://www.mediaplaynews.com/the-w…se-is-the-ultimate-makeover-say-warner-execs/

  13. Worth

    Wires or no wires, the fact that it's in 4K with HDR and 5.1 now means it's already far removed from anything authentic – this is nothing what it would have looked or sounded like to audiences in 1939.

    Yup. Our esteemed member, RAH, has mentioned in previous discussions regarding modern digital transfers of Three-Color Technicolor films that being able to use computers to perfectly align the three color separations provides a clarity that simply wasn't possible with the methods used to create the original prints. Back then, it was expected that there would be some misalignment that, even under the best of circumstances, produced prints that were a little "soft" in comparison to the clarity of a black and white film.

    I have no problem with bringing out the original detail with computer alignment. They aren't adding anything that wasn't present on the original elements in terms of image detail. I'm not crazy about the wire removal, but playing Devil's Advocate, the general softness of original prints would have done a lot to hide the wires so I guess they're only removing things that were never intended to be seen by the filmmakers. It's a minor quibble, considering the quality of the overall transfer we're getting. I can't wait to watch it tonight when I get home!

    I know this is going to be unpopular, but I also am not that bothered by the omission of the original mono track. As long as the new mix is tastefully done and isn't gimmicky to the point of distraction, which this doesn't seem to be, I'd much rather have the increased clarity that comes from being able to use higher-quality audio stems than to have the authentic mono track that is limited in frequency and not nearly as pleasing to the ear. For a Musical Fantasy like Oz, sound quality is important. Had this been "The Grapes of Wrath, now in Dolby Atmos!" I'd question the sanity of the studio. It really depends upon appropriateness and, in this case, I think an enhanced sound mix is perfectly appropriate. Could they have included the original mono track? Sure. Can I think of a good reason why it wasn't included? Nope. Will I feel like I'm missing out by it's omission? Not in the least. I can understand that some folks do care, though, and I can respect that opinion.

  14. Thanks for the excellent review, Todd. I am really looking forward to watching this when we get back in town. Unfortunately, I have two copies waiting for me – – I canceled my pre-order with Walmart a couple of months ago, but they still shipped it. I'll have to deal with a return when we get home from South Carolina. :angry:

  15. Rick Polito of the Marin Independent Journal:
    Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.

  16. I sat down last night thinking I'd just flip through some of the chapters, but ended up watching the whole film. During the initial sepia-tinted Kansas segment, I was a little disappointed. It looked really good, to be sure, but I couldn't really see much, if any, improvement over the Blu-ray. When Dorothy opened the door to Munchkinland, though, my disappointment turned to joy. It wasn't so much the minimal added detail, though it's definitely there. It was the way that the colors were so varied and distinct. In my previous viewings of the film, I had never been able to see just how much variety was used in the color palate of everything from the costumes to the sets. This is the kind of film for which the extended color range available with HDR really makes a huge difference. My jaw was on the floor for the entirety of the remainder of the film. It's so beautiful. It makes me desperately wish for more HDR releases of classic Technicolor films. If you're a fan of the film and have a nice TV with HDR, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

    As for the soundtrack, I do have to backtrack just a little from my previous post about not minding multichannel mixes on films like Oz and say that there were moments when I felt that the "sweetening" of the audio to make the surround track was a bit overdone. The added deep bass during the tornado scene stuck out like a sore thumb, considering the tonal qualities of the rest of the audio. The surround channels were thankfully only given minimal use and only in appropriate places. I did find the music mix a bit iffy. You could really hear where they added too much reverb at times in order to try and spread out the music into the front L&R speakers. It muddied the instruments and didn't mix well with the vocals in the center channel. Some music was really clear, so I'm not certain why these choices were made in other places in the film. In any case, it's far from a travesty, but I've heard much better multichannel mixes created for films that were originally in mono. It may have had to do with the materials they had, but I don't know. I'm interested to hear what others think about it.

  17. The wires wouldn't have been visible if you went to a screening in 1939. The added clarity could be considered making it look like the film makers messed up by leaving the wires visible. Removing the wires allows for the film to be shown in higher clarity while eliminating errors that were properly hidden at the time but aren't now.

  18. Exactly, Wayne!

    Filmmakers working photochemically in the analog realm were well aware of the postproduction process and available film stocks and what would and wouldn’t be visible in a theatrical environment. They counted on generational loss and multistrip realignment to hide the seams for a lot of effects – not just wires but matte paintings, forced perspective shots, optical composites, etc.

    If you showed straight up 4K scans of negatives to the original filmmakers today, many would be horrified to see that all the careful work they did in matching on set choices with filmmaking techniques to hide the illusions of their times were now being revealed.

    I get the philosophical arguments both ways, but my guiding light is usually this: if the audience wasn’t supposed to see it in 1939 and couldn’t see it in 1939, they shouldn’t see it today. What’s the bigger change? Using today’s technology to replicate the original intent of the filmmakers by hiding digitally what was once hidden photochemically, or using modern technology to reveal things that were always meant to be camouflaged?

  19. I agree with those untroubled by the removal of the wires.

    I dislike tampering with films but only when it comes to filmmaker intent.

    If they added CG facial expressions to the Flying Monkeys? Bad.

    Removing some wires that weren't meant to be seen? And probably weren't commonly seen in 1939? Fine by me…

  20. I feel that a change is a change. George Lucas intended Jabba the Hutt to be in the original Star Wars. Adding that scene and character back is not the same as a wire removal but it's still altering the original movie which is the most cited reason that I see when people criticize George Lucas for messing with his movies.

  21. TravisR

    I feel that a change is a change. George Lucas intended Jabba the Hutt to be in the original Star Wars. Adding that scene back and adding the character is not the same as a wire removal but it's still altering the original movie which is the most cited reason that I see when people criticize George Lucas for messing with his movies.

    So it's a change, the wire removals in TWOO, I'm glad they did it and I think it was the right decision to do so.

  22. Robert Crawford

    So it's a change, the wire removals in TWOO, I'm glad they did it and I think it was the right decision to do so.

    I see no real problem with removing the wires from Oz (or the wires from Jaws or the reflection in Raiders Of The Lost Ark) but like I said, the biggest criticism I see of Lucas changing Star Wars is that it alters history. The reality is that people don't like the changes to Star Wars (and that's perfectly fine) but people shouldn't cite "historical preservation" for one movie but not another. Just say that they don't like the changes and they want the original version.

  23. Some wires being visible can take you right out of the movie. I remember showing the original “The Day The Earth Stood Still” to a class of high school students. They were enjoying it until the screen where Klatu carried Patricia Neal into the space ship. Someone called out “look at the wires!” and the class roared with laughter.

  24. TravisR

    I see no real problem with removing the wires from Oz (or the wires from Jaws or the reflection in Raiders Of The Lost Ark) but like I said, the biggest criticism I see of Lucas changing Star Wars is that it alters history. The reality is that people don't like the changes to Star Wars (and that's perfectly fine) but people shouldn't cite "historical preservation" for one movie but not another. Just say that they don't like the changes and they want the original version.

    Right, but adding that Jabba/Solo scene back changed the STORY. Digitally removing wires does not.

  25. Josh Steinberg

    […]If you showed straight up 4K scans of negatives to the original filmmakers today, many would be horrified to see that all the careful work they did in matching on set choices with filmmaking techniques to hide the illusions of their times were now being revealed.[…]

    Even the Wizard, himself, didn't want Dorothy to pay any attention to that little man behind the curtain.:)

  26. Such is the danger with bringing old films to 4K. You run the risk of revealing all the secrets of "movie magic" that were never intended to be seen back in the day. I don't think removing wires or reflections, that were never intended to be seen, in order to "assist" the visual effects to be more seamless in a new technologically-advanced format is a fatal flaw.

    Especially if we want these films to continue to be viewed by younger audiences, per Terry's comment above.

  27. If you can remove the wires, why not put the Scarecrow dance back in. Plus, I saw a wire connection on the Lion’s right shoulder in the scene where they first meet him.

  28. If you're talking about changes such as wire removal, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Does it aid the suspension of disbelief?
    2. Would the wires have been visible with printing technology of the day?

    The ONE question that should not be asked is: If you could have done it at the time the film was released, would you have done it? This question opens a can of worms you cannot stuff shut again, no matter how hard you try, because it has been cognitively proven that you cannot return to a previous mindset.

  29. It is the narrative changes and unnecessarily added cgi critters that most people object to in the Star Wars SE. There would likely be little to no backlash if they just redid the composites to eliminate matte lines in opticals.

  30. I've seen Oz theatrically on 35mm a few times and don't remember ever noticing the wires, and I'd imagine they would have been even less noticeable in 1939.

    I don't think it's so much the increased resolution that reveals details that were never meant to be seen, as it is the stability of digital, though the two are related. The first thing I noticed when seeing digital projection for the first time was how rock-steady the image was. A projected image on film is constantly bouncing around, hiding a lot of imperfections. Sometimes, even DVD exposes issues that 35mm projection smoothes over.

  31. TravisR

    I feel that a change is a change. George Lucas intended Jabba the Hutt to be in the original Star Wars. Adding that scene and character back is not the same as a wire removal but it's still altering the original movie which is the most cited reason that I see when people criticize George Lucas for messing with his movies.

    I veer toward "historical accuracy" strongly when it comes to movie presentation, but I'm still A-OK with touch-ups that fix little goofs like that.

    Nothing to extremes. For instance, I'm cool with the touch-up that removed the reflection in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", but if they'd replaced the real snake with a CG one, that wouldn't have been kosher.

    Or if they'd digitally removed the fly that goes into Belloq's. mouth! 😀

  32. Worth

    Wires or no wires, the fact that it's in 4K with HDR and 5.1 now means it's already far removed from anything authentic – this is nothing what it would have looked or sounded like to audiences in 1939.

    Of course not. The theater you would have seen it in in 1939 would have been filled to overflowing with cigarette and cigar smoke.

    Effective immediately, all pre 1960 films MUST be watched with your living room filled with clouds of cigarette smoke because THAT is how audiences would have watched them in their day.

    🙄

    Mark

  33. I know you are making fun, but I remember when there was smoking in the movie theatre. In my home town theatres, it was always restricted to the last few rows, under the balcony, or in the balcony on either side of the projection booth where rising smoke hopefully would not interfere with the image. — one theatre still has ash trays in the arms of the seats, in the former smoking area as well as a kind of wire thingy under the seats to hold your fedora.

  34. I'd be curious to know when smoking at movies became essentially verboten.

    I'm 52 and don't remember a time it was acceptable at all – not even allowed in specific sections.

    I remember concert venues and bars and restaurants filled with smoke, of course, but if it was okay in movie theaters, it must've been when I was too young to remember!

  35. warnerbro

    If you can remove the wires, why not put the Scarecrow dance back in.

    The most likely reason they didn't want to put that back because they didn't also have any of the other outtakes, such as "The Jitterbug" and the reprises of "Over the Rainbow" and "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," in anything other than audio form.

  36. Colin Jacobson

    I'd be curious to know when smoking at movies became essentially verboten.

    I'm 52 and don't remember a time it was acceptable at all – not even allowed in specific sections.

    I remember concert venues and bars and restaurants filled with smoke, of course, but if it was okay in movie theaters, it must've been when I was too young to remember!

    My first experience in a real movie theater (as opposed to a drive-in) was in 1966 (Fantastic Voyage) when I was 10. There were people smoking throughout the theater. By the early 70’s the same theater had a smoking room (with a large glass window) at the back of the theater but smoking was still allowed in the lobby. Needless to say, the place reeked and the smoke didn’t stay in the lobby (or the smoking room). I remember people next to me getting up to go smoke and coming back just reeking to high heaven.

    This was in California, the state that was the most progressive at banning cancer sticks in public places. If California still had smoking in theaters in the 60’s, I’d be surprised if any other state had banned it.

    People still smoked in grocery stores in the early 70’s. I started as a bagger in 1974 and I had to sweep up plenty of cancer sticks that people snuffed out with their foot on the floor.

    Filthy disgusting habit and a really dumb thing to do.

    Mark

  37. Mark Booth

    My first experience in a real movie theater (as opposed to a drive-in) was in 1966 (Fantastic Voyage) when I was 10. There were people smoking throughout the theater. By the early 70’s the same theater had a smoking room (with a large glass window) at the back of the theater but smoking was still allowed in the lobby. Needless to say, the place reeked and the smoke didn’t stay in the lobby (or the smoking room). I remember people next to me getting up to go smoke and coming back just reeking to high heaven.

    This was in California, the state that was the most progressive at banning cancer sticks in public places. If California still had smoking in theaters in the 60’s, I’d be surprised if any other state had banned it.

    People still smoked in grocery stores in the early 70’s. I started as a bagger in 1974 and I had to sweep up plenty of cancer sticks that people snuffed out with their foot on the floor.

    There probably was more smoking in public in my yoot than I recall. On one hand, I was very conscious of it because my parents hated it and so did it.

    Still, I doubt I would've really noticed at the grocery or wherever. I still think smoking at movies was pretty much toast by the mid-late 70s, but that could be wrong…

  38. I moved to Dallas in '88. Smoking was still allowed. When it was finally forbidden, I still had to fight the good fight against people who thought they could hide the smoke and the stench. It wasn't easy (both ways).

  39. TJPC

    There was one mall in Hamilton Ontario (Centre mall) that we called the smoker’s mall, because the entire thing always reeked.

    TJPC

    There was one mall in Hamilton Ontario (Centre mall) that we called the smoker’s mall, because the entire thing always reeked.

    So smelly you named it twice! 😉

    Hate smoking with a passion – have never dated smokers and don't even hang out with them – and well remember choking in cinema auditoriums full of smoke into at least the late 1980s. :angry:

    Back on topic, it's a pity Warner didn't remaster The Wizard of Oz BD or include a mono track on the UHD disc, but we are still extremely spoiled to have the choice of two brilliant but slightly different presentations. Or three, if you count the 3D version!

  40. moviebuff75

    The mono on the Blu-ray is simply the stereo version downmixed.

    I really don't think that's the case. In the restoration featurette on the 2005 DVD and 2009 Blu-ray, they mention starting with the "restored mono track" before making the 5.1. It may be that they made the "corrections" you've talked about at the mono level and considered it part of the restoration. Then they would have expanded the track using the alternate orchestra angles and the music & effects track.

    That's speculation, of course, but there are also moments (such as the tornado sequence and the Witch writing out "Surrender Dorothy" where some of the the effects are noticeably louder in relation to the dialogue on the 5.1 than they are on the mono.

    At any rate, this particular remix doesn't bother me that much, but the mono should of course have been included on the UHD.

  41. I would have preferred the wires remain but don't consider it a big deal. But I checked my VHS copy from somewhere in the mid 80s and the wires were definitely there on the TV broadcast during the IF I WERE KING number which is the only place I had remembered seeing them so they were visible long before DVDs and hi def TVs.

  42. Colin Jacobson

    I'd be curious to know when smoking at movies became essentially verboten.

    I'm 52 and don't remember a time it was acceptable at all – not even allowed in specific sections.

    I remember concert venues and bars and restaurants filled with smoke, of course, but if it was okay in movie theaters, it must've been when I was too young to remember!

    Late 70's early 80's for sure where I lived.

    Florida in the mid 80's smoking was outlawed in most places like restaurants, stores, malls, public spaces (though most had smoking areas),

    Even after just a few years of being away from it and moved to NC 90's — smoking was allowed pretty much everywhere (I think movie theater didn't allow) — it shocked me the first time seeing smokers in the Grocery store again, standing line at Fast Food restaurants, most of the restaurants here at most had a no smoking area though it was next to the smoking section so worthless,

    Hospitals even allowed smoking in the rooms (private and semi private, kids, obstetrics including rooms with newborns) and waiting rooms/ER. Of course Private room would have nonsmokers following smokers so again pretty worthless.

    within a couple years a couple of major lawsuits forced smoking even in NC to the fringes and it became easier to ban smoking completely than design the place to accommodate both for the safety of the nonsmokers.

  43. Mark Booth

    Of course not. The theater you would have seen it in in 1939 would have been filled to overflowing with cigarette and cigar smoke.

    Effective immediately, all pre 1960 films MUST be watched with your living room filled with clouds of cigarette smoke because THAT is how audiences would have watched them in their day.

    🙄

    Mark

    Now that you've mentioned it, I'm gonna install two red exit signs to be dimly illuminated to the left and right of my display.:cool:

  44. AndrewHardy

    I would have preferred the wires remain but don't consider it a big deal.

    How obvious would they have been in 35mm Technicolor prints? I never noticed them until the DVD era.

    Mark Booth

    Filthy disgusting habit and a really dumb thing to do.

    When Time Warner bought out Ted Turner, they not only got Oz and GWTW while regaining Casablanca and their pre-1948 library, they got most of this guy's filmography as well. He was on one of the DVD features.

  45. Malcolm R

    I know that that anytime I see someone light up a cigarette in any movie, I wonder to myself, "why is this necessary, and how is smoking relevant to the story?"

    It always just seems like a pointless thing to do other than to give the actor something to do with their hands.

    It always annoyed me that smoking was once considered fashionable and cool, just like it's annoying that some young males think it's cool to wear their pants very low. But I digress…my comment probably belongs in the What Annoys You thread.

  46. Malcolm R

    I know that that anytime I see someone light up a cigarette in any movie, I wonder to myself, "why is this necessary, and how is smoking relevant to the story?"

    It always just seems like a pointless thing to do other than to give the actor something to do with their hands.

    Shouldn't movies that take place in eras/settings where smoking was common include smoking?

  47. Colin Jacobson

    Shouldn't movies that take place in eras/settings where smoking was common include smoking?

    Not unless it's relevant to the plot. It doesn't add anything relevant most of the time, and I doubt many people are going to sit there watching and think, "this sucks, these people should be smoking!"

    I find it distracting when characters light one up. I don't even think about it if they dont.

  48. Malcolm R

    Not unless it's relevant to the plot. It doesn't add anything relevant most of the time, and I doubt many people are going to sit there watching and think, "this sucks, these people should be smoking!"

    I find it distracting when characters light one up. I don't even think about it if they dont.

    You would have in 1940 — at least in anything that wasn't a kids movie or some sort of fantasy deal.

    it actually was a weird thought I had watching 2001 — no smoking or smoking equivalents, no smoking advertisments of the wall or video monitors (even on the bit of earth Videos), no ashtrays on the tables.
    They even had a Toilet scene, but no smoking anywhere. It was especially notable since several of the actors and Kubrick were know to be massive chain smokers. Did for some reason they think in the space of 30 years it would be abolished? The Surgeon Generals reports were still wet

    I did hear more than one complaint about "Hidden Figures " that there was no smoking anywhere in the movie and about how distracting it was b.c it was so unrealistic for the time and place

    I am a militant non-smoker (literally never smoked anything), but raised and bathed in cigarettes from birth until I could afford to live on my own.

  49. Malcolm R

    Not unless it's relevant to the plot. It doesn't add anything relevant most of the time, and I doubt many people are going to sit there watching and think, "this sucks, these people should be smoking!"

    I find it distracting when characters light one up. I don't even think about it if they dont.

    Not sure what it means for smoking to be "relevant to the plot".

    It adds verisimilitude. If a movie set in 1950 has a scene in a bar, for example, and no one's smoking, then it's gonna look phony…

  50. Colin Jacobson

    Not sure what it means for smoking to be "relevant to the plot".

    It adds verisimilitude. If a movie set in 1950 has a scene in a bar, for example, and no one's smoking, then it's gonna look phony…

    As much as I despise smoking, I agree. If it makes sense for the location, time period or story, then it's fine. I won't argue it. But if it's just smoking for smoking (or cursing just to curse or nudity just for nudity), then it's a no go.

  51. Colin Jacobson

    Yeah, me too – gratuitous nudity ROCKS! 😀

    Depending on who gets nekkid, that is! 😉

    Ever seen Gothika?

    YOU WANT NEKKID CHICKS? WE'LL GIVE YOU NEKKID CHICKS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION!!!!

  52. Wayne_j

    Anyone else have audio sync issues with this disc on the oppo 203?

    Last night I changed the HDMI audio output from Bitstream to PCM and the situation improved. Synch is still off a frame or two but it is better than before. I probably wouldn't notice if I wasn't specifically looking for the issue.

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