Wizard of Oz, The: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)28 Oct, 2009 By: Stephanie Prange
$24.98 two-DVD set, $69.92 five-DVD set, $84.99 four-disc Blu-ray set
Stars Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Frank Morgan.
When I received the previous remastered DVD of The Wizard of Oz several years ago, I thought it was the definitive version. But seeing the Blu-ray Disc set of the classic MGM title, I know I was wrong. Before the Blu-ray version came out, my family watched the DVD upconverted on our PlayStation 3. To my dismay, it looked indistinct and washed out.
Not so with the Blu-ray Disc. Freckles and blemishes on the face of the teenage Judy Garland and other details give a life to the film that audiences have likely not experienced fully since it was first released in 1939. What for many has been a blurry watercolor viewed on VHS or TV reaches its full technicolor glory on Blu-ray.
Extras are just as impressive and comprehensive. Needless to say, I feel I’ve had a college course on the Oz film and the history of MGM. The six-hour documentary MGM: When the Lion Roars is a bonus on the Blu-ray that collectors will cherish.
The TV movie on the life of L. Frank Baum, The Dreamer of Oz starring John Ritter, is a nice addition, but unfortunately suffers from a low-resolution transfer that really shows up in high definition — one small blemish on a wonderful set.
Collectible items such as the Oz wristwatch, commemorative book, replica of the film budget and original 1939 campaign book replica will likely delight collectors.