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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Victor Fleming 
U.S. 1939

There's no place like home, and there will never be another movie like 'The Wizard of Oz'. Every so often you forget how enchanting this film is... and then a song surfaces on the radio, or a scene is shown on TV. Any single segment of the film has maintained its cultural and sociological status as an embedded icon in our collected memory banks. The dialogue has become the stuff of legend and repeatedly blended with some popular films (ex. Wild at Heart , After Hours etc.) for its extensive longevity and lilting imaginative significance. This is a film that shaped lives... viewers as well as the actors - Judy Garland would forever to be identified as the wide-eyed Dorothy singing "Over the Rainbow" in her own inimitable style.

The fantasy/musical plot needs no preface, but - Dorothy (Garland) is a schoolgirl living in Kansas with family and her little dog, Toto. One afternoon, a twister sucks up Dorothy's house and she and Toto are dropped beyond the rainbow into Munchkinland. With a pair of magical red slippers and some advice from Glinda the Good Witch (Billie Burke), Dorothy, Toto and three new friends--the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Tin Man (Jack Haley), and Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr)--follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, where they must ask the all-powerful Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan) to get Dorothy and Toto back home. The Wicked Witch (Margaret Hamilton), however, is determined to get her hands on the slippers, and sends out her flying monkeys to capture the group of new friends....

Whether it embraces your childhood fantasies, home-sickness, family bonds, or confidence over your own human frailties, The Wizard of Oz is a film with universal appeal that will continue to be discussed and worshipped decades from now. Those with children have the pleasure of introducing it to their offspring... who will in turn do so for their own one day. out of

Posters 

Theatrical Release Date: August 25, 1939

Reviews         More Reviews        DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Warner (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Warner Europe (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL vs. Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC vs. Warner Studios - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner Studios - Region 2/4 - PAL

 

 

        

Also available in this leaner region FREE UK Blu-ray package:

and Single Disc Blu-ray editions here:

     

Big thanks to Ole of DVDBasen and Henrik Sylow for the PAL DVD Screen Caps!

1) Warner Europe (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL LEFT

2) Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC SECOND

3) Warner Studios - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner Studios - Region 2/4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Warner (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

DVD Box Covers

        

Also available in this leaner Region FREE UK Blu-ray package:

and Single Disc Blu-ray editions here:

     

 

Distribution

Warner (US)

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Warner Europe

Region 2,4,5 - PAL

Warner Studios

Region 1, 2, 3, 4  - NTSC

Warner Studios

Region 1  - NTSC

Warner Studios
Region 2/4 - PAL
Runtime 1:41:47.142 1:37:34 (4% PAL speedup) 1:41:36 1:41:42 1:37:39 (4% PAL speedup)

Video

Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,144,478,363 bytes

Feature: 22,718,269,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.95 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video 1080P / 23.976 fps

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.68 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.78
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

 

 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Warner PAL

Collector's Edition

Bitrate:

Warner NTSC

Collector's Edition

Bitrate:

Warner R1

 

Bitrate:

Warner R4

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1308 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1308 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
5.1 Dolby Digital English (384 Kbps), 1.0 Dolby Digital English Mono, 1.0 Dolby Digital German English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 5.1),  French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 1.0, 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0, 192 Kb/s) 

Subtitles English (SDH), English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and More English, Spanish, French, None English, French, None English ,French,  Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Romanian, Hungarian, English for the Hearing, Impaired, Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studios

 

Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,144,478,363 bytes

Feature: 22,718,269,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.95 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video 1080P / 23.976 fps

 

Edition Details:

Disc 1:
Audio commentary by John Fricke, Sydney Pollack, Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn Leroy and Jerry Maren

"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic" (50:48 in SD)
"Because of the Wonderful Things It Does: The Legacy of Oz"
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook"
"Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz"
"We Haven't Really Met Properly"... Supporting cast Profile Gallery

"Memories of Oz" (27:39)

"The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz" (29:45 in SD)
"Another Romance of Celluloid: Electrical Power"
Academy Awards Excerpt
"Off to See the Wizard Excerpts"
"Harold Arlen's Home Movies"
"'It's a Twister! It's a Twister!' The Tornado Tests"
Jukebox
Outtakes and Deleted Scenes 
Dolby 5.1 Sing-Along Feature
•  Still galleries

 

Disc 2:
"Victor Fleming: Master Craftsman" (34:07 in SD)
"L.Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain"  (27:45 in SD)
"Hollywood Celebrates Its Biggest Little Stars!"

The Dreamer of Oz TV movie (1:32:48 in SD)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)1:11:52 in SD

13 HD silent movie (53:15 in SD)
His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz (1914) silent movie - 59:07 in SD
The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914) silent movie
The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) silent movie (50:42 in SD)
The Wizard of Oz (1925) silent movie (13:18 in SD)

 

Disc 3:
MGM: When the Lion Roars (6-hour award winning chronicle)

Digital Copy
BD-Live

.

Blu-ray Release Date: September 29th, 2009
Custom
Blu-ray Case (see photo)

Chapters 55

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Europe

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

Disc 1:
Commentary by: John Fricke and cast

Ultra-Resolution restored 1939 movie with new 5.1 audio
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook
Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz
We Haven't Really Met Properly...: Character bios
Music-only track
Original mono track
Theatrical trailers
Disc 2:
The Wonderful World 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
Special effects sequences
From the Vault: Another Romance of Celluloid: Electrical Power (1938 MGM short), Cavalcade of Academy Awards (1939 newsreel), Texas Contest Winners 1939 trailer
Audio vault (selection only)
Leo Is on the Air radio promo
Good News of 1939 radio show
12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater broadcast
Stills galleries



DVD Release Date: November 7, 2005
Digipack

Chapters 55

 

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.37:1

 

Edition Details:
Disc 1:
Commentary by: John Fricke and cast

Ultra-Resolution restored 1939 movie with new 5.1 audio
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook
Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz
We Haven't Really Met Properly...: Character bios
Music-only track
Original mono track
Theatrical trailers
Disc 2:
The Wonderful World 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
Special effects sequences
From the Vault: Another Romance of Celluloid: Electrical Power (1938 MGM short), Cavalcade of Academy Awards (1939 newsreel), Texas Contest Winners 1939 trailer
Audio vault (selection only)
Leo Is on the Air radio promo
Good News of 1939 radio show
12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater broadcast
Stills galleries
Disc 3:
L. Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain
The Wizard of Oz (1910 short)
The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914 short)
His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz (1914 feature)
The Wizard of Oz (1925 feature)
The Wizard of Oz (1933 animated short)
Collector's Edition Exclusives:
The Wizard of Oz Comes to Life - Grauman's Chinese Theatre Souvenir Premiere Program (August 15, 1939)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio News - IntraCorporate House Organ/Newspaper for the week beginning Monday, August 14, 1939. Specifically Celebrating the Release of The Wizard of Oz
Photoplay Studies - Rare Secondary Education Scholastic In Honor of The Wizard of Oz. Magazine, Volume V, Number 12 (circa August 1939)
The Studio's Invitation to The Grauman's Premiere That Included Tickets to the Original Opening Night (plus a newly designed commemorative ticket)
Deluxe Collector's Portfolio - Reproductions of Original 1939 Kodachrome Publicity Art -- nine portraits and on-set photographs

.

DVD Release Date: October 25th, 2005
Keep Case (see photo)

Chapters 55

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.37:1

 

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• Behind-the-scenes documentary: "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic," hosted by Angela Lansbury

• Outtakes, including the rarely seen "Jitterbug" dance, plus Interviews with Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger & Jack Haley

• Excerpts from previous versions of "Oz," including the 1914 and 1925 silent films and the 1933 cartoon version, and 5 rarely seen trailers and newsreel excerpts

• Portrait gallery, special effects stills, and stills from the Hollywood premiere, Original sketches and storyboards, costume designs and make-up tests

• Audio Supplements: Hours of original recording session material, and 2 audio bonuses--1939 radio broadcast with the first-ever public performance of "Over the Rainbow," and the promotional radio trailer "Leo is on the Air"

 

DVD Release Date: October 19, 1999
Snap Case

Chapters 55

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Studious Region 4
Theatrical Release Date: August 25, 1939

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.37:1

Discographic Information:
• Region 2/4 encoding 

Edition Details:

Theatrical Trailers (5)
Featurette - The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz: The Making Of A Movie Classic
Outtakes and Deleted Scenes (5)

Behind The Scenes:
Gallery - Sketches and Storyboards
Gallery - Costume and Make Up Tests
Gallery - Portrait Gallery
Gallery - Special Effects Stills
Featurette - Harold Arlen Home Movies
Featurette - Special Effects Sequences (6)
Featurette - Texas Contest Winners promotional film excerpt
Featurette - Romance of Celluloid short excerpt
Trailer - Loew's Cairo Trailer (easter egg)
Gallery - Post Production Stills

Oz History:
Featurette - excerpt from 1914 silent film His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz
Featurette - excerpt from 1925 silent film The Wizard Of Oz
Featurette - excerpt from Ted Eshbaugh's 1933 cartoon

Oz Afterlife:
1979 interviews with Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger and Jack Haley
Gallery - Original Publicity Stills
Gallery - New York Premiere Stills
Gallery - Hollywood Premiere Stills
Gallery - 1939/40 Oscar Ceremonies Stills
Gallery - Oz Abroad Stills
Featurette - Off To See The Wizard
Featurette - Excerpt from 1939 Cavalcade of Academy Winners

Audio Supplements:
The Jukebox - Assorted songs - rehearsals, alternate takes
MGM Radio Show - Good News Of 1939
MGM Promotional Radio Trailer - Leo Is In The Air

DVD Release Date: 1999
Transparent Amaray

Chapters 55

 

4-disc Blu-ray package:

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray - September 09: Well, what is unfortunate about this is that we don't get the option for a single-disc Blu-ray of just the film and a few important extras. I assume it will eventually surface (just like it will for Casablanca) but do we all need the wristwatch? Admittedly the non-digital supplements are pure class - a great booklet, vintage reproduction photos etc. all in a whopping big case (see above). Those wanting to pare down this gargantuan behemoth may opt for the 3-disc Blu-ray UK edition - which also, we'll safely assume, is region free.

Regarding the image - we all knew The Wizard of Oz was going to be done right and it was remastered from the original three-strip Technicolor negatives (cyan, yellow and magenta), and scanned at 8K resolution (like Baraka).

NOTE: Albert tells us in email: "Just a small correction, if you allow me to do, about the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz had the original camera negatives destroyed in a fire in the 70's, just like Singing in The Rain. The best surviving elements were fine grain separation master positive from each Technicolor color strip (RGB) made in 60's. But the fine grain was made without wet gate, and so many scratches were printed in the image. The digital restoration for DVD, and latter ultra resolution restoration (4K) for DVD edition and Blue Ray, removed the scratches and other defects. Black&white fine grain stock of 60's was able to get quite close to the camera negative's details, despite not get so much close as to original negative as modern fine grain film stock of today, which can produce not just a master positive also internegative virtually indistinguishable from original negative. That's way the Blue ray looks so good after digital restoration and precise alignment by Ultra-resolution." (Thanks Albert!)

 

Sent from George in email: "I thought I ought to let you know that the comments you posted via another person regarding the original camera negatives to OZ are inaccurate.

The original Technicolor negatives of OZ did not burn in the Eastman house fire in 1978. They were mercifully spared from that horrific event, and have been maintained in meticulous condition. The OZ original Technicolor camera negatives were scanned at 8K for the new transfer created for the BD release.

What DID burn in the fire were the two B&W/Sepia "Kansas" scenes that open and close the picture. Those elements are (unfortunately) 2nd generation, but we are pleased with the final result they have yielded in this new transfer. Perhaps it is the loss of the original neg for the Kansas scenes is what misled this person to believe that such a fate had befallen the Technicolor footage. Happily that is not the case
." (Thanks George!)

The image is in it's original 1.33 aspect ratio matted onto a 1.78 frame. Colors take a huge leap in vibrancy and good film grain is still very visible. To quote Robert Harris "What you'll see on the Blu-ray of The Wizard of Oz is the sharpest, most highly resolved and most visually perfect representation of the film... Ever! " I'm not one to argue - Warner used the VC-1 encode with the feature taking up almost 23 Gig of the first dual-layered disc. Ohhh... there is a second, single-layered Blu-ray (18 Gig worth) of extras, a double-sided DVD (with 6 hour documentary) and a digital copy for use with portable devices.

Audio: Despite not being the most dynamic track ever - the TrueHD 5.1 at 1308 kbps sounds just splendid. The mix is not diverging so far from its more basic roots so as to be 'out of place'. I applaud those who took part - it's as marvelous as the image - maybe even better. We have subtle separations, crystal clear musical numbers with surprising range, ominous bass notes and lilting violin strings. Purists can also opt for an optional Music-Effects-Only or original Mono track. Subtitle options are rife - confirming this is the 'International' and probably 'only' Blu-ray disc, and transfer, that will be available worldwide.

Extras - it was a pleasure to once again hear the late Sydney Pollack's voice as 'host' of the older commentary. Actually, many of the supplements can be found on the 3-disc DVD release from 2005 - but there is also plenty of 'new' to indulge - some of which are in HD. I've only 'sampled' so far - there must be over 14 hours worth of silent films, featurettes and documentaries, profiles, outtakes and deleted scenes, stills galleries, sing-along features, the MGM doc - it's certainly too much for one sitting. It will take a few days to cover, but everything I've seen is professional and 'Oz' related. So, is it worth it? Of course! It's a tremendous keepsake of vintage material - ripe for any collection although I still wish we had the option of purchasing just a single disc.

 - Gary W. Tooze

****


 

ADDITION: Region 2,4,5 PAL DVD Dec 05': Everything appears status quo with the typical extra subtitle and DUB options of the PAL DVD and the noticeable slight cropping (on all 4 sides) of the NTSC DVD by comparison. Something may be missing from the extensive extras in the PAL collection, but we haven't come across what it is yet.  

*****

Well, after multiple viewings on multiple systems, I concede that the new Collector's edition DVD (both 2 + 3 disc sets) have a superior, if not sharper, image. The problem being the contrast levels - with the newer releases showing a much deeper color palette it actually removed some small detail from the old release - what I am referring to is dark stuff, often in shadows (ex. in large capture #2 - Dorothy's teeth and Toto's eyes). Regarding stretching - yes one of the releases has some vertical stretching and I have no way of knowing which is the culprit, but it comes down to being unnoticeable in normal viewing.  The new releases do have some information removed on all 4 edges - and I suspect that this is a function of digital restoration - Criterion often has this same issue - and it is usually a marginal amount. Of course the overwhelming, and obvious, benefit of the new editions is the vastly brighter colors. They really do look marvelous - through tube, projection or TFT. Of course, the endless extras alone are enough of a reason to upgrade. I didn't notice any significant upgrade in the audio of the feature film - it still sounded excellent. The 3-disc really does go overboard with the 'commemorative ticket' but I know there are some who, understandably, worship this film.  

 - Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

 

Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC + PAL 2,4,5 - Disc 1

 

Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC + PAL 2,4,5 - Disc 2



(Warner Studios - NTSC  LEFT vs. Warner Studios - PAL - RIGHT)


 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner Europe (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL TOP

2) Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC SECOND

3) Warner Studios - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner Studios - Region 2/4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Warner (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Warner Europe (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL TOP

2) Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC SECOND

3) Warner Studios - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner Studios - Region 2/4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Warner (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Warner Europe (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL TOP

2) Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC SECOND

3) Warner Studios - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner Studios - Region 2/4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Warner (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Warner Europe (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL TOP

2) Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC SECOND

3) Warner Studios - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner Studios - Region 2/4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Warner (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Warner Europe (2 Disc Special Edition) - Region 2,4,5 - PAL TOP

2) Warner (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC SECOND

3) Warner Studios - Region 1 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner Studios - Region 2/4 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Warner (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

More Blu-ray Captures

 

        

Also available in this leaner region FREE UK Blu-ray package:

and Single Disc Blu-ray editions here:

     


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

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Gary Tooze