Produced before 1960 – The Wizard of Oz

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The most iconic film of time directed by Victor Fleming and George Cukor. The film is set in Kansas which is illustrated in a sepia tone until she lands in Munchkinland in the Land of Oz which is when the film turns into colour. I enjoy this aspect of the film as it connotes that her home is bleak and dull whereas Munchkinland is full of fun and adventure. This film is well-known for its use of Technicolor which was a major colour process used to create highly saturated films. The use of strong colours makes the film all the more magical as the bright and vibrant scenes add to the magicalness of the Land of Oz.

Set design is a key aspect of this film as the is heavily dependent on the magical flowers, yellow brick road and of course Emerald City. Every inch of the set is designed with complex detail and thought to give a fairytale look and a mystical feel. The yellow brick road is a constant throughout the film as it’s in most scenes showing that it’s the focus of the plot. The backdrop of the set creates a sense of depth which could symbolise the journey Dorothy has to make to get to her goal. As the set is so surreal it also gives a slightly eerie feel and uncertainty to it as nothing is what it seems.

The costumes and makeup also add to this fantasy atmosphere as the clothes the munchkins are wearing big dresses with odd hats or puffy trench coats in bright colours with pointy, curled toed shoes. The character costumes that really make the film surreal is the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and The Good Witch of the North as their costumes bring the character to life and add to their personality.


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