The Wizard of Oz

This quintessential family movie is most children’s first experience with cinema’s remarkable capacity to induce fear. No upbeat musical number or happy ending can undo the ordeal that is Dorothy Gale’s Journey. Unconvinced? Take out the hallmark sentiments and what do you have? The story of a young girl with presumably dead parents whose beloved pet is handed over to the town psycho for euthanasia, whose happy home life is erased by the wrath of mother nature, and who’s transported to a nightmarish netherworld that’s populated with hideous troll creatures, governed by a floating green demonic head and terrorized by a poppy pushing witch and her army of ghoul-faced flying monkeys. Certainly, there is “no place like home” if this hell zone is the alternative. As if her new stomping grounds were not uncomfortable enough, said witch has a personal vendetta against Dot since she inadvertently crushed her favorite sibling to death under a house when she showed up. Sure, she makes a bunch of fast pals with the local gays, but it’s only after being forced to commit homicide that she is viewed worthy of returning home.


Any involving Margaret Hamilton’s brilliantly villainous witch, easily the most enduring female villain of all time. Her sarcastic word-play taunts, “Scarecrow, wanna play ball?” were decades ahead of similar child stomping wisecracker Freddy Krueger.


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13 years ago

I’m really surprised there haven’t been a rash of comments for WoO as this movie is probably responsible for more American Freudian Complexes than any other in history. Personally, my reaction is probably atypical: Wicked Witch – thought she was kind of cool; Flying Monkeys – super bad-ass and cool. Granted the haunted forest itself was kind of creepy (and would’ve been worse if the “JitterBug” number had been included) and the WWotEast’s feet curling up was a little disturbing, but I’m from Kansas so the most upsetting part of the movie for me will always be the scene of the twister heading for the farm. Anyone who’s seen a tornado directly with their own eyes will tell you how frighteningly realistic a job A.A.Gillespie and crew did on the in-studio creation of this effect. My sphincter still clenches to this day…

13 years ago

The weird thing about this is my parents said that when I was a child I was more afraid of Margaret Hamilton as Ms Gulch on the bicycle than I was of her as the witch!

The Flying monkeys always creeped me out too.