The Wizard of Oz Question: Do you think The Wizard of Oz provided Americans with the hope that their dreams could come true, or do you think that the movie might have made Americans even more upset with their own reality? Every human being faces their own demons and troubles. We try to escape them – some do it through their own battles, but most of us just want to forget, even if it is for a little while. After our moment in paradise is over, we can face our burdens with a new strength provided by escapism. Movies, books, music, poetry and art were just a few ways for artists to express themselves and for the audience to get lost in.
This audience mostly consisted of middle-class average Americans, who worked hard and long. Escapism was very popular during the time of the Great Depression in the US. During the day people would work hard for their money, fight for their survival and try to keep their heads up through all of the difficulties, but during the evening they would scatter around town just to find someplace to relax. Most Americans would go around town and search for folks with similar interests. People would always love to go to bars and have a few drinks, exchange stories and laugh.
The motion pictures, though, have always been a silent awe – sitting there and enjoying the entertainment unfold before your eyes was pretty magical, even for our day and time in the 21st century. The Wizard of Oz was a hit movie that came out in 1939. The light colorful drawings and the flamboyant set kept the viewers satisfied and yearning for more. Since it was one of the first movies with color, it was quite the success. The special effects in the delightful motion picture kept the audience growing bigger and bigger.
Special effects were used in the movie quite often, which seem pretty silly to our 21st century technologically advanced brains, but in fact seemed very impressive at the time. Because of all these technical improvements from the previous movies and taking a few steps forward in development, the film was also one of the most expensive made at the time. Produced by Lions Gate Entertainment, the movie cost an awful lot for the Great Depression era – about 2 million dollars. The motion picture paid off its large bill in time, even if it wasn’t as big of a hit at first.
Because of its light theme and enjoyable melodies, the musical soon gained its place in the media. To us now, the movie seems a bit too dramatically done and very silly, but at that time it was really wonderful. The lightly careless way it just swept up your thoughts and mind was amazing, it kept the audience’s attention for the whole show. Forgetting your daily life was now much easier, especially because of the catchy tunes in songs. Lyrics were very simple and fitting, the actors dramatic enough to keep it entertaining but not worrisome.
The obnoxious way Dorothy was portrayed may seem very annoying to us now, but during the Great Depression era it was very amusing and quite fitting. Due to the actors being very talented and skillful, the film was enjoyable. Even if The Wizard of Oz has absolutely nothing to do with the Great Depression, it has an implied meaning suitable for all times. All of the characters went on searching for something more, but in the end realized that what they were looking for was with them all along. A great disappointment at the end of the film might seem the Great Wizard. He happens to be a fellow man from Kansas, just like Dorothy.
That symbolizes how simple and modest even the best of things can be. By processing this information of hidden meanings, the audience slowly learned from the movies they watched. They began to realize certain values in life, began to see things differently. “That’s a horse of a different color” says the guard of Emerald City once Dorothy arrives, and now that quote is very fitting. Even if the audience didn’t look deep enough into the characters to find the hidden meanings and ideas, it was still a very entertaining film. Its simplicity and the humorous story truly did help the average American with escapism.
The movie has a charismatic effect on its viewers, making it very hard not to sing along or at least laugh at the characters. It swept you away from the first minutes of song and special effects. Musicals always have the effect of moving the audience’s emotions. Due to the color change once Dorothy arrives to Munchkin Land, the movie is quite breathtaking for those times. The Great Depression was most definitely affected by movies like this; they made people’s lives easier and more bearable. Now the demons and troubles Americans faced came easier, since entertainment served as a distraction.
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