I’m 40 years old and I finally saw The Wizard of Oz for the first time. Let that sink in for a second. Wizard of Oz. First time. Film school graduate.
We’ve talked about this on the show before. The film was atop my personal “Embarrassed As Fuck” list. Somehow it’s stranger to have not seen this than not having seen Gone With The Wind which, ok, is technically at the top of the list. I share that embarrassment with my lovely co-host Joe.
So why is this a thing? Did I at one point in my life decide to ban the personal viewing of all Victor Fleming films from 1939? No. I just didn’t grow up with either film in my household. Sometimes that’s just enough. (Did you hear that, It’s A Wonderful Life?)
Now The Wizard of Oz is so woven into the fabric of our culture it’s impossible to avoid completely which is why so much of the movie was familiar to me. I knew what the story was. I knew it switched from sepia to color. I knew there was a tornado and a bunch of little people running around. I knew about Dorothy and her dog and her three companions and the search for their individual components. I had simply never seen the goddamned thing until now.
It’s also practically impossible to digest one of the world’s most iconic films when you see it for the first time in your 40s, so I’m having a bit of trouble putting my thoughts into words. But I can tell you this: I liked it a lot and I’m shocked.
I feel foolish telling you that it’s a fun and charming musical fantasy that you should all see because you’re not a dipshit like me who has never seen it, so I’ll spare you the recap. But, as you stagger to comprehend that Nick Amado, a film school graduate who has a movie podcast review show, had never seen The Wizard of Oz, let it rattle around in your brain that I actually liked it.
Buck up, Mr. Fleming. I’m coming for your next biggest film from 1939 (and your short career) soon.