1. 'The Wizard of Oz' (1939)
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The world's most beloved film could have been a disaster. Let's be grateful
that 17-year-old Judy Garland won the part of Dorothy over first-choice Shirley
Temple. That "Over the Rainbow" was restored to the film after MGM executives
cut it because they thought it was demeaning for their star to sing in a
barnyard. That the idea of a sexy, beautiful wicked witch was replaced by
Margaret Hamilton's green-hued hag, who has terrified generations of viewers.
Search: Watch scenes from 'The Wizard of Oz'
Based on L. Frank Baum's book about a young girl's journey from dreary Kansas
to the magical Land of Oz, Victor Fleming's 1939 Technicolor fantasy got
everything right — from the casting of Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr as
Dorothy's compatriots on the Yellow Brick Road to the iconic songs by Harold
Arlen and Yip Harburg. When I was growing up, "The Wizard of Oz" was shown once
a year on TV. By the time I started school I could recite the entire script by
heart, starting with Dorothy's frantic defense of her dog, Toto, from the evil
Mrs. Gulch and ending with the girl's heartfelt proclamation that "There's no
place like home!" While the Wizard proves to be just a "man behind a curtain,"
Dorothy and her friends come to realize that they've always had what they needed
to be happy — and that's a lesson worth far more than any ruby slippers! —
Danny Miller What's your favorite movie? Tell us on our
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(Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger in
"The Wizard of Oz"/Courtesy Everett Collection/Rex Features)