Tuesday, January 28

Oscars 2014 to Celebrate 75th Anniversary of Wizard of Oz

I don't know anyone who hasn't seen the classic 1939 film, "The Wizard of Oz."  In fact, most people I know have special memories of waiting all year for the annual showing of the movie.

Places were marked in the living room by my siblings and me to ensure the best viewing point to the non 84-inch television we had then. Not too close, mind you,otherwise you became the human version of a remote control for our mother. But... close enough to see the heels clicked, baby munchkins popping up from floral blossoms and Auntie Em in the crystal ball crying out for dear Dorothy.

Munchies included Mom's extra chocolatey fudge made that evening ~ it doesn't get better than that. I had no idea until decades later she made it that evening so she didn't have to suffer through another showing of the movie she'd seen way too many times. We went to "Pop Towne" to select our flavors (root beer for me) and ice cream was purchased for ice cream sodas made by Dad ~ complete with cherries, whipped cream and nuts. It was the biggest night for us kids, as big as Christmas almost.

Mom would always know when I skidded into the kitchen to help what was really going on.

"Flying monkeys?" she would inquire.

Nodding my head yes ~ completely terrified ~ was all she needed, handing me a spoon to help stir the caramel into the popcorn, or brightly colored plastic margarine tubs turned into popcorn bowls to divvy up the goodies.

So this year is the 75th anniversary and now kids can see the film anytime on DVD, no more waiting anxiously throughout the year.

The Oscars are honoring the Best Picture nominee of 1939 at the March 2 televised live ABC program. “The Wizard of Oz” received six Oscar nominations, winning two: Original Score and Song, losing to "Gone with the Wind."

A special year, 1939 ~ the 12th Academy Awards show. Hattie McDaniels became the first African-American to win an Oscar, this was also the year of technicolor making a splash on the big screen creating two cinematography categories: Black & White which went to "Wuthering Heights," and Colorized, going to "Gone with the Wind," also, and the first year for the "Visual Effects" category, and the first hosting of the program by Bob Hope.

A difficult decision, considering this list of nominees for "Best Production," as it was called at the time: Gone With the Wind ~ Dark Victory ~ Goodbye, Mr. Chips ~ Love Affair ~ Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ~ Ninotchka ~ Of Mice and Men ~ Stagecoach ~ The Wizard of Oz ~ Wuthering Heights

Some major titles, yes?

Details of the celebration of Wizard of Oz is still a secret, but I will be watching as anxiously as I did for the film way back as a kid.

Image: Warner Brothers
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, and in magazines. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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