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"Wizard of Oz" DVD news **Trailer added**

Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:23 pm

From wire reports:

'Wizard of Oz' DVDs set to blow into stores

By Thomas K. ArnoldThu Jul 7, 8:33 AM ET

Fans of "The Wizard of Oz" should be over the rainbow when the classic 1939 film is reissued on DVD on Oct. 25.

"Oz" will be available both as two- and three-disc sets, the latter boasting a new documentary about "Oz" author L. Frank Baum, Warner Home Video said Wednesday. They will be priced at $26.99 and $39.92, respectively. The film was originally released on DVD in October 1999 as a single disc.

Both versions of the upcoming "Oz" DVDs will include a new digital transfer of the original movie using Warner's proprietary "Ultra-Resolution" technology. The soundtrack has been remastered as well. Special features include a new commentary from historian John Fricke; four documentaries, including one on the restoration process; outtakes and deleted scenes; home movies made on the "Oz" set by composer Harold Arlen; and an "Oz Jukebox" of recording session materials, radio shows and promo spots.

The three-disc edition also includes four hours devoted to Baum; five pre-1939 "Oz" movies, the earliest of which dates to 1910; and reproductions of the invitation and program for the film's premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Warner's Burnishes 'Oz' DVD

Warner Home Video will release two new special editions of The Wizard of Oz on Oct. 25 that include the first new restoration and new bonus features in 12 years.

The restoration utilizes Warner's proprietary digital "Ultra-Resolution" technology process used on recent releases of titles such as last year's Gone With the Wind.

New restoration has been created with high-definition presentation in mind. Wizard will not be one of the first batch of high-def DVDs Warner releases this fall, when it plans to introduce the first releases on one of two incompatible high-def disc formats called HD-DVD. But Warner Home Video Senior Vice President, Classic Catalog, George Feltenstein said it will likely be among the first waves of movies released in high-definition. Warner is a unit of Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news - people ).

The score and soundtrack have also been enhanced and remastered for a new 5.1 channel stereo audio track, creating more separation from the two microphones used to record some of the music, in addition to the option of the original mono track.

Two versions of the DVD will be released with very different sleeve art for the two-disc special edition and the three-disc collector's edition.

The three-disc edition, with 13 hours of bonus features, including more than five hours of new extras, features a new documentary about creator L. Frank Baum and the entire 1925 silent feature film version of The Wizard of Oz, starring Oliver Hardy as the Tin Man. The earlier picture has been restored from 35-millimeter nitrate and features a new score recorded by Robert Israel.

Warner estimates that about 20 million copies of the movie have been sold collectively in the multiple VHS and Betamax editions, three laserdisc editions and two previous DVD editions since the initial VHS release in 1980 as one of MGM's first group of home video titles. That edition used an original theatrical release print. The studio reissued the movie on video in a 50th anniversary edition in 1989 using a transfer from a rare Technicolor print found in the basement of CBS, now a unit of Viacom.

In 1993, MGM released The Ultimate Oz set that featured the film transferred from a new interpositive from the original negative and hours of bonus features presented in their entirety on a laserdisc set. But that edition has registration problems with colors out of alignment, causing fuzziness and ghosting in some scenes.

That same film element was used for the edition that MGM released in 1997 for one of its first DVDs, which had none of the bonus features from The Ultimate Oz, and again on the 1999 DVD release from Warner, which had then taken over the MGM library. That current release includes all of the bonus features from the 1993 laserdisc.
Last edited by Tom in North Carolina on Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:04 pm

Yes I had just read about this...very good news indeed. I always regretted selling my Wizard Of Oz Laserdisc box set...TILL NOW!

Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:52 pm

I hope the film will be unedited. The last two times I watched it on TCM the reprise of "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" was cut. I hope this scene is not lost because TCM does not edit movies.

Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:08 pm

This is one of the times that I hope there is a mono track as well as the 5.1. I look forward to this release big time...again if it is even CLOSE to the quality of Gone With The Wind then it is something to see!

Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:31 pm

I was a little disappointed with the quality of "Meet Me In St Louis" using this process,but Robin Hood and Singing In The Rain are suberb !

I'm not sure how much they can improve,picture wise,on the current release of "OZ",as I thought that too was/is outstanding !

I look forward to hearing some reviews.

Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:09 am

This is great news, Thanks Tom!

I found the 1999 DVD to be a great improvement in pic quality and sound
over my VHS tape and all the times I watched this film on TV.

I'm optimistic this new '05 DVD re-release will blow minds with the "Ultra Resolution".

I certainly will be making the purchase.

Wish they would do sumthin' like this with an Elvis film!!!

Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:24 pm

Here's the official trailer for the upcoming DVD Special Edition: ... disc_3disc

Also, here's what the 3-disc version looks like inside:


Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:49 pm

Damn that looks cool! Even makes Gone With The Wind less colorful. There sure don't make em like that anymore!

Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:10 pm

WOW! I'm nursing a semi. :wink: