Feminism in 'The Wizard of Oz'

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The Wizard of Oz Film and Book Background

The Wizard of Oz is a book by L. Frank Baum written in 1900 and adapted into a musical fantasy in 1939. It starred a young Judy Garland, and was notable because of its use of special effects, color, unusual characters, and a fantasy storyline made into a major motion picture. It has become almost iconoclastic in film history, shown regularly on network television and becoming a part of American cultural history. The song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," won an Oscar for best song, and has been recorded by hundreds of artists. In fact, for numerous critics, the movie is ranked among the top 10 movies of all times, and the Library of Congress names it the most watched film in history (The Wizard of Oz, 2010; Baum, 1956).
Most people are more familiar with the movie rather than the series of Baum's books. As a film, we must remember that color cinematography was in its infancy in Hollywood. In fact, Hal Rosson won an award for cinematography. Taken in context, the lushness and color saturated feel he gave to the film enhances the idea that "we're not in Kansas anymore." Some of the props and glitter may look at tad campy to a modern audience, but looking at the film in historical context allows one to be transported into Oz, a magical place of new colors, shapes, and textures done in such a realistic manner that it cannot help but improve the imaginative experience for the audience.
In a similar manner, the mise-en-scene, or the
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