The wind began to switch, the house, to pitch

And suddenly Warner Brothers’ hinges started to unhitch …

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Dorothy, you are right.

And if Warner Brothers has its way, you’ll find yourself dropped farther outside Kansas than ever you could’ve dreamed possible, far far beyond the wondrous and strange Land of Oz.

You’ll find yourself in the Land of Remake Hell.

That’s right. Warner Brothers intends to remake the 1939 classic, word for original word.

I could not disagree more with the studio’s plan. Some creations for the silver screen are sacred. Sacrosanct. Untouchable. Neither to be messed with nor remade. “The Wizard of Oz” is one.

Whatever one’s views and feelings on the film, its originality, symbolisms, messages and enduring presence in the celluloid chronicles cannot but be acknowledged.

If Warner Bros. fails to come to its senses and signs off on the deal, it is effectively disregarding, dishonoring and spitting in the face of timeless original, a classic that remains a beloved favorite across the generations, an old friend to movie lovers, one of the most-watched and rewatched films of the era and a holiday accompaniment as traditional as turkey and mashed potatoes.

How can I put this succinctly? Warner Brothers, fuck off. You’ve no business mucking with art and no business tearing a hole in the fabric of the celluloid universe, the affections and the hearts of viewers from youngsters to seniors.

If it’s bucks you’re after, plenty to be found in new productions or remakes, if you must. Let me iterate, WB. “The Wizard of Oz” is sacred. Not to be replicated. So keep keep your damn hands off! Or prepare to face a tsunami of criticism from the public and industry that’ll make the bucket of water that brought the demise of the Wicked Witch of the West look like a refreshing misty shower.

While we’re at it, WB, don’t you or any studio go getting any ideas now about remaking other classics including “Casablanca,” “Citizen Kane,” “Gone With the Wind,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Godfather.” Readers, feel free to present yours for the list.

Dear dear Dorothy, have no fear, we’ll be at your side to fight off the newly-emerged witch that is Warner Bros. sure as were the scarecrow, tin man and lion.

Your home, Dorothy, yours and that of the entire original cast, lies on the silver screens eternal. So tap the heels of your ruby red slippers three times and say to yourself, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home …”

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Doug
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 03:08:32

    Right you are, they should not. But they probably will. It’s been some time since the big studios could make a movie that didn’t come with a built in fan base. Original ideas are passed over in favor of re-makes, and summer blockbusters based on comic books or childhood faerie tales. You know, the stuff guaranteed to make money. Artistry, craft, taking risks? The bean counters can never agree to that.

    Reply

    • allycatadventures
      Nov 29, 2010 @ 11:12:20

      @Doug – “Artistry, craft, taking risks? The bean counters can never agree to that.” – Uhhuh. As a sidenote, WB’s also considering a couple sequels, one which puts Dorothy’s granddaughter in Oz to battle evil. And the winning ideas jus’ keep on rollin’!

      Reply

  2. ladywise
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 05:09:03

    I do agree! Hailey and I were talking about music the other day, and she was trying to pit the modern rock and roll (if you can call it that) against the old rock and roll, and I said, “Most of your modern stuff is nothing more than remakes of the old stuff.” It is pathetic that the idea of “imagination” is almost non existent now. So much of what we see and hear is not new. It is either a total remake, or based on a remake. You are so right, some stuff shouldn’t be touched and the Wizard of Oz is definitely one of them!

    Reply

    • allycatadventures
      Nov 29, 2010 @ 11:21:03

      @Ladywise – In the big cosmic picture, it’s true, there’s nothing new under the sun, only an infinite number of ways to say it. Hollywood business is brutal and one can only wonder which classic will face a remake once the Wizard is completed. Imagine the possibility that the Wizard of Oz seen by your great great grandchildren will be not the 1939 version starring Judy Garland but the (fill in the year) version starring, who, Britney Spears?! {gag! banish the words!}

      Reply

  3. ladywise
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 06:08:06

    By the way, I love your new banner!

    Reply

  4. mkirkd
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 07:06:56

    Well if they do re-make Oz i bet it would be a bust and they are all about making money. You are so right there are just things that should be left as they are.

    Reply

    • allycatadventures
      Nov 29, 2010 @ 11:25:33

      @mkirk – Bet it’ll be a bust too though there is a minority who’ll welcome and/or embrace it on, among other views, the idea that all art is fluid and subject to evolving and transformation. Thanks for poppin’ in!

      Reply

  5. Cimmorene
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 08:00:20

    I’m real sorry, Ally, but the “Classic” you’re trying to protect is actually a remake. (gasp. NO!!!!) I checked IMDb. Here’s the listing under “the Wizard of Oz”: http://www.imdb.com/find?s=s&q=the+Wizard+of+oz

    As you see here, the earliest mention of “the Wizard of Oz” is from 1910, followed by a sequel in 1914. The version everyone thinks of as a “classic” didn’t come out until 1939. Between 1914 and 1939 there were at least two other remakes and after 1939 there were several redux that followed. The planned remake, though admittedly annoying and likely to be subpar, is not the first and, likely, won’t be the last.

    Though I agree with you that the 1939 version is in a class by itself, I think that the best way to look at it is in the same way one might view a prospective step-mother. There’s no way the newer version, expected to come out in 2014, could possibly replace the beloved 1939 version, no matter how true to the script it is. No matter how faithful they are to the 1939 script, the newer version will be different. However, there’s a distinct possibility that it will have merits in its own right. Therefore, it’s probably a bad idea to toss it aside based on the plans of the producers.
    Then again, if in 2014, we go and see it in the theater and it stinks there, poor photography or whatever, then I’ll support you in deriding it. After all, if people are going to make a remake, the least they can do is make it in such a way that it can stand on its own two feet.

    Reply

    • allycatadventures
      Nov 29, 2010 @ 11:00:51

      @Cimmy – Failed predecessors are moot; the 1939 version is the version that survived and achieved longevity and noteworthy status so is the one that concerns us. By your thinking, I presume you are amenable to a remake of any classic, so let me ask, is there any you’d like to see protected from a remake (remake = w/ original script)?

      Reply

      • Cimmorene
        Nov 29, 2010 @ 13:26:04

        @Ally – I didn’t say I enjoyed the prospect of the remake. Far from it. However, when it comes out, I’m prepared to watch it without comparing it to it’s predecessor. They are separate movies where I’m concerned. Remake or not. Besides, the movie wasn’t entirely faithful to the book, anyway. If they do a remake, they might be able to alleviate that, like they did on the LOTR series and like they’re doing with the Chronicles of Narnia, both splendidly remade. You can still love the “classical” version with Judy Garland in it. Who wouldn’t? I mean, people have loved the live action version of the Lord of the Rings series and they still watch the animated versions. People liked Chris Reeve as Superman and yet people still went to watch when the producers came up with a new Superman, Brandon Routh.
        All I’m saying is that we all know that the remake could never compare with the version(s) we like best. So, what I say is let’s not compare them. Let’s look at them as two separate movies. Then, if the remake stinks, then it stinks because it’s a lousy flick, not because it’s a remake. Hmm?

        Reply

        • Cimmorene
          Nov 29, 2010 @ 13:50:39

          @Ally- Then again, maybe the reason that a remake from the original script is such a big deal is that it’s *from the original script*. After all, even though Robert Zemeckis is a talented director, no matter what they do, the movie is going to be different from the 1939 version that people love. The original actors, even if they were alive today, would now be too old to reprise their roles, so there, too, the movie will be different, since the new actors will see the roles from different perspectives. Fans of “the original,” such as yourself, might find that the prospect of using the original script for a remake that is guaranteed to be different when it hits the “silver screen” could be considered a cause of frustration, to say the least. Did I hit the nail on the head, Ally?

          Reply

        • allycatadventures
          Nov 30, 2010 @ 13:43:18

          @Cim – I follow your thinking. My objection lies with the action, the remaking, rather than the results. You’ll let us know what you think of the remake ;D

          Reply

          • Cimmorene
            Nov 30, 2010 @ 19:55:10

            @Ally- Honestly, I’m really not looking forward to it. After all, I haven’t been able to go to the movies in a long time, first, because I don’t have a lot of money and, second, because it’s hard to find a babysitter.

            Also, as I said, I like the 1939 version. I may change my mind after it comes out on DVD, but, for now, I’m happy with the “original” and there are lots of more interesting films (the latest Harry Potter, for one) that I would rather spend money to see. I’ll keep my eyes open, though.

            Reply

  6. lexiemom
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 15:51:38

    AMEN, and again, AMEN!!! Remake the Wizard of Oz? SACRILIGE!!!

    Reply

  7. Invictus
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 19:31:45

    Maybe it’ll suck, maybe it won’t. I think it will, most likely, but time will tell. As far as it being some kind of offense, I doubt it; the original will still be around. Here’s a story that, if it ain’t true, it oughtta be: Somebody asked James M. Cain, author of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” and “Double Indemnity,” if he felt Hollywood ruined his books. He looked over at his shelf and said, “Nope, they’re still there.”

    Reply

    • allycatadventures
      Nov 30, 2010 @ 13:56:59

      @B – I see your thinking. As I just mentioned to another reader, my objection lies with the act of the remake rather than the results (and the inevitable comparisons yada yada). Books made into movies, different media, different rules, a separate topic parallel so I won’t venture there save to say does anyone really ever expect films to be faithful spot-on creations, some might say replications, from books?

      Reply

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