By Carey Purcell
16 Sep 2013
The film will be presented in an exclusive one-week engagement in IMAX theatres across North America beginning Sept. 20. It will play in 400 IMAX theatres nationwide before the 75th Anniversary Blu-Ray is released for sale.
Directed by Victor Fleming, the film starred Judy Garland as Dorothy, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as the Lion, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, Billie Burke as Glinda and Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West.
The film, which catapulted Garland into superstardom, is based on L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." With a script by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, the movie follows the teenage Dorothy as she journeys to the mysterious land of Oz, where she befriends a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion, and battles the Wicked Witch of the West while traveling to visit the great and powerful Oz, who she hopes will help her return to Kansas.
Noted at the time for its use of Technicolor in the Oz sequences, "The Wizard of Oz" won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Best Song as well as a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Garland. It received nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Effects and Best Picture.
"'The Wizard of Oz' is one of the most beloved films of all time and we are thrilled that our longtime partners at Warner Bros. have made IMAX a part of this exciting milestone event," Greg Foster, chairman and president of IMAX Entertainment, said in a statement. "This film revolutionized the use of color and special effects in cinema, and we're excited to add another 'first' — bringing this timeless classic to moviegoers through the power of The IMAX 3D Experience for the very first time."
Following the IMAX theatrical release, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release a limited and numbered "The Wizard of Oz" 75th Anniversary Collector's Edition Oct. 1. The release will include the 3D version of the film and special features, including the documentary "The Making of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and exclusive collectible memorabilia. The memorabilia include a collectible 75th Anniversary journal, a sparkle ruby slippers globe, a Noble Collection three-piece enamel pin set, a map of Oz and a 48-page hardcover book.
Baum's novel has inspired numerous adaptations, including the musical The Wiz; the book and subsequent musical Wicked; and the films "Return to Oz" and "Oz: The Great and Powerful." A stage production, featuring new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber and starring Danielle Wade, is currently touring North America.