THE WIZARD OF OZ THREE-DISC COLLECTOR'S EDITION  (WARNER HOME VIDEO)

What? They're releasing THE WIZARD OF OZ on home video again? You've got it on videocassette, you've got The Ultimate Laserdisc Edition, you've got the initial dvd release and the darn thing is constantly run on Turner Classic Movies. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind want to invest in yet another release of this bona fide classic of classics? My answer to that question is brief and succinct: consider yourself nuttier than a fruitcake if you don't rush out to your local video store and pick up a copy of this truly incredible three-disc collection before it sells out. 

I've seen OZ (and this is no exaggeration) hundreds of times. It is my single favorite film of all time. But never, ever have I seen it shine and shimmer in the way only Warner's Ultra-Resolution process can accomplish. As many times as I've seen it this new release achieves visual heights hitherto unimaginable for a 3-Strip Technicolor film. So great is the transfer that you'll notice entirely new details in costuming, set design, and direction that you've never noticed before, which will enhance your involvement in the film as a whole. 

I'm certainly not one of those cinema purists who feel that in all cases transforming an original monaural soundtrack to 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound is an act of blasphemy. To my mind it depends on the film. I wouldn't care to see CITIZEN KANE's soundtrack tinkered with. But it's difficult to believe that the creators of this OZ wouldn't oooh and aaah if they could hear the spacious but never overbearing skill with which the Warner Wizards have attached this new sound technology to their film. 

Warner's is thoughtfully releasing both a two- and three-disc version of this fantastic OZ. The choice is yours, but I enthusiastically recommend the three-disc incarnation, as it includes (among many other exclusive features) a restored 1925 silent version featuring Oliver Hardy (pre-Laurel) with a new score by Robert Israel. 

I knew I forgot something. For those of you unfamiliar with the story line of THE WIZARD OF OZ I'll briefly attempt to to provide a  synopsis. It seems there was this little girl who lived in Kansas and...

--DICK DINMAN

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