Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More on Movies: John Waters, etc.

That delightfully naughty John Waters, of Hairspray fame and much else, is doing a promo on TCM for yet another showing of The Wizard of Oz, which I guess can never be shown too often, at least for some people. I love his take on Dorothy's wish to go home to Kansas. He wonders why anyone would want to go back to Kansas: "She'll probably end up working in a 7-Eleven, or something like that." Why would anyone want to leave Oz? Good question. He appears to have remained in Oz himself, lucky guy.

Speaking of old movies, Oz reminds me that the Wicked Witch of the West frightened my cousin greatly and gave her nightmares for a long time. Hope she's over it now; it's been about 50 years. What frightened me as a kid was the excellent The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), starring George Sanders and Hurd Hatfield, not generally thought of as a scary movie. I was frightened by the color insert of the final view of the portrait, showing Dorian as a terrifyingly ravaged old sinner, marked by all his crimes. Perhaps it was the timing of the way the color inserts in this otherwise black-and-white film were flashed on the screen. On viewing the film later in life, I could never recapture that initial frisson. But I could enjoy the sophistication of the film, particularly Sanders as Lord Henry, uttering all of those Wildean bons mots. I understand that they're doing yet another remake. Why bother? 

1 comment:

willowmanor said...

I saw Dorian Gray on TCM not too long ago and it WAS excellent. The aging portrait shots were a little on the silly side, but stellar performances all round.

Yes, why leave Oz? Wonderful friends and magic slippers...certainly better than a 7-Eleven or in Kansas, a Walmart!