At left is the clipping referenced in today’s column about the June 16, 1939 preview of “The Wizard of Oz” at Pomona’s Fox Theater, two months before its premiere.
The writer, “O.H.K.,” seems to be kind of a fuddy-duddy as far as children are concerned. If even the tornado is too scary, we can imagine what he/she must have thought of the flying monkeys!
With the review’s criticism of how the movie, unlike the book, “leaves nothing to the imagination,” I can’t help but wonder, in all seriousness, if the writer was a teacher or children’s librarian who wasn’t keen on movies to begin with.
Note that “songstress” Judy Garland attended the preview screening. Another celebrity sighting for the Fox record books!
Here’s a link to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz website also cited in my column. It’s a lot of fun to poke around on — the FAQ section contains lots of fascinating tidbits, and in a very readable way. This link is to the portion of the FAQs about its premiere, outtakes, flubs and initial reception.
The Internet Movie Database has a good trivia section on the movie too.
A tip of the Tin Man’s metal cap to Fox co-owner Ed Tessier for providing a copy of the clipping. The library’s microfilm collection is missing that portion of 1939 and so are the Daily Bulletin’s archives.
* Curious about the “jitterbug” scene cut from the movie prior to Pomona? Reader Derek Deason found a short video clip giving an idea of what was cut.