This past week I have watched two movies I have not seen since before I was a teenager: The Wizard of Oz and The Lady in Red. Almost twenty years of distance between viewings has been instructive. Below are some of my (unorganized) thoughts on the movies:
1. I once found the Witch of the West to be the creepiest thing in the Wizard of Oz. She is not. She is really, really, green…but I find her pre-Oz incarnation creepier. And I find the munchkins to be far more disturbing.
2. Which begs the question: if your society was plagued by the presence of one witch and the threat of the appearance of another, would you leave your infants lying unprotected in a heap inside a flower??
3. Switching over to The Lady in Red: Gene Wilder is a comic genius. Even in this most 1980’s of movies.
4. The 80’s were SCARY. So was Kelly LeBrock.
5. So was Dionne Warwick.
6. Dionne Warwick vs. The Witch: an excellent celebrity death match.
7. What is up with that PURPLE horse?
8. Should we tell the munchkins that their flowers are plastic? Maybe life has been hard enough on them already.
9. The point of The Lady in Red seems to be that relationships are hopelessly doomed because people are always chasing tail…and that therefore you should chase some tail and be happy. Did I miss something?
10. When I asked for a show of hands on who thought the Tin Man was gay, not one hand was not raised. Just sayin’.
11. What is up with the “Woman in Red” song towards the beginning of The Lady in Red? I know Stevie Wonder is blind…but did no one tell the man the movie’s title?
12. People could clearly have caught the ropes of that air balloon and brought it back.
13. I think Glenda apparates in the same ball of light as “Sweetheart” in the Cereal City movie. C-R-E-E-P-Y!
14. This makes me wonder if Snap, Crackle, and Pop are really munchkins enslaved by the evil Kelloggs brothers.
15. My neighbor once had a dog that was a lot like Toto. I wanted that thing dead too.
16. I spent the whole movie wondering whether they had done Dorothy’s make up for the sepia-toned scenes and then just left it. She just does not look right in the color scenes.
17. Speaking of which…does Kelly LeBrock really need that much rouge? I thought the red in the title referred to her first outfit.
18. I find nothing really creepy about the flying monkeys. Never did. Huh.
19. Where did Gilda Radner’s character go for the second half of The Lady in Red?
20. I wonder how shocking the plotline of Charles Grodin’s character was in the 1980’s. All seems a little passe at this point.
21. Speaking of Grodin…I LOVED the “blind man” scene. I can picture my brother doing such a thing and pulling it off.
22. Final Analysis: I still hate the Wizard of Oz…but for different reasons now. Mainly, I hate it because it is a musical. And I like VERY FEW musicals.
As for The Lady in Red: It comes pretty darn close to being a wretched 80’s musical in its own right with that horrid soundtrack. Still…I find scenes to be very humorous and charming. I might even watch it again someday. Just not any day soon.