The Wizard of Oz (1939). This was the first classic movie I'd ever seen and I have my aunt to thank for that (yes, this is the same woman who introduced me to Dracula). She had the special 50th anniversary VHS edition of the movie and, at first, I was more attracted to the case than I was the film! It was the blue case with the small book attached to the front - anyone else remember this VHS edition? This movie captured my imagination and made me believe that the Land of Oz was an actual place I could visit. Once my Mom bought me my own VHS copy (same blue packaging), I watched it literally every day when I got home from school. On weekends I'd watch it more than once a day. I was THAT obsessed people! Every time it's come out in theatres, I've gone to see that too. This movie is part of my childhood and I go back to it whenever I want to feel like a little girl again. Something inside me bursts whenever I watch it - it never fails. It happens EVERY SINGLE TIME.
I just recently introduced my two nephews to Dorothy and her friends (the oldest is four and the youngest is two), and they can't get enough of the film! I had to upload the movie onto my iPad just in case we were out somewhere and they had the sudden urge to watch it! It's funny how this has all come full circle: my aunt introduced me to The Wizard of Oz and now, me being a new aunt, has introduced it to my nephews. The cutest thing is when my oldest nephew Ayden asks me: "Auntie Nessa, how come you know all the words?" Dude, if you've seen this movie as many times as I have, you'd know all the words too!
* * * * * * * *
Gone With the Wind (1939). Oh man, where do I even begin with this one?? I was in high school the first time I saw this film and I remember never wanting it to end (that's saying something for a movie that's over three hours long!). When it finally did end, I was breathless. How dare Rhett Butler walk out on Scarlett?! Fuming, I was FUMING! But you know what? That's the mark of a great movie; when a film can affect you like that, you know it's good! A few years ago I went to see Gone With the Wind on the big screen and I cried like a freaking baby when it came time for Scarlett to make her pledge to God that she'd never go hungry again in the middle of that desolate, rotten field. I love war films in general, but Gone With the Wind takes it to a whole other level. There is laughter, there are tears, there are awe-inspiring visuals and the soundtrack is just chill-inducing! <---I got chills and goosebumps just typing that!!
I've always said that if I ever had a daughter, I'd name her Scarlett. Why? Because Scarlett was a spitfire (literally). She started off incredibly selfish but, through the tragedy of war and famine, blossomed into a strong, powerful woman. No, she wasn't always an angel but she was the strongest character in this film. She had her faults yes, but she fought for what she believed in and never let anyone get in her way. So, if I ever have a daughter, I'd want her to be just as powerful. A little less ruthless, but powerful just the same!
* * * * * * * *
Both of these movies are ones that will sweep you away on a fluffy cloud to places otherwise unimagined. It's no wonder they were two of the biggest hits of 1939 (and even to this day, both of these films are regarded as two of the best pictures Hollywood ever made). They will forever remain my two absolute favourite movies - no other film, no matter its greatness, could ever take their place. A few actually have come pretty close (like Singin' In the Rain for instance, and The Thin Man) but no, these two are the TOPS!
Below, Vivien Leigh proudly places her Academy Award for Best Actress (for her role as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind) on her mantlepiece.