For many decades, those who experienced The Wizard of Oz on television assumed that the movie started off in black and white before making its mind-blowing shift to color. False. Those opening Kansas scenes were actually sepia-toned, a detail that was lost between the film’s first theatrical rerelease in 1949 and its second in 1955. But for various technical reasons, TV stations never showed those scenes as they were originally meant to be seen. All that was restored in 1989, as part of a 50th anniversary VHS rerelease. In November 1998, a 60th anniversary “Special Edition” was shown in theaters, remastered and with a spiffy new digital soundtrack. One of America’s most beloved films, it’s easy to imagine it being trotted back out every decade or so. There’s no place like … a movie theater to see The Wizard of Oz. The color yellow will be imprinted on your corneas for days.
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