The Top Ten Movies That Make Me Think of Halloween continued...
03. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Perhaps this 1939 musical classic should be exempt from any list. Because, well, it's got several unfair advantages. You don't even have to have seen it to feel as if you're intimately familiar (but it's such a grand film that one certainly should actually see it. And without commercial interupption). This movie is so deeply enmeshed into the collective subconcious that one can, if inclined, connect it to all else. The more fascinating list to make would probably be along the lines of "Top Ten Things ThatDon't Make Me Think of The Wizard of Oz". It makes me think of everything -childhood, television, Thanksgiving, Christmas, other Friends of Dorothy, old Hollywood, showtunes, midgets, shoes, Broadway, lions & tigers & bears, fantasy vs. reality debates, beauty fascism, hot air balloons... I could go on all day. I'll spare you.
So, why does it make me think of Halloween in particular? The ubiquity of its iconic costumes for starters. You will always see riffs on every one of its main characters this time of year. Silly spins (hirsute drag queens in Dorothy wigs), innocent enthusiasms (a great family group costume), and every other imaginable interpretation. The second and better reason is the beautiful wickedness of The Wicked Witch of the West. Audience affection for this villain is obvious, but only on Halloween, the night when evil is good, does it seem appropriate to wish that Dorothy had never tossed that bucket of water her way.
"What a world. What a world."