March 25, 2017

The other day, I was talking about the weather with a woman who might have been about 30 or so.

She got to describing the movie "Twister" (the special-effects laden tornado movie from 1996), and I said I'd never seen it. To lighten the mood, I said "I've seen 'The Wizard of Oz.'" To my utter amazement, she said "I haven't." How can you not have seen "The Wizard of Oz"?!

ADDED: In case you, like me, don't know "Twister," this is a good way to get up to speed:



AND: Nice to see Bill Paxton again. And Philip Seymour Hoffman.

HEY: There's also an Everything Wrong With for "The Wizard of Oz"!

52 comments:

rhhardin said...

I haven't seen The Wizard of Oz. I mean, it's been on TV but I always tuned past it. It was too stupid.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Seen bits of it; didn't hold my attention. Not that interesting a story. I enjoyed the actors' accents, though.

Paddy O said...

"It was too stupid."

Think of it as a romantic comedy with a man of tin who needs a heart and a girl from another land who can help him find it.

Original Mike said...

We built our first scanning-beam x-ray system about the time Twister came out and it had a passing resemblance to "Dorthy" so, of course, that became its name in the lab.

Jay Vogt said...

Twister was as best i can remember supposed to be the star turn for Helen Hunt, who was and is both talented and beautiful. The movie though was so dreadful - just a really poor execution of a tired, bloated formula - that I think it really dealt a death blow to what should have been a considerable career.

So bad in fact that she should have sued her agent.

Freder Frederson said...

My best friend's daughter, who is a little younger than 30 (26 or 27), absolutely loved the Wizard of Oz as a young child. By the age of four she had the entire movie memorized and had probably seen it dozens of times.

This is an outlier.

Jay Vogt said...

Bill Paxton survived it just fine, but he was for the most part a charactor actor and not so dependent on his looks.

Mark said...

That 30-or-so chick might have seen "Twister," but she probably never played "Twister." Another one of those back in the old days games, like "Wizard of Oz" was an old movie. But likely she never saw it because of the expansion of TV from a handful of broadcast stations to hundreds of stations on cable, and then the decline of watching movies as they are broadcast, rather than watching on-demand. I remember when, as with films like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Ten Commandments," the "Wizard of Oz" would be played every year on one of the big three networks, such that it was both traditional and a big must-see event.

roadgeek said...

"....the "Wizard of Oz" would be played every year on one of the big three networks,..."

It was CBS, because I made certain never to miss it. I still watch it, and knowing more about the context of 1939 filmmaking and the studio system in general makes it even more enjoyable.

"Twister"? A fun ride, but not something I'd watch again. Too many other good movies I haven't yet seen.

Luke Lea said...

How about the ones, and I have met them, who never heard of Bob Dylan? Cultures don't self-transmit. Goes for the more important stuff too, like free speech.

David Begley said...

One is barely an American if one hasn't seen "The Wizard of Oz."

When the Wizard departs from Oz, his hot air balloon reads, "Omaha State Fair."

Pettifogger said...

I've seen both but would care to see neither again.

I have a friend in his early 40s who's seen neither "Casablanca" nor "The Maltese Falcon." My urging him to do so has had no effect. They're both from before my time but both worthy of re-watching.

Things shift with the succession of generations. One of my favorite jokes from my youth no longer works:

What's the definition of an intellectual? Someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.

Mary Beth said...

"Another cow."

"I think that was the same cow."


That's the best dialog from "Twister". "The Wizard of Oz" has more quotable bits.

All I've learned from these two movies is that it's better to be in a tornado in Kansas than in Oklahoma.

traditionalguy said...

Judy Garland's innocence defeated witches and wizards in same movie. Tornadoes were not much of an enemy for Helen Hunt. And Judy was also the best singer of all time.

rhhardin said...

Ah, yes, I have seen Twister, its beginning. It was one of the early bail-out ones.

Mary Beth said...


What's the definition of an intellectual? Someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.


No, that's oblivious (unless you mean not thinking only of the Lone Ranger).

rhhardin said...

I flew over a waterspout once.

rhhardin said...

Normally I'm against the guy having a drinking problem as a plot device, since it leads to a just stop fucking drinking audience response, but Twister might have been improved by it if they'd added it. Also Wizard of Oz.

djs said...

There is one really good scene in Twister where they're at this little Dairy Queen like place and Paxton senses that something's not right. That quite, ominous before the storm feeling you get in tornado country. Then it's upon them, the drive-in movie screen is blown away with Nicholson doing his crazy best in The Shining. Otherwise, it's just a lot of fun.

Bob Ellison said...

RE: movies to see-- a friend of mine bullied me into seeing Meet John Doe (1941?) recently. It's good, and relevant to today's politics. Whether it presages Obama or Trump more, I don't know. Lotta flaws in the movie, but it's enjoyable. I recommend it for 2017. Sit past the first ten minutes.

David said...

Twister had good effects (for the day) but did not let them take over the film. Good cast.

Original Mike said...

"RE: movies to see-- a friend of mine bullied me into seeing Meet John Doe (1941?) recently. It's good, "

"Great gams".

Amexpat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

I've never seen a Star Wars.

Original Mike said...

I love the flying monkeys and the witch's castle. That was great film making.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Boomers know the Wizard of Oz because we all saw it on TV as kids. We also get references to Citizen Kane or Casablanca or the Marx Brothers because we watched old movies on late night TV.

Several years ago, I had a conversation with 2 millennials and found out they had no idea who Humphrey Bogart and Liz Taylor were, because they never watch old movies. "Old movies" to their mind, includes anything made prior to 1990.

When speaking to my nieces and nephews, I find that much of 20th century pop culture simply doesn't register with them. Babe Ruth? Who was that? Buddy Holly? Marlon Brando?

That's rather depressing for us older folks. It becomes positively alarming when you discover how little they know of the political events of the 20th century. It's one thing to not know of the Marx Brothers and another thing to be ignorant of the USSR's gulags and the 6 Day War. No wonder Bernie Sanders' platitudes seem fresh and new to them.

Amexpat said...

I saw the Wizard of Oz on TV as a small kid. The wicked witch and flying monkeys scared me.

I saw Twister while travelling around India for a couple of months. The theater was chock full of happy, raucous locals. I enjoyed watching that more than the film.

Yancey Ward said...

I have seen both films, and have no real desire to see either one again.

I get the appeal of The Wizard of Oz has for most people, and for its time it was groundbreaking. However, it just has never been the kind of movie that appeals to me, and I can't even say that is because I don't like fantasy films. I really can't put my finger on why I don't like the film nearly as much as, say, any of The Lord of the Rings films.

Yancey Ward said...

And Twister was just awful in too many ways to count.

Rusty said...

Blogger Original Mike said...
"I love the flying monkeys and the witch's castle. That was great film making."

Fuckin' flying monkeys.
I hate flyin' monkeys.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The best part of "The Wizard of Oz" is the Lion singing "If I Were King of the Forest." It's so damn campy. It still makes me laugh.

Quaestor said...

1996, the year IBM realized OS/2 was a beached whale. Windows 95 destroyed us. IBM ceased to be the Computer Company and became just another oversold overvalued blue chip. That year OS/2 Warp came in two flavors, one with Windows 3.11 and a bootloader and without, a red-spined box and a blue-spined box. I don't remember which was which. Nobody did. Apple had MacOS 9, we had Warp, and Gates had a monster to rip us apart. We went to Sawgrass Mills and saw Twister. I sat in the dark thinking the dreaded Force 5 was a metaphor for Windows NT. 95 was just more DOS crap with a pretty face, but I knew Gates had an NT-based desktop ready to go, and with it he would slay the Philistines (i.e. I BM and Apple).

If I had been watching The Wizard of Oz the fearsome Wicked Witch of the West would have been Bill Gates, and I wouls have one just one of the happy carefree moronic citizens of the Emerald City of Florida without a scarecrow or even a tinman. The Witch was out to kill us and our little dog too.

DougWeber said...

We seem to have a disconnect in the world. I mentioned to a co-worker something about the NYT article on Greta Garbo's apt going up for sale. His comments was "Who is Greta Garbo?". Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Jason said...

I liked Twister. Good, escapist fun!

Would't try to watch it for more than that!

Helen Hunt around that time was one of my Great Celebrity Crushes, though... along with Laura Dern, with whom I'm forever mistaking her. And Terri Garr before that. Yum!

Jay Vogt said...

. . . . Quaestor said..."1996, the year IBM realized OS/2 . . . . . . was out to kill us and our little dog too."

Should have listened to the man and not taken the brown acid ;)

Ann Althouse said...

"And Twister was just awful in too many ways to count."

That 17-minute video I embedded actually counts the ways. It's over 100, I think.

Laslo Spatula said...

"The Wizard of Oz."

"Twister."

Althouse should've included "Sharknado" for the Tornado Trifecta.

I am Laslo.

boycat said...

Some say 1939 was the best year ever for films. As good as it was, revolutionary special effects and all, it wasn't enough for The Wizard of Oz to win best picture that year. That went to Gone With the Wind. But with John Ford's Stagecoach, Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, William Wyler's Wuthering Heights, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, and Goodbye Mr. Chips also in the mix, among other films (there were 8 films nominated that year for best picture), The Wizard of Oz was a longshot, when in just about any other year it would've won it in a cakewalk.

boycat said...

That link may not work. It's to the cable channel AMC website. I put https into the script instead of just http and it doesn't like it. So try http://www.filmsite.org/aa39.html instead.

rcocean said...

Everyone watched Wizard of Oz as a kid in my neighborhood, it was a big deal, even in the 70s. I still think its one of the greatest movies ever made, not a single dead spot.

As for today, you meet young people who don't even know "Saving Private Ryan" or the "Godfather" are - that was last century. Old hat. You can't blame 'em. "Saving Private Ryan" was almost 20 years ago. I didn't even know Doris Day was a singer till I was in college, I thought she was just TV star - like Shirley Jones.

rcocean said...

Twister is one of the dumbest movies ever made. The people are Hollywood's idea of Midwesterner's and not only is everyone in it incredibly stupid the whole movie consists of boring blah, blah, then a twister, then some more blah, blah.

Its one of the first movies I wanted to walk out on.

Mark said...

As for today, you meet young people who don't even know "Saving Private Ryan" or the "Godfather" are - that was last century.

I know a couple of guys in their twenties who work in video production who have never seen The Godfather. How could you study and work in a film-related industry and never have seen what is in the top five best movies ever made, if not the best?

Lucien said...

My favorite cat is named Twister -- but not in connection with the game or the movie. He's about 18 now, and slowing down.

Unknown said...

Oz: A young girls goes to a new place and kills the first person she meets. She then teams up with 3 others to kill again.

Ann Althouse said...

You know what I've never seen?

Jaws.

Also: Apocalypse Now.

Joe said...

Anyone else notice Philip Seymour Hoffman played the same damn character he always played?

I hated Wizard of Oz and bored silly by Twister.

Captain Curt said...

Recently I was talking to a professional colleague of mine who's in his late 40s. I mentioned that my wife had sat next to Julie Andrews on a plane flight.

Blank stare. No idea who I was talking about.

I said, "Julie Andrews. You know, Sound of Music!"

Another blank stare. Never heard of it.

Mike Smith said...

As a real meteorologist, the first "sin" wrong, wrong, wrong. Tornado warnings were never called tornado alerts. They were correctly called tornado warnings in the highlighted scene of "Twister."

Original Mike said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
"You know what I've never seen?

Jaws.

Also: Apocalypse Now."


I haven't seen either either.

love johnson said...

I'm 58 years old and I've never seen it all the way thru. It's WAY over-rated and I have a feeling many people have never seen it. The idea that most Americans have is fake news.

stlcdr said...

As time goes by, we forget the bad movies of our youth (except when someone brings it up and you say, yeah, I remember that, it was terrible).

Today, older ( sometimes campy) movies, and tv shows are considered terrible, whereas high tech productions are almost always considered great by the generation that grew up on them.

Older movies will always tend to be better because they didn't have the effects that we have today to support the story. Specifically, you can be so wowed by the effects that it hides the stilted storyline and dialog, and acting.

I recall seeing the recent Batman vs Superman movie (terrible!) and saying out loud, that's what they came up with (spoiler alert: the monster)? With all the technology we have today, that was it. A terrible storyline, terrible acting, terrible everything.

Imagine seeing The Wizard of Oz for the first time; there's a lot of imagination in that journey, and is very compelling. Imagine a modern movie of your choice. Very few leave anything to the imagination, and follow a predictable recipe. It's essentially graded on whether the special effects are real enough but not too real.

Tinderbox said...

There was nothing right about Twister.
There was nothing wrong about The Wizard of Oz.