special “wizard of oz” screening, saturday august 7th

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Lake Placid’s Palace Theater

The Adirondack Film Society will present a 2 pm screening on August 7 of one of the most beloved movies of all time – “The Wizard of Oz.” The screening will be held at Lake Placid’s historic Palace Theater. Three well-known experts on the world of Oz will also be on hand to answer any question you may have ever had about this enduring classic, such as whether or not it was true that a certain MGM executive was so offended by the fact that Judy Garland sang “Over the Rainbow” in a barnyard, he demanded to have the song removed from the movie.

The experts will include Jane Lahr, a much-respected book editor who just happens to be the daughter of the late Bert Lahr, and John Lahr, the son of the actor who will forever be remembered as the Cowardly Lion.  Also, John Fricke, a film historian who has written three books about “The Wizard of Oz” (not to mention two books about Judy Garland). Fricke also received an Emmy Award as co-producer of  the 2004 PBS-TV “American Masters” program, “Judy Garland: By Myself.” A newspaper critic once summarized Fricke’s career by stating “John is to Judy Garland and Oz what Baskin is to Robbins.” John Lahr, who is the theater critic for the New Yorker magazine, also wrote a much-acclaimed biography of his father, “Notes on a Cowardly Lion.”

The moderator of the post-screening discussion will be Kathleen Carroll, the artistic director of the Lake Placid Film Forum, who, in her former role as the film critic of the New York Daily News, did an interview in 1975 with the then surviving members of the cast of “The Wizard of Oz.” They included Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Margaret Hamilton along with the producer Mervyn LeRoy. Hamilton, the woman who had terrorized moviegoers all over the world as the Wicked Witch of the West, acted more like a genteel nanny as she listened with obvious disapproval to the raucous jokes of her giddy former co-stars. She then gently summed up her own feelings about the movie. “It was wonderful to be a part of. It’s not my idea of the greatest acting I ever saw. I remember being told that it was not being done purely for children. Another element was brought into it, just a slight sophistication. I think the philosophy is just so superb that you care about the people in it and what happens to them.”

Tickets, which are $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under, will be available on the day of the screening. For further information, please contact katcarr@aol.com.

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