Baldwin: Hello yellow brick road

Welcome back my movie munchkins and flying monkeys of Winchester!

Home is indeed where the heart is.

Since childhood, we learn quickly that home and family are supposed to represent support, strength and security.

This sentiment rings true while learning to adapt in this odd and at times, scary world.

The teenage years approach, and many of us can’t wait to leave behind these support systems to find our way in search of happiness, magic and fortunes.   

The restless spirit yearns for something more, which apparently can only be found somewhere over the rainbow.

This weekend, in celebration of its 80th anniversary, you and your loved ones can share the cinematic American experience of viewing “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) at special screenings.

If you haven’t seen it before, “Oz” is the family-friendly fantasy musical starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, who, during her stressful day of failed neighbor relations and court orders because of her pet Toto, gets whisked way from her Kansas farm via tornado to a strange and colorful world of Oz.

One would assume, Dot would be digging Oz, as she was trying to runaway from her family farm at the time the twister touches downed.

Upon her arrival in Oz, she recruits new friends and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard, will help her return home.

“Oz” is a cinematic treasure directed by Victor Fleming of “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and was adapted from L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book, “The Wonderful World of Oz.”

“Oz” is a unique cinematic experience which treats the viewer to a template of dark, dust-toned images when the story takes place in Kansas versus a blast of lavish-infused Technicolor when in the magical land of Oz.

This was a big deal back in the time of production as black and white films were still the meat and mashed potatoes of the film industry.

“Oz” has been deemed one of the greatest films ever made time and time again on prestigious cinema lists and should be viewed at least once on the big screen as it was intended.

“Oz” is still important today as it was the first time we saw it in our youth because the themes, journey or desires resonate with each of us.

For some of us, this happiness we are searching for comes from knowing we have surrounded ourselves with a loving family and close circle of true friends.

For others happiness cannot be found over a rainbow or at the end of a yellow brick road but deep within ourselves.

You must use your brains, heart and courage to believe in yourself to find what you are looking for.

It was there all the time right in your own backyard or under your nose.

“The Wizard of Oz” will be presented by Fathom Events and Warner Brothers as part of the Turner Classic Movie Big Screen Series.

TCM host Ben Mankiewicz will present special commentary before and after the film.

Show times are 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hamburg Pavilion 16, Cinemark at Fayette Mall and Cinemark at Richmond Hills.

Have a film-tastic day.

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society ( Find more from Rick on Facebook at and online at He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at