The Wizard of Oz on television in the late 60s/early 70s

Another question about WoO.

When I was a wee lad, in the days before VHS, we could only watch The Wizard of Oz once a year.

I distinctly remember that in one, maybe two, years the movie was spread over two nights. I remember specifically, because I remember when it was shown on one night the next year.

Considering it’s not even a two hour movie, I don’t know why it would be spread out. but, both my wife and I remember that happening,

Interestingly Wikipedia has an article dedicated just to TV show times. It does not mention any two-day showings.

Is this another case of the Bearnstein Bears alternate ending to Big, or is Wikipedia wrong (or incomplete)? Does anyone else remember split showings in the late 60s to early 70s?

I certainly recall it being on TV once a year; it was a big treat in the pre-VHS days.

I don’t ever remember it being shown in two parts over two nights though. What I do remember, or found out later on VHS, is that we all got shuffled off to bed prior to the final scene with Dorothy waking up in bed with all the supporting cast around her! Gee, thanks mum for making us perennially miss such an important scene!

I remember an announcement on one station that it was about to start on a different channel, and we should probably go watch that instead.

When West Side Story first aired, they split it up into two nights. I was in 6th grade and wasn’t able to watch, because reasons. I hadn’t seen the movie and didn’t know anything about it. The first night ended just as the Jets and the Sharks were heading out to the rumble. When I got to school in the morning, all the 6th grade boys had split up into two groups and were marching around the playground. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Playing Jets and Sharks,” one guy said.

The teachers were standing off to the side, freaking out, probably wondering if anybody was going to bring a knife to school the next day…

I don’t recall it ever being shown over two nights. There was no reason to.

Now they sometimes reran it a few days later.

If it were just me, I’d say I was mistaken. I know Guns of Navarone took two nights. Or so I remember. :smiley: Maybe I’m crossing them up. But my wife agrees with me.

I was in 11th grade, and my friends and I did the same thing, except down the halls of our high school. I now suspect this happened all over the United States the morning after the show.

I can see the confusion, from IMDB:

“Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.”


I’m trying to remember the first time I saw it on a color TV. The entrance to Oz is a bit different on a color TV. Not to mention the horse of a different color.

I’d watch that!

“See that man? the scarecrow? He’s going to kill me when this is over.”

German Officer: “I vill get jou, mein pretty.”

I don’t know about TWoO being shown over two nights. That said, I remember *Oz *being shown around Thanksgiving, while some people swear it was shown around Easter.

(Easter, personally, I always associate with *The Ten Commandments, * ecclesiastical dichotomies notwithstanding…)

I watched faithfully every year thru most of the 60’s (63-69, I suspect) but don’t recall it being split into two nights at any time during that era or any other. I probably watched it a time or two in the early 70’s but was certainly missing years here and there in that decade.

Shown around Halloween of course! Nightmares about the monkeys (but not as scary as the last night of summer camp!) B&W TV.

On of my house mates first saw it on in color while smoking dope at the back of film-studies theatre. Let out a big wa-ooooe when it switched to color. When the lights came up later, the lecturer remarked that /somebody/ hadn’t seen it in color previously…

I don’t remember two nights, but I’m sure they cut it some for a few years in the early 70s. The part they cut out was the Scarecrow’s bit- “they took my legs and they threw them over there, and they…”. Cut to castle with marching ugly soldiers singing.

As a kid I also watched the airing of The Wizard of Oz once a year, but I believe it was shown in a single night. The only two-night annual movie I remember was The Ten Commandments shown on Easter weekend. Though I recall the network also had a marathon single night showing some years, but can’t remember if was before or after the 2-night presentation.

It used to be around Thanksgiving/Chanukah. Then they started showing it at Easter.

Our baby sister was deathly afraid of WoO. I don’t think she’s ever watched it. When I had to babysit her my ‘go to’ was to tell her it was coming on TV tonight and we’re watching it. She must think they showed it every week, poor child. Excuse me while I go shoot off a email to her.:slight_smile:

Could it have been that it was on twice in full, but one time was earlier than the other, and you had to go to bed before it was finished the first time?

We didn’t get color until 1973 or so. Up to that time, the point where she opens the house door in Munchkinland was not so amazing. :smiley:

Reminds me of seeing it in college in 1971. Just about everyone in the audience had taken some mind-altering substance or other, and their screams of terror at the tornado and witch, or oohs and aahs over the color, etc, were almost more entertaining than the movie.

Back to the OP, I saw it on (B & W) tv every year once I was old enough in the 1950’s and before I felt I was too grown up for it in the 1960’s, and it was always in one showing, not broken up over two nights.

My family didn’t watch much TV when I was growing up, and I don’t think we had a color TV until I was 16 or maybe older - maybe not until after I went off to college.

So Oz was in B&W for us, just like Kansas was. Had no idea that Oz was in color, and Kansas wasn’t, until much later.