The Wizard of Oz – scary movie?

CBS Morning News reported an interest in identifying the scariest movie people have seen. Seconds before host Anthony Mason confirmed my wife’s choice, she said “The Wizard of Oz.” Mason echoed her choice as his scariest.

First, what is your scariest movie and why? Second, did “The Wizard of Oz” scare you as a kid as it did my wife and Mason?

Thinking of Oz from a kids perspective, the witch is pretty scary by herself. But, I was scared by the mean talking trees. Yet, we should not forget the flying monkeys or the Oz icon.

As for other scary movies, my scariest is “The Omen,” with Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. I saw “The Exorcist” later, so I was more prepared for it. But, when I think of “The Exorcist,” I recall a local movie critic saying it scared him so much, he drove his car to his front steps and made sure his house key was right-side up before he left the car.

The first “Halloween,” with Jamie Lee Curtis and the fabulous Donald Pleasance is also top-of-mind scary. This was Curtis’ first starring role and Pleasance plays an interesting troubled man, whether he is evil or trying to prevent evil as in this movie.

Let me know your scariest. But, beware of falling houses, talking trees, flying monkeys and most of all, men behind the curtain.

22 thoughts on “The Wizard of Oz – scary movie?

      • Yes! That scene made my daughter jump off the sofa! More subtle, lets call it escalating sense of dread – the villainous family in Pete’s Dragon. Go figure.

      • I don’t think we ever saw Pete’s Dragon. Disney movies were not always kicks and giggles – Snow White and the apple scene, not to mention the hunter being sent to shoot her with a bow and arrow.

  1. When I was a kid I was thoroughly scared by “The Thing.” But “Psycho” would be my nominee for the scariest movie — though I have assiduously avoided trying to scare myself of late!

    • Hugh, I am with you on scary movie avoidance. “Psycho” does qualify in my view. Its funny, the scariest scenes are the ones that could actually happen. In a scary movie called “The Kiss” with Martin Sheen about a voodoo parasite, the scariest moment was at the start when his wife was messing with a faulty toaster and someone spilled milk. She under feet was electrocuted. I remember vividly Sheen telling his daughter “don’t touch her!” Keith

  2. For me, I think it was Stephen King’s “The Shining” … to this day, I walk into a bathroom and half expect to see “REDRUM” on the mirror in red lettering. As for “The Wizard of Oz”, the flying monkeys petrified me and gave me nightmares, but the wicked witch of the west ran a close second. Have a great weekend, my friend!

  3. I’ve had two nightmares in my life..the first was after seeing the wizard of Oz and I dreamed that the witch was trying to get me… The second was at least 40 years later, and again it was about something evil trying to get me…

    I wonder what scared children most in today’s times. The world and culture have changed, and I fear that today’s innocents are not able to stay innocent as long as we….

    • Lisa, well said. I am watching a news report on the poverty that impacts everyone in Venezuela, especially the kids. They cannot go to school as they help parents forage for recyclables to sell and thrown away food. Keith

      • Poverty is everywhere, but as someone in Costa Rica once pointed out to me (with sensitivity) “In Costa Rica there is poverty, but people are not suffering. In Nicaragua, there is poverty and suffering.’
        Returning from Poza Honda, I was about ten minutes into the drive into the city when I approached a traffic light, one of many. Many Venezuelans are at every light, asking to wash windshields, selling candy, sodas… There was one middle-aged woman and three children just sitting to the side, and they touched my heart greatly. She had ‘character’ in her face; she did not want to be there, but she had few options – and returning to her homeland was not a good one. How many places in the world does that same scene play — and it’s so hard to know what to do……. not like in Phil Collins’ song ‘Another Day in Paradise.’

        I almost drove to the mall to buy all four a cheese burger or something ‘worthy’ – not just rejects.. Alas, the truck was loaded and I needed to get home – – – but did I really ‘need’ to get home?
        Her image haunts me, as does the homeless man who sometimes sleeps on the sidewalk on the same block as the apartment. They prompt me to look inward, so their presence is important to my own growth.

  4. I am going to go for ‘The Sweet Smell of Success ‘. The reason why. The god-complex monster that is J. J. Hunsecker and the conniving opportunist Sidney Falco are all too real, they are out there now.
    (The best performances by Lancaster and Curtis ever, and that’s saying something)

    • Roger, I have not seen that one, but now want to. There is another you reminded me of called “A Face in the crowd” with Andy Griffith playing Lonesome Rhodes, a down home southern boy who realized the power of TV. He showed what a Trump could do by using the medium. These are scary people when unleashed. Keith

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