It's difficult to imagine The Wizard of Oz as a commercial flop. But when Victor Fleming's 1939 fantasy flick starring Judy Garland and a pair of sequinned red heels was first released, its producers failed to recoup their costs. Since then, thanks to countless TV screenings, the film has become so deeply ingrained in the American cultural consciousness that people often forget they're watching an adaptation of a children's novel, L. Frank Baum's 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The film has in turn spawned dozens of knockoffs, from musicals like Wicked to the TV mini-series, Tin Man. Critical polls frequently rank Oz among the top ten best movies of all time. The American Film Institute voted composer Harold Arlen's schmaltzy-melodious signature number, "Over the Rainbow" as the greatest movie song ever written. The San Francisco Symphony joins the Cult of Oz this holiday season when the orchestra performs Arlens lush symphonic film score alongside a gorgeously re-mastered screening of the classic. Tonight, a Wizard of Oz Party precedes the show, with Davies Hall decked out in Emerald City décor and Oz-inspired drinks at the bar. Audience members are encouraged to unleash their inner Munchkins by dressing up as their favorite characters.
The party starts at 6.
Dec. 20-22, 7 p.m., 2007