The PoweR of Oz

      34 Comments on The PoweR of Oz

It’s holiday movie season, and as I again watched the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz last week, it reinforced the powerful role it has played in my thinking throughout my life. I began to wonder how many others have also been influenced by a line or image from a favorite movie.

There were quotes within Oz which informed me as a child and stayed with me. Most were uttered by the Wizard himself as he attempted to give Dorothy’s companions what they sought. “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others,” he tells the Tin Man, wise words that have guided my own approach to friends and family. He says to the Cowardly Lion, “You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you’re confusing courage with wisdom.” In other words, select your fights carefully and never be afraid to avoid conflict. My favorite, unforgettable observation was provided by the Scarecrow: “Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?” Yes, Scarecrow, they do.

Another wisdom-providing film was also made before I was born. In 1946’s It’s A Wonderful Life, self-sacrificing George Bailey defends his working class neighbors to the uncaring, ethically-challenged Mr. Potter. “Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this ‘rabble’ you’re talking about… they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?” This line reinforced the profound importance of empathy and fairness. George’s guardian angel Clarence explains, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” and “Remember, George, no man is a failure who has friends.” They’re essential words to lean upon whenever we’re feeling down about ourselves.

Words and images can have tremendous power and, like public relations, movies often provide us with highly impactful messages. Which have left an impression on you? Your thoughts?

34 thoughts on “The PoweR of Oz

  1. Maya

    I think that like with PR, a good movie will have an effect on you. It’ll move you or make you feel some sort of way. The way lessons can come through in a movie is similar to how messages are passed through a campaign.

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  2. Aisha Buchanan

    It is amazing how images and quotes can resonate with a person or group of people. For me , I can’t think of a movie that resonated with me but there is a tv show that I love that drops important jewels from time to time. The show “Being Mary Jane” is about a Black woman news anchor trying to adjust herself in the business. One quote that stuck with me is “people don’t throw stones at fruitless trees.”

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    1. Summer

      My favorite line from a movie is in the 1994 movie, “The Road To Freedom: The Vernon Johns Story starring actor James Earl Jones who portrayed the late Baptist preacher, civil rights leader, and predecessor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The quote says, ” My daddy always said, if you see a good fight, get in it. ” I enjoy this quote because this inspires me to advocate for others, which is the job of public relations professionals. Even before pursuing my master’s in PR I make sure I advocate for those who cant do for themselves.

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  3. Daniella Opabajo

    I am honestly not a big movie person so it is difficult for me to remember my favorite lines from movies. But if I had to pick one a line from a movie that stood out to me it has to be for the movie Shawshank Redemption, Tim Robbins said, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” I know that line might be harsh but I guess that is why it stood out to me. I took it as meaning, that life is too short and it best that take advantage of the most life has to offer, rather than worry about what you can control. Although I don’t remember much about the movie itself and I probably misinterpreted the meaning, that line has stayed with me. That is the amazing things about words, how I understand it may be different than someone else it is all up to interpretation.

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  4. Gianna Losquadro

    The Wizard of Oz, indeed has some great quotes. I genuinely feel that movies of an age gone by, such as The Wizard of Oz, had a more profound impact on viewers, often having great quotes and messages. As someone who once acted professionally, the value of reading the work of someone else, often sticks with you more than you could imagine. Two quotes, one from film and television, both with similar meanings have continued to stick with me. “After all tomorrow is another day!” from Gone with the Wind and “No matter how dark it gets, the sun’s gonna rise again.” from Grey’s Anatomy have similar meanings. I’m guilty of being someone that forgets that life is more than just one particular moment. As a Type A somewhat perfectionist, I often forget, that there is always tomorrow. The sun will set, the sun will rise. Though something may seem bad today, tomorrow is always another day. While striving to do your best, is always a good idea, I need to remember to take things day by day.

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  5. Raffaella Tonani

    Lines from movies, tv shows, lectures etc move its public. Personally, there is so many that I do not remember all the lines I can relate to, but, I write them down. One that I heard again a few days ago was Rafiki’s line in Lion King ““The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.”
    That has become one of my personal mantras. I thought I discovered it through personal means, but maybe, it resonated in me before I realized it. It is true and powerful, even when an experience was painful and we cannot realize this at that time, we can learn from it.

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  6. Meghan Von Elm

    I have to admit, the Wizard of Oz is not my favorite movie. But I do agree that it has some great lines in it, like the line to the Cowardly Lion about confusing fear with wisdom. All too often, people jump to conclusions and get into premature fights with others and ultimately regret it in the end. We must think before we act. That’s always something my parents told me growing up, and it has stuck with me throughout life. As for my favorite movie quote, it has to be from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Ferris says, “Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” That line is so true. Think of how much of life we take for granted because we’re always on the go. I’m guilty of it, too. Especially in this day in age, people have trouble putting on the breaks and enjoying the little things in life. We may not be able to play hookie a lot like Ferris, but we can take a few minutes out of our days to sit, relax, and think about all the things that we enjoy in life.

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  7. Matthew Leong

    Very often, classic films are very corny. They do, however, always contain some “lesson” within them. For example, the wizard of Oz depicts that appearances are not everything. Everything that the characters were searching for, was within them the whole time. The message, although corny, is very important to understand. It’s important to have these core values and the classic movies like Wizard of Oz enforce them in a way thats somewhat entertaining.

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  8. Ian Budding

    I think the smartest thing I’ve heard from classic movies like these two is from “The Wizard of Oz” when he explains to the Cowardly Lion that he was “confusing courage with wisdom.” I’ve always tried to choose my battles wisely throughout my life and I think that’s why I’ve never been in a fight before. As much as a person is being provoked, you can’t surrender to the pressure to look like the tougher person. That’s why sometimes, the toughest person in a fight is the one to walk away, mostly because of the way he/she chose to approach the conflict. I feel like that’s me sometimes, always wondering whether I should’ve done something different and actually stand up for myself. I guess I just haven’t found a reason to stay around in a fight yet.

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  9. Shayla Sales

    Classic movies such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” are timeless for there meaningful messages and portraying life lessons in such a beautiful and creative way. I enjoy movies for exactly this reason. It allows for self-reflection and growth which makes these movies so powerful to this day. A Christmas Carol was a movie that resonated with me since the first time I watched it. Although, Im not an old miser who despises Christmas I enjoyed the message behind the movie and how creatively it was depicted! I found the transformation of Ebenezer beautiful and saw genuine happiness in him at the end.

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  10. Chris Bounds

    The two movie genres that I have learned multiple key points that I have used to guide myself throughout my young life are Scifi and Fantasy. I credit these two genres because they have taught me how to think infinitely. Movies like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Inception have contributed to the development of my brain and how I perceive my thought process. Even if all of the jargon terms they use or physics of these imaginary words don’t seem possible at first. One never truly knows. These types of movies are reflections of the human imagination. Our imaginations are our most powerful tools as human beings. Without our imaginations, many of our inventions, policies, and cultural environments would not have been able to come to be.

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  11. Justin Ayala

    Movies have always been a huge part of my life growing up! Some of my best memories as a kid are watching a movie I love with family and friends. I associate a lot of movies with childhood memories so when watching them again it makes me reminisce. Watching movies or going to the movies is an activity that I do with my family a lot. Now that it is holiday season, watching movies with the family will start happening again!

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  12. Patrick Picarsic

    When I was majoring in Music Industry at Oneonta, I had a class with professor Charlie Dahan. As the semester came to an end he told us: “You can pretty much forget everything you’ve learned in this class, but if you want to be successful in the music industry, you have to be able to quote from this movie at will. So, we spent the last two classes watching “This is Spinal Tap” “…our’s go to eleven.”

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  13. Steven Freitag

    Movies and Television have always been a part of my life since I sat down in front a TV screen. While I grew up on cartoons including Spongebob Squarepants, my parents would watch whatever they found enjoyable, and I watched too. My dad mostly watched NCIS, Law & Order and CSI reruns which have gotten me desensitized to shootings and such a little more than I should have been as a kid. My mom would watch home repair and design shows, helping me develop my eye for designs that look good. One movie that left me with a lasting memory as a small child was “Remember the Titans.” As a little boy it taught me that my friends are important, but my family is even more important. It also taught me that you never know what you’re lucky to have until it’s gone.

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  14. Nichole Bingham

    I think classic movies such as The Wizard of Oz and It’s A Wonderful Life leave behind great life lessons for people to think about. One of my favorite movies that I used to watch as a child (and till this day) is Anastasia (1997). It is an animated film about a woman named Anya (Anastasia) who has no recollection of her past except for a necklace with the words “Together in Paris” written on it. She then sets out on a journey to find out more about her past and where she came from. What I love the most about this movie is how fierce and brave Anya is. She never gave up hope and was determined to find her way back home to her family. This movie taught me that giving up isn’t an option. You have to believe and fight for what’s yours.

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  15. Paula Chirinos

    “Timeless” movies such as the Wizard of Oz, indeed have profound impact on the minds of its viewers. One film in particular stands out in my mind: Bambi. The movie was made years before I was born of course but when my family first moved to the U.S., all we had to watch on TV were VHS tapes that my grandma saved from when she first came into the country. Most of them were Disney films and Bambi was my favorite out of the bunch. I would follow Thumper’s Golden Rule at multiple points in my life (even as a college student): “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”.

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  16. Haley Nemeth

    Movies and other forms of entertainment play a huge role in how people might act and think in their lives. When I was younger my dad had the Wizard of OZ on a loop, so I would say that movie definitely had an impact. One lesson that I learned from the movie was to be nice to everybody you meet, no matter how different they are from you. Dorthy was nice to everyone she met even though the land and people of OZ were unfamiliar to her. Another lesson I learned from the movie was that you have power within yourself. The characters had what they wanted within themselves the entire plot of the movie For example, Dorthy had the means to get home the whole time. On the surface movies are just seen as entertainment, but when one takes a closer look they teach important lessons that can be carried out in the real-world.

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  17. Brianna Flynn

    There are so many movies that I’ve watched that have had symbols and quotes that stick with me still today. For some reason I really enjoy twisted love movies, like Bonnie and Clyde and True Romance. A quote from True Romance, a film by Quentin Tarantino, that I really love is: “Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you’re so cool, you’re so cool, you’re so cool.” Love movies like these where the guy never crosses the line with his girl but will cross the line with anyone who crosses the line with his girl has always been so admirable to me. However, I have never aspired to have a juvenile and chaotic romance. What I have grasped from these kinds of movies and what I value about them is that it’s good to have a love that you would defend to the end, but only if your lover deserves to be defended. In other words, don’t become a criminal because you fall in love with one. Regardless, it’s still so fun to watch the tales of criminal couples unfold.

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  18. Kaitlyn Cusumano

    Whether we choose and like to admit it or not, we as a society are greatly impacted by the movies and television shows we watch. Our culture is greatly influenced by the things we watch. Movies are most often times made with a message in mind that they want the viewers to understand. We may not even realize at the time we are trying to be told a message nor do we realize that those messages are being carried out throughout our lives. We may also come in contact with a real life conflict where a scene or a line from a movie helps us in some way or another get through or come to an easier resolution.

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  19. Unice Kim

    I agree that there are many movies or shows out there that have made a long lasting impression on me. Movies like The Wizard of Oz have a really deep meaning. I use these meanings from movies in my life all the time.

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  20. Jeffrey Werner

    I know this may seem a little strange, but one of my favorite movies was “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” because I am a huge NASCAR fan. Rick Bobby lives his entire life by one phrase that his father told him when he was 10-years-old. “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” While that may not make sense if you take the phrase literally, there is a deep meaning behind it. To me, it meant if you didn’t put your best in, then it’s as good as the guy who put in little effort. Sstrive for the absolute best and always improve if you don’t get it right the first time until you get it right the last time.

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  21. Greg Liodice

    Television and movies have always been a major part of my life. I always viewed these aspects of an escape from whatever bothered me and they were able to bring me a lot of laughs and knowledge. I was more of a television person myself with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air being my favorite show. The show brought a lot of humor but also gave me more wisdom than I would’ve thought. The main character Will, was a kid from Philadelphia who didn’t really take life all that seriously, until his mother moved him to Bel-Air, California with his aunt and uncle to learn morals and how to live a better life. It was until the final episode, Will was all grown up, ready to move out on his own and take on the real world. The show made me learn a lot of lessons, and was a staple during my nights before going to bed.

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  22. Ana G Canahuate Torres

    A movie that provided an important message along with images was the Polar Express. The film gave a message to young children about the things one has to enjoy during Christmas, one example is family how quickly one can often forget when growing up and the tradition of getting together. The Devil Wears Prada is my favorite film and also made an impact when I was growing. The theme of trying something new and getting out of your comfort zone if not knowing what you want can make you lose your focus on the dream you want accomplish. For Anne Hathaway the lead character was to work at the New York Times as a journalist rather than being Miranda’s right hand assistent.

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  23. Jessica Gilmour

    Movies and books have been a shaping force in who I am. I remember when I was younger watching a movie called, “Pay it Forward.” It showed that one person can make a giant difference in the world. It was so interesting to watch one person turn one good deed into a string of kind acts paid forward. With all of the hate and segregation happening in the world, it is nice to think that people can come together to make the world better just by not asking for anything in return.

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  24. czackarypenn

    Movies and television have become increasingly more influential over society in recent years as television has moved from black and white televisions to laptops phones and tablets. People’s favorite movie characters and film messages can influence the way they think and act. I personally love movies that have a strong message of the complexities of human ethical dilemmas and problems. I personally prefer movies such as Traffic and Crash star ensemble casts and take on different issues of American culture – drugs and racism, respectively – and finish with open-ended concepts and are open to interpretation.

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  25. Yvette Wiafe

    As the world experiences a wave of gender and racial equality, the movie “Selma” comes to mind. It tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaign for equal voting rights. For me, the movie made me realize the struggles of people in the past. I acknowledge that we have made progress as a society however there are a lot more we can do to reduce the imbalance and make us stronger together,

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  26. Delaney Barac

    My favorite movie, Stuck In Love has a great quote in it : “I get these flashes of clarity, brilliant clarity, where, for a second I stop and I think, wait, this is it, this is my life. I better slow down and enjoy it because one day we’re all gonna end up in the ground.” The characters in the movie all were able to take a step back from their hectic lives and appreciate what they have. I often think about this movie when I focus too much on my future or what comes next, and I remember that I need to live in the moment and enjoy my life where it is right now.

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  27. Megan Pohlman

    As Christmas is quickly approaching, I spent my Thanksgiving break getting in the spirit by watching one of my favorite Christmas movies – Elf. Although it is meant to be a comedy, Buddy the Elf shows me the way people should be all the time. He is not afraid to say exactly how he is feeling. For example, he tells the girl that he thinks is pretty, “You have such a pretty face. You should be on a Christmas card!” I believe the world would be a better place if we just complimented people as Buddy the Elf does. Society has been filled with a lot of hate lately, but if we filled the world with as much of love Buddy does, it might be a little more peaceful to live in. It might sound silly, but Elf has taught me to love as much as I can and always try to see the best in people. Additionally, I agree that many movies, if not all, do have an impact on our lives in one way or another.

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  28. Rosaria Rielly

    Movies are ways that important messages could be sent through the plot lines and the dialogues between the characters. Some of the quotes said in certain movies are famously known and recreated, so much so that sometimes one would recognize the quote but would not recognize where it originated from. I am not a huge movie buff, and for that reason I do not have a favorite movie, although I do enjoy many of the classics and enjoy being able to recognize those famous movie quotes. Movies like the Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind are timeless classics that most people have probably seen at some point or another, and have quotes that are easily remembered. Other “classic” movies like Forrest Gump, and even Disney animation movies like Toy Story and The Lion King are movies that everyone loves to watch and that everyone probably knows a quote from because of how memorable the storyline and the characters are. Movies are not just always used as entertainment methods, but are also used as ways to connect one another from the relatable story lines and the messages they give.

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  29. Owen Lewis

    One film that left a considerable impression on me when I was younger is called “Enter the Void”. It’s graphic, and many of the images in the film are designed to provoke, but the overwhelming message about life and the ephemeral nature of it changed how I thought of the world. It’s a trip of a film, but it can open ones perspective through its fanciful story.

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  30. Kristina Barry

    I think a lot of people forget that movies give a lot more to people than just entertainment. If you take a step back and take in what you have watched you may realize that there’s also a lesson to be learned. For me I think the movie that was most impactful was Remember the Titans. The scene that sticks with me most in when they are in the locker room and sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. This scene represents the idea that no matter what you are facing you should never back down, nothing is easy and you should always face your fears head on. We should no let our limitations and fear control us. In the end that is what they did, the Titans faced all of their challenges from adversity to discrimination. And that is something I carry with me everyday, never back down.

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  31. Abby

    Movies are more then just watching something for entertainment purposes. I took a literature through cinema course in high school and ever since then I have been really interested in how movies are made and what their messages are. Funny enough my favorite movie is Fight Club. I appreciate the cinematic quality of it. I also feel the story line is very intriguing and interesting. The narrator struggles with his everyday life and needs to find some sort of release for all of his stress. Which I’m sure a lot of us feel that way sometimes (although I wouldn’t join a fight club to reduce that stress). Fight Club is one of those movies that are famous for a reason; the plot line is interesting, it uses lots of elements from the book which most movies do not and it is visually pleasing for the audience.

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  32. claudiabarnard

    Movies do leave a huge impact on our lives, especially our favorite movies. The Wizard of Oz does have some very good lines in it that can help anyone going through struggles in life. My favorite movie, The Devil Wears Prada, will always stick with me. I can basically quote the movie from start to finish. But what is most meaningful about that movie to me is that the character Anne Hathaway plays worked really hard and had powerful lines that motivate me to work harder.

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  33. McKenna Heim

    The movie that has made the most prominent impression on my life was actually the Saw Series. It sounds a little freaky, (because it is) but I learned about the darker side of humanity and saw a lot of vigilantee-ism in a way. Something that stuck out in the first film of the eight-part installment was when a character in one of Saw (John Kramer)’s traps, Dr. Gordon, is chained up completely with another man in a small room and goes to the lengths to defend Kramer, saying “Actually, he’s never really killed anybody. He finds ways for victims to kill themselves.” That was chilling, and it didn’t inspire anything from me obviously but I thought it was a good way to foreshadow such a long run for a movie series. Then throughout the films you hear Kramer constantly ‘defending’ his work without even making an effort defending it…that it was a way of getting ‘justice.’ Of course it’s wrong and inhumane but it was extremely interesting, and especially for me, a horror movie connoisseur.

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