The Wizard of Oz is coming to IMAX this September. Here are nine other (less obvious) choices that deserve the same opportunity.
Get out your Billie Burke shrine, because The Wizard of Oz is coming to IMAX theaters this September. You know what that means: flying, horrifying monkeys now 10-15x larger than you remember! Bert Lahr’s flowing mane practically spilling into your lap! Margaret Hamilton’s nose jolts down at you like a giant green stalactite. I’m psyched. And better yet, I hope The Wizard of Oz is a success in IMAX screenings so that several other deserving classics get their chance on the biggest screens of all. Here are my eight suggestions for fine IMAX fare.
1. Rear Window
Rear Window is set entirely within a New York apartment complex in the hottest days of summer, but what a vivid, bustling, and sometimes depressing spectacle of a residence it is! Realized in IMAX, the apartments visible from L.B. Jeffries’ (James Stewart) binoculars could become an even more interactive experience. At the time, the set was the largest Paramount had ever built, and therefore, it’s the Hitchcock movie most suitable for a grandiose re-release. Other treats that would look fiiiiine blown up on IMAX: Grace Kelly‘s famous close-up kiss, Raymond Burr‘s chilling glance, Thelma Ritter‘s second-to-none smirk.
And speaking of small set movies: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is blatant in its stage-to-screen transition, offering us dizzying close-ups of the movie’s four main characters time and again in the same New England house. But those are four close-ups worth expanding; Richard Burton‘s quivering rancor, Elizabeth Taylor‘s bellowing rage, George Segal‘s naive naughtiness, and Sandy Dennis‘ flighty feverishness would take on a more heartstopping tone in IMAX. Think of the climactic “dance” scene!
3. The Poseidon Adventure
Disaster movies were built for IMAX, and since I know I’m not going to get much support for The Swarm (Lee Grant, Olivia de Havilland, Richard Chamberlain, Slim Pickens, and Henry Fonda, anyone?), I’ll settle for The Poseidon Adventure, where Shelley Winters alerts us that she has greater screen presence than a gigantic boat, and Roddy McDowall looks mighty fine in his ’40s. It’s easy to forget, but a remade version called Poseidon was released for IMAX in 2006. If it’s not your favorite Richard Dreyfuss/Jacinda Barrett caper, you’re crazy.
Frankly, there aren’t many movies that truly showcase the cinematic flash of L.A. American Gigolo and Chinatown come to mind, but why settle for those when you can also see Warren Beatty‘s Bert Convy-esque hair and otherworldly tight jeans on a gargantuan projection? Julie Christie and Lee Grant fighting for authority over that auburn bob haircut is my version of WWE Smackdown.