The Wizard of Oz was an American film directed by Victor Fleming and released in 1939, based on the 1900 book by L. Frank Baum, and has remained a popular classic in the hearts and minds of many, with its success in spawning an imaginative new mythos with its share of memorable Wizard of Oz quotes, quips, characters, settings, and other whimsical elements.
The plot revolves around the character of Dorothy Gale, a girl who lives in rural Kansas with her Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, and three notable farmhands. Following an unpleasant run-in with Miss Almira Gulch, Doroth runs away from home and comes across a fortune-telling figure named Professor Marvel. Using keen observation, he deduces her situation, and encourages her to return home. However, a vicious windstorm with a twister kicks up, and Dorothy is unable to take shelter in the storm cellar, and must resort to entering the house; soon, the house is picked up altogether, carried away. At this point, when the house lands, the movie switches to full Technicolor and Dorothy awakens to discover the whimsical, mythical land of Oz, where she makes new friends and has incredible adventures within an elaborate setting that lends itself to memorable Wizard of Oz quotes, such as the following.
Miss Gulch: Gale?
Uncle Henry Gale: Well howdy, Miss Gulch.
Miss Gulch: I want to see you and your wife right away about Dorothy!
Uncle Henry Gale: Dorothy? Well, what has Dorothy done?
Miss Gulch: What she’s done? I’m all but lame from the bite on my leg!
Uncle Henry Gulch: Oh! You mean she bit you?
Miss Gulch: No, her dog!
Uncle Henry Gulch: Oh, she bit her dog, eh?
Miss Gulch: No!
Farmhand Zeke: [to pigs] Get in there, before I make a dime bank out of you.
Auntie Em Gale: Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now… well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!
Dorothy: Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Cowardly Lion: Alright, I’ll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I’ll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I’m going in there. There’s only one thing I want you fellows to do.
Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow: What’s that?
Cowardly Lion: Talk me out of it!
Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the ape in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow, Dorothy: Courage!
Cowardly Lion: You can say that again? Huh?!
Wicked Witch of the West: The last to go will see the first three go before her. And her little dog, too.
Dorothy: Weren’t you frightened?
Wizard of Oz: Frightened? Child, you’re talking to a man who’s laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom, and chuckled at catastrophe. I was petrified.
Wizard of Oz: You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage. You’re confusing courage with wisdom.
Guardian of the Emerald City: Orders are nobody can see the Great Oz! Not nobody, not nohow!
Wizard of Oz: A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
Wizard of Oz: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Dorothy: Oh, but anyway, Toto, we’re home. Home! And this is my room, and you’re all here. And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and… oh, Auntie Em – there’s no place like home!
From such a memorable film surely comes many more Wizard of Oz quotes; whether they are cleverly funny, heartwarmingly captivating, or joyfully entertaining, these are the best Wizard of Oz quotes of the bunch.