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TINTED SCENES, ENHANCED QUALITY BENEFIT `WIZARD OF OZ’ VIDEO

SHARE TINTED SCENES, ENHANCED QUALITY BENEFIT `WIZARD OF OZ’ VIDEO

If you didn't get to "The Wizard of Oz" at the Avalon Theater, you can still catch it there Monday or Tuesday, a wonderful pristine 35mm presentation on the big screen, which includes the restoration of the original sepia-tinted Kansas sequences instead of black and white. This is the way the filmmakers intended the film to be shown until MGM cut back on the budget.

And now MGM/UA Home Video has announced it will release "The Wizard of Oz: The Golden 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition" August 15 at $24.95 (and a $5 rebate). It will include the tinted scenes and will also have improved audio and visual qualities to enhance the entire presentation on tape.What? That's not enough to entice you to buy a new copy?

How about this?

In addition to the original sepia Kansas sequences, after the closing credits several more special features will be on the tape: A sequence that was cut from the film, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow reprising "If I Only Had a Brain" (which is also available in the compilation film "That's Dancing!"); a home-movie shooting of a rehearsal of the now lost "Jitterbug" dance, with the original soundtrack of that song; Judy Garland at the Academy Awards accepting a special Oscar for the movie; the film's original theatrical previews; and a test sequence of Buddy Ebsen performing "If I Only Had a Heart," shot when Ebsen had been cast as the Tin Man (he had to drop out of the production when he developed an allergic reaction to the Tin Man makeup).

More enticing now, isn't it?

-MORE VIDEO NEWS: Buena Vista Home Video - Walt Disney to you - has officially announced it will release "Bambi" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" for the Christmas season, and MCA Home Video - aka Universal Pictures - will release "The Land Before Time" in competition.

Certainly Disney will corner the majority of the Christmas video market as "Bambi" goes on sale Sept. 28 for $26.99, then follows with "Roger Rabbit" on Oct. 12 for $22.99. And if that's not enough additional $3 rebates will be available for both.

"The Land Before Time" will get a two-week jump on "Bambi," going on sale Sept. 14 for $24.95.

Bargain-shoppers should keep in mind, however, that if retailers treat these three titles as they did "Cinderella" and "E.T." last year, you'll probably be able to find them for $19.95 or even lower.

Kind of makes you look forward to fall already, doesn't it?

-RATINGS UPDATES: As mentioned in a previous column, "Batman" is rated PG-13, but for youngsters who have wondered about "Ghostbusters II," it has received the same rating as the first "Ghostbusters," PG.

Meanwhile, "License to Kill," the new James Bond movie, has received a PG-13 - the first Bond film of the 18 in and out of the official series, to receive a more harsh rating than PG.

-EVER WONDER WHY Jessica Rabbit didn't get as much exposure in the merchandising market as her husband Roger Rabbit?

Rumor has it Disney was afraid Jessica had too much exposure to warrant exposure . . . so to speak. And admittedly, she is a bit on the racy side.

But a change of heart has apparently taken place. With the new cartoon short "Tummy Trouble," which will play in theaters with "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" starting June 28, and in which Jessica appears as a nurse, Disney is planning to make available a Jessica Rabbit keychain, a figurine and other items, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The article said Disney is using discretion, however. A bid by Budweiser to use Jessica in a beer ad was turned down.

-QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Leonard Nimoy, director/actor, who helmed "Star Trek III" and "Star Trek IV," playing Spock in both films:

"I don't enjoy acting and directing in the same movie. I admire people who do it, but I don't want to try it again, particularly when I have a two-hour makeup job every morning. It becomes a physical drag at 5 o'clock in the morning."

-QUOTE OF THE WEEK II: Madonna, in a Question-Answer interview in the March 23rd Rolling Stone:

Q: How do you think old-line Hollywood sees you?

A: I don't really think they understand me well enough to think of me in any way. A lot of them see me as a singer.

Q: Do you consider yourself a movie star?

A: Yes, if I could be so immodest to say so.

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lIKE THE runaway tank in one of its wildest scenes, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" seemingly can't be stopped, raking in $21 million last week, a whopping $9,123 per screen in 1,327 theaters, for a total of $77 million.

Not content to break every record it could in its first week of release, "The Last Crusade" has broken records for its second week as well with the largest take ever in a film's first 12 days and the biggest earnings for a second weekend. If it hits $100 million this weekend it will break yet another record.

The success of "The Last Crusade" has kicked off what is anticipated as a hot summer movie season with expected huge openings for "Star Trek V," which opened Friday; "Ghostbusters II," which will open next Friday; and then, the following Friday . . . you guessed it, "Batman."

There were two newcomers to this week's box office toppers: "No Holds Barred" and "Renegades."

Hulk Hogan fans came out in force to make "No Holds Barred" No. 2, and while its take pales in comparison to "The Last Crusade," "No Holds Barred" earned $3,761 per screen in 1,318 theaters - no small potatoes.

"Renegades" didn't fare as well, however, coming in at No. 5, bringing in $1,890 per screen in 1,627 theaters.

"See No Evil, Hear No Evil" and "Field of Dreams," at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, did quite well, however.

And though it played its first week on only eight screens - and therefore didn't make the top 10 - "Dead Poets Society," starring Robin Williams, opened to phenomenal business, earning $42,557 per screen. That's a per-screen average higher than "The Last Crusade" earned in its opening days. "Dead Poets Society" opened in Salt Lake City Friday.