The Wizard of Oz



The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film is based on L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a resourceful girl from United States is snatched up by a Kansas tornado and deposited in a fantastic land of good and wicked witches, a talking scarecrow, a cowardly lion, a tin man, and more. It stars Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton. Despite its age, and intent as a musical fable for children, the film continues to generate a cult following, and retains its status as one of the most beloved feature films of all time.

Orphan Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) lives a simple life in Kansas with her Aunt Em (Clara Blandick), Uncle Henry (Charley Grapewin) and three colorful farm hands, Hunk (Ray Bolger), Zeke (Bert Lahr) and Hickory (Jack Haley). One day the stern neighbor Miss Gulch (Margaret Hamilton) is bitten by Dorothy's dog, Toto. Miss Gulch takes Toto away, by order of the sheriff, over the impassioned protests of Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Toto escapes and returns to Dorothy who is momentarily elated but soon realizes Miss Gulch will return. She decides to take Toto run away in search of a better life "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow."

On their journey Dorothy encounters Professor Marvel (Frank Morgan), a lovable but fake fortune teller who, out of concern for Dorothy, tricks her into believing Aunt Em is ill. Dorothy rushes back to the farm but is knocked unconscious, inside the house, by a sudden Kansas twister that has already forced her family into the storm cellar behind the house.

A confused Dorothy awakens to discover the house has been caught up in the twister. Through the bedroom window she sees Miss Gulch transform into a witch on a broomstick. Moments later the twister drops the house, Dorothy and Toto over the rainbow and into Oz. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke), arrives and informs Dorothy they are in Munchkinland. She tells Dorothy she has killed the ruby-slippered Wicked Witch of the East by "dropping a house" on her.

Encouraged by Glinda, the timid Munchkins come out of hiding and celebrate the demise of the witch until her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West appears to claim the powerful ruby slippers. Glinda magically transports the slippers onto Dorothy's feet and reminds the witch her power is ineffectual in Munchkinland. The witch vows revenge on Dorothy and leaves the same way she arrived, in a blaze of fire and smoke. Glinda tells Dorothy, who is anxious to return home, the only way to get back to Kansas is to ask the mysterious Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City for help. Glinda advises Dorothy to never take off the slippers and "follow the yellow brick road" to reach the Emerald City.

On her way Dorothy befriends a Scarecrow with no brain, (also played by Ray Bolger), a Tinman with no heart (also played by Jack Haley), and a Cowardly Lion (also played by Bert Lahr). Before Dorothy finds the Lion, she, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman, chant "lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" The three decide to accompany Dorothy to the Wizard in hopes of obtaining their desires (a brain, a heart and courage respectively). Along the way they are plagued by a forest of angry apple trees and several failed attempts by the witch to stop them.

They arrive at the Emerald City and are allowed to see the wizard only after the witch flies overhead, skywriting with her smoldering broomstick, "SURRENDER DOROTHY." The wizard (also played by Frank Morgan) appears as a terrifying floating head surrounded by fire and smoke. He agrees to help them only if they can prove themselves worthy by obtaining the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West.

On their way to the witch's castle they are attacked by flying monkeys, who carry Dorothy and Toto away and deliver her to the witch, who demands the ruby slippers. When Dorothy refuses the witch tries to remove them but is prevented by a shower of sparks. She realizes the shoes cannot be removed as long as Dorothy is alive and plots on how to destroy her.

Toto escapes and finds the scarecrow, tin man and lion and leads them to the castle. Once inside they free Dorothy and attempt an escape. The witch and her soldiers corner the group on a parapet, where the witch sets the Scarecrow on fire. To douse the flames, Dorothy throws water on them, and accidentally splashes water on the horrified witch, causing her to melt. To the group's surprise, the soldiers are delighted. They give Dorothy the broomstick to thank her for their liberation from the witch. Upon their return the wizard tells Dorothy and her companions, "Go away and come back tomorrow." Thanks to Toto they discover the wizard is not really a wizard at all, just a man behind a curtain. They are outraged at the deception, but the wizard solves their wishes through common sense and a little double talk rather than magic.

The wizard explains that he too was born in Kansas and his presence in Oz was the result of an escaped "hot air" balloon. He promises to take Dorothy home in the same balloon after leaving the scarecrow, tin man and lion in charge of Emerald City. Just before take off Toto jumps out of the balloon's basket after a cat. Dorothy jumps out to catch Toto and the wizard, unable to control the balloon, leaves without her. She is sadly resigned to spend the rest of her life in Oz until Glinda appears and tells her she can use the ruby slippers to return home with Toto. Glinda explains she didn't tell Dorothy at first because she needed to learn "if you can't find your heart's desire in your own backyard, then you never really lost it to begin with."

Dorothy and Toto say goodbye to their friends, and Dorothy follows Glinda's instructions to "tap your heels together and repeat the words, 'There's no place like home'." She awakens in her bedroom in Kansas surrounded by family and friends and tells them of her journey. Everyone laughs and tells her it was all a bad dream. A happy Dorothy, still convinced the journey was real, hugs Toto and says "There's no place like home."

In January 1938, MGM bought the rights to the book. The script was completed on October 8, 1938 (following numerous rewrites). Filming started on October 13, 1938 and was completed on March 16, 1939. The film premiered on August 12, 1939, and went into general release on August 25, 1939.

The movie's script was adapted by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, and Edgar Allan Woolf. Several people assisted with the adaptation without official credit: Irving Brecher, William H. Cannon, Herbert Fields, Arthur Freed, Jack Haley, E.Y. Harburg, Samuel Hoffenstein, Bert Lahr, John Lee Mahin, Herman J. Mankiewicz, Jack Mintz, Ogden Nash, and Sid Silvers. It was directed by Victor Fleming, Richard Thorpe (uncredited), George Cukor (uncredited), and King Vidor (uncredited). Costume design was by Adrian Greenburg.

The script went through a number of revisions before the final shooting. The original producers thought that a 1939 audience was too sophisticated to accept Oz as a straight-ahead fantasy; that was why it was reconceived as a lengthy, elaborate dream. Because of a perceived need to attract a youthful audience through appealing to modern fads and styles, the script originally featured Dorothy's journey as a series of musical contests[citation needed]. A spoiled, selfish princess in Oz (part written for Betty Jaynes) had outlawed all forms of music except classical and operetta, and went up against Dorothy in a singing contest in which Dorothy's swing style enchanted listeners and won the grand prize. Oddly enough, the song The Jitterbug, written in a swing style, was not intended for this sequence, but for the one in which the four are journeying to the Castle of the Wicked Witch. It was supposed to have taken place just before the group was attacked by the Flying Monkeys.

Casting the Wizard of Oz was problematic, with actors shifting roles repeatedly at the beginning of filming. One of the primary changes was in the role of the Tin Woodman. The Tin Man was originally slated for Ray Bolger, and Buddy Ebsen was to play the Scarecrow. Bolger was unhappy with the Tin Man's rigid costume, which made the bathroom breaks impractical and therefore included diapers, and which also made sitting down impossible ... thus requiring a "slant board" (a long sloping board) for the actor to lie on between shots in order to rest. Bolger convinced producer Mervyn LeRoy to recast him as the Scarecrow. Ebsen didn't object to the change at first; he recorded all his songs, went through all the rehearsals, and started filming with the rest of the cast[citation needed]. But nine days after filming began, he suffered a reaction to the aluminum powder makeup, as it had coated his lungs as he breathed it in while it was applied daily. Consequently, Ebsen (at that point in critical condition) had to be hospitalized and leave the project. MGM did not publicize the reasons for Ebsen's departure and not even his replacement, Jack Haley, initially knew the reason.

The makeup used on Jack Haley was quietly changed to an aluminum paste makeup: although it didn't have the same dire effect on Haley, he did at one point suffer from an unpleasant reaction to it. Despite his near-death experience with the makeup, Ebsen outlived all the principal players, although his film career was damaged by the incident and he wouldn't fully recover until the 1950s when he began a string of popular film and TV series appearances that would continue into the 1980s. Although his lungs had presumably recovered from the effects of the powder makeup, he eventually died from complications from pneumonia on July 6, 2003 at the age of 95, some 65 years after his near-fatal reaction to the makeup.

A 1975 book on the film's uncredited associate producer Arthur Freed (The World of Entertainment by Hugh Fordin), created with the full co-operation of Freed before his death, actually suggests that the actor was fired by Victor Fleming when he took over as director. In a later interview (included on the 2005 DVD release of Wizard of Oz), Ebsen recalled that the studio heads initially did not believe he was ill. No footage of Ebsen as the Tin Man has ever been released – only photographs taken during filming, test photos of different make–up styles remain.

The role of Dorothy was given to Judy Garland on February 24, 1938. After the casting of her role, a few executives at MGM contemplated replacing her with Shirley Temple. Early in the film's pre-production, before Garland was cast, MGM had made negotiations to get Fox to "loan" Temple to MGM in exchange for Jean Harlow. (Such temporary exchanges of contract actors were commonplace in the days of Hollywood's studio system.) Harlow's sudden death from uremia caused the deal to fall through.

Gale Sondergaard was originally cast as the Witch villain. She became unhappy with the role when the Witch's persona shifted from a sly glamorous witch (thought to emulate the Wicked Queen in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) into the familiar "ugly hag". She turned down the role, and was replaced on October 10, 1938 with Margaret Hamilton. Margaret Hamilton was severely burned, in the Munchkinland scene, when she disappeared in a puff of fiery smoke. When she returned from the hospital, she refused to do the scene where she flies a broomstick billowing smoke, so they had her stand in do it instead. Expectedly, her stand in was severely injured doing the scene when a malfunction occurred as well.

On July 25, 1938, Bert Lahr was signed and cast as the Cowardly Lion. Frank Morgan was cast as the Wizard on September 22, 1938. On August 12, 1938, Charley Grapewin was cast as Uncle Henry.

Filming began on October 13, 1938, with Richard Thorpe directing. After an unknown number of days, and after some scenes were shot, Thorpe was fired and George Cukor who was on his way to direct Gone with the Wind , took over, until he had to leave for Gone with the Wind. Initially, the studio made Garland wear a blond wig and heavy, "baby-doll" makeup, and she played Dorothy in an exaggerated fashion. Cukor changed Judy Garland and Margaret Hamilton's makeup and costumes, and told Garland to simply "be herself". This meant that all of Garland and Hamilton's scenes had to be discarded and re-filmed. Cukor had a prior commitment to direct the film Gone with the Wind, so he left on November 3, 1938, and Victor Fleming took over for him.

Coincidentally, on February 12, 1939, Victor Fleming replaced George Cukor in directing Gone with the Wind. The next day King Vidor would be assigned as director to finish the filming of the movie (mainly the sepia Kansas sequences, including Judy Garland's singing of Over the Rainbow). In later years, when the film became firmly established as a classic, King Vidor chose not to take public credit for his contribution until after the death of his friend Fleming.

Filming was completed on March 16, 1939 and the first test screenings ran on June 5, 1939. General consensus was that the movie was too long and the witch's scenes too scary for children. During post-production and editing the following sequences were excised from the body of the film:

* the Scarecrow's extensive dance sequence for "If I Only Had a Brain," choreographed by Busby Berkeley which included Bolger's signature "split" trick (this footage has been released as part of That's Dancing 1985) and on a DVD released in 1999;
* the "Jitterbug" song and dance number (also on 1999 DVD);
* a reprise of "Over the Rainbow" sung by Garland while locked in the Witch's castle; and
* Dorothy's triumphant return to Emerald City, a small portion of which was used as part of the extant theatrical trailer.

The "jitterbug" sequence is now lost except for the soundtrack, although a reconstruction of the sequence exists, using still photos and behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage.

While not the earliest feature film produced in Technicolor (the first of which was released in 1917), The Wizard of Oz made conspicuous use of the now-perfected technology; the film's Kansas bookend sequences are simulated sepia-toned black-and-white (the Imbibition Technicolor printer was used to create that appearance), while the Oz scenes are in full three-strip Technicolor. This was the way the film was shown on its first release in 1939. The monochrome sequences were rendered in normal black-and-white for all film and television showings beginning with the 1949 theatrical re-release, before the sepia tone was re-introduced in 1989 for the 50th anniversary videocassette edition of the film. Subsequent television and theatrical showings have since retained the sepia for the Kansas sequences.

The Wizard of Oz premiered at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on August 12, 1939 and Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood on August 15, 1939. The New York City premiere at Loew's Capitol Theater on August 17, 1939 was followed by a live performance with Judy Garland and her frequent film co-star Mickey Rooney. They would continue to perform there after each screening for a week. The movie opened nationally on August 25, 1939.

The film approximately $3 million against production/distribution costs of $3.8 million in its initial release. It did not show a profit until a 1949 re-release earned an additional $1.5 million.

The film was again re-released in 1955 in a pseudo "widescreen" version. Portions of the top and the bottom of the film were removed to produce the effect . The re-release trailer claimed "every scene" from Baum's novel was in the film, including "the rescue of Dorothy", though there is no such incident in the novel. The 1998 re-release again used the pseudo widescreen.

The film was first shown on television November 3, 1956 as the last installment of the Ford Star Jubilee. An estimated 45 million people watched the broadcast. On December 13, 1959 the film was shown again as a two-hour Christmas season special, and at an earlier time, to an even larger audience. It became an annual television tradition every December from 1959 through 1962. The film was not shown in 1963, perhaps due to the proximity of the John F. Kennedy assassination November 22, 1963. A January 1964 broadcast marked the end of the annual holiday showings, but it was nevertheless still televised only once a year for many years. It is now shown several times a year, on the Turner Classic Movies cable channel, Turner Network Television, and the TBS Superstation. It was first released on videocassette on MGM/CBS Home Video in 1980; all current home video releases are by Warner Home Video (via current rights holder Turner Entertainment). The first laserdisc release of The Wizard of Oz was in 1989, and again in 1993, and finally on 11 September 1996. The long-awaited first DVD release of the film was on March 26, 1997, and contained no special features or supplements. It was re-released for its 60th Anniversary, on October 19, 1999, and contained an extensive behind-the-scenes documentary: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic, hosted by Angela Lansbury. Outtakes, the deleted music number known as the "Jitterbug sequence", trailers and newsreels and a portrait gallery were also included. In 2005, two exclusive collectable DVD editions were released. The film was completely restored with superior quality and new audio sound in a 5.1 audio, perhaps the biggest re-release of the film yet. One of the two DVD releases was a 2 disc "deluxe edition", featuring a large portion of rare special features: documentaries, trailers, various outtakes, newsreels, an in-depth look on the restoration of the new DVD release, a behind the scenes look at the set design of the film, radio shows, and still galleries. The 3-disc edition featured even more supplements, including re-prints of the 1939 tickets for the opening night screening.

In 1999, the film had a theatrical re-release in Australia, in honor of the 60th Anniversary. The film was also scheduled for theatrical re-release in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2006.

Music and lyrics were by Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, who won Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score and Best Music, Song for "Over the Rainbow".

The songs were recorded in a studio prior to filming. Several of the recordings were completed while Buddy Ebsen was still with the cast. So while he had to be dropped from the cast due to illness from the aluminum powder makeup, his singing voice remains on the soundtrack. In the group vocals of "We're off to See the Wizard," his voice is easy to detect. Ray Bolger (and also Jack Haley, who had a solo but was not in the group vocal) were speakers of a distinct Boston accent and did not pronounce the r in wizard. Buddy Ebsen was a Midwesterner, like Judy Garland, and pronounced the r.

The first recording from the film was not a soundtrack album in the sense that the term is used today. It was a Decca Records four-record 78 RPM album of songs from the film released in 1940, featuring Judy Garland as Dorothy, but with the Ken Darby Singers in other roles. The orchestra was conducted by Victor Young, and the musical arrangements were completely different from those used in the film. The two songs Garland sang on the album, Over the Rainbow and The Jitterbug, had already been released as a 78-RPM single in 1939, and were incorporated into the album in 1940. The album was quite a success, and was eventually released as an LP. Judy Garland's 1939 single of Over the Rainbow has been released on an MCA compact disc entitled 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection - The Best of Judy Garland; the rest of the 1940 album of The Wizard of Oz has yet to be issued on CD, however.

The 1940 album was supplanted in 1956 - the year that the film was first shown on TV - by MGM Records' own authentic LP soundtrack album, which featured not only most of the songs exactly as heard in the film, but enough dialogue for listeners to be able to follow the story. Throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, this album was constantly reprinted and re-released, and eventually appeared on CD.

Both albums, however, were supplanted in 1995 by Rhino Records's extensive 2-CD soundtrack album featuring not only all the songs, but all of Herbert Stothart's background music from the film, as well as outtake pieces of music, the opening and closing credits music, all of the songs cut from the film during its sneak previews, and demos for the songs.

Although the entire film is underscored by an orchestra, approximately the last third of the movie contains no songs. Once Dorothy and her cohorts are handed the task of killing the Wicked Witch, the mood of the film goes a bit darker. This was not originally intended -- the three closing songs in the film, "The Jitterbug," the vocal reprise of "Over The Rainbow," and "The Triumphant Return" were all excised from the film before its official release.

Vocals composed for the film:

* Over the Rainbow - Dorothy (Judy Garland)
* Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are - Glinda (Billie Burke) / The Munchkins (Singer's Midgets, billed as The Singer Midgets in the film's closing credits)
* It Really Was No Miracle - Judy Garland and the Munchkins
* Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead - The Munchkins
* The Lullaby League - Three Munchkin girls
* The Lollipop Guild - Three Munchkin boys
* We Welcome You to Munchkinland - The Munchkins
* You're Off to See the Wizard - The Munchkins
* If I Only Had A Brain - Scarecrow (Ray Bolger)/Judy Garland
* We're Off to See the Wizard - Judy Garland / Ray Bolger / Buddy Ebsen (pre-recorded) / Bert Lahr
* If I Only Had A Heart - Tin Man (Jack Haley)
* If I Only Had The Nerve - Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr)
* Optimistic Voices - unseen chorus
* The Merry Old Land Of Oz - Carriage Driver at Emerald City (Frank Morgan) / Judy Garland / Ray Bolger / Bert Lahr / Jack Haley / Citizens of the Emerald City
* If I Were King Of The Forest - Bert Lahr
* The Jitterbug (cut from the film) - Judy Garland / Ray Bolger / Jack Haley / Bert Lahr
* Over the Rainbow reprise (cut from the film) - Judy Garland
* O-ee-ah, ee-o-ah - Winkies (Witch's guards) chant to a musical track
* Hail Hail The Witch Is Dead / The Merry Old Land Of Oz (cut from the film; a brief moment from this can be seen in the 1949 re-release trailer for the film) - Judy Garland / The Winkies / Townspeople

Instrumentals in the film:

* In addition to the well-known vocals by Harburg and Arlen, nearly the entire film was underscored by arranger Herbert Stothart, using a mixture of instrumental-only leitmotifs composed for some of the characters; instrumental references to some of the vocals; and traditional and classical pieces. Much of the following information (which is by no means an exhaustive list) is taken from the Deluxe CD liner notes.

Composed for the film:

* Opening credits medley: Glinda's theme, dynamic full-orchestra version, played over the MGM Leo the Lion logo; followed by segments of "Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead" played slowly and majestically, so that the song is almost unrecognizable; they lead into "Over the Rainbow", then we hear "It Really Was No Miracle", "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are" and "It Really Was No Miracle" again, followed by original music while the film's foreword appears on the screen.
* Miss Gulch's / Witch's theme - repeated every time Miss Gulch or the witch appears. This repeated seven-note motif is actually a "crippled" variation (inverted and compressed in range) of the musical figure for "We're off to see the Wizard".
* Orientale theme - for Professor Marvel and for The Wizard
* Glinda's theme - 6-note pattern repeated several times rapidly each time Glinda arrives or leaves in her bubble: G, D, E, B-flat, G, C-sharp.
* Closing credits medley: Glinda's theme (full orchestra) / Over the Rainbow

Traditional music:

* "The Happy Farmer", i.e. Fröhlicher Landmann, von der Arbeit zurückkehrend, "The Happy Farmer Returning from Work" (by Schumann) - opening scene, establishing scenes in Kansas, and during "ride" in cyclone
* "My Castle's in the Courtyard" (nursery rhyme) - in sequence leading up to "Over the Rainbow"
* "The Whistler And His Dog" (by Arthur Pryor) a.k.a. "Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" - when Toto escapes from the basket
* "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" (by Harry Williams and Egbert Van Alstyne) - when Dorothy and the Scarecrow find themselves in an apple orchard
* Opus 16 #2 (by Mendelssohn) - when Toto escapes from the castle
* "Night on Bald Mountain" (by Mussorgsky) - during chase scenes at the witch's castle
* "There's No Place Like Home" (by John Howard Payne and Henry Bishop) - as Dorothy says the words and clicks her heels, and in the final scene in Kansas. In the final moments of this scene, a horn intones "Home Sweet Home" in counterpoint to the final strain of "Over The Rainbow."

Winner of 2 Oscars

* Music (Original Score) -- Herbert Stothart
* Music (Song) -- "Over The Rainbow," Music By Harold Arlen; Lyrics By E. Y. Harburg

4 additional nominations

* Art Direction -- Cedric Gibbons, William A. Horning
* Cinematography (Color) -- Hal Rosson
* Outstanding Production -- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
* Special Effects -- A. Arnold Gillespie, Douglas Shearer

* Judy Garland received a miniature Oscar statuette for her outstanding performance as a screen juvenile performer. This was not an award solely for "The Wizard Of Oz" but for her performances over all during the past year.

The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The film was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Academy Award for Visual Effects. It lost the award in the Best Picture category to Gone with the Wind (another MGM release), but won in the category of Best Song (Over The Rainbow) and Academy Award for Best Original Score, which went to, not the songwriters, but Herbert Stothart, who composed the background score. Judy Garland was given a special honorary Oscar that year, for "Best Performances by a Juvenile" (this meant that the award was also for her role in the film version of Babes in Arms). But rather incredibly, The Wizard of Oz did not receive an Oscar for its Special Effects - that award went to the film version of The Rains Came, for its monsoon sequence.

In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked The Wizard of Oz #6 on its "100 Greatest Movies" list, and two songs from the film are on the 100 years, 100 songs list ("Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead" was #82 and "Over the Rainbow" was #1). In 2006 this film ranked #3 on their list of best musicals.

It is also in the top 100 on the IMDB Top 250 Films List.

A 2005 poll by the AFI ranked Dorothy's line "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" as the fourth most memorable line in cinema history.

This film was #86 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

In 1977, Aljean Harmetz wrote The Making of The Wizard of Oz, a detailed description of the creation of the film based on interviews and research; it was updated in 1989. ISBN 0-7868-8352-9

All of the film's stars except Frank Morgan lived long enough to see and enjoy at least some of the film's acclaim. The last of the major players to pass on was Ray Bolger. The day after his death, a prominent editorial cartoonist referenced the cultural impact of this film, portraying the scarecrow running along the yellow brick road to catch up with the other characters, as they all danced off into the sunset. Neither director Victor Fleming, nor music arranger Herbert Stothart, nor co-screenwriter Edgar Allan Woolf, nor actor Charley Grapewin (who played Dorothy's Uncle Henry) lived to see the film become an icon of cinema and a television tradition. By a curious coincidence, Fleming, Stothart, and Morgan all died in the same year - 1949.

According to The Observer, the film has the greatest soundtrack of all time.

Errors in continuity

* The best known is probably the witch's speech during the scene when she sends out the flying monkeys: "...they'll give you no trouble, I'll promise you that, I've sent a little insect on ahead to take the fight out of them" was in reference to the musical number "The Jitterbug", the followup scene which was cut from the film, although the witch's line was left in.

* Throughout the movie, Judy Garland's braided hair changes length from scene to scene.

* During the scene in the haunted forest, the Scarecrow carries a revolver and a walking stick, the Tin Man carries a large pipe wrench as well as his axe, and the Cowardly Lion carries a butterfly net and an oversized pesticide bug sprayer. After the flying monkeys attack the group, the weapons are never seen again.

* The placement order of the actors changes in the scene when the Wizard is revealed as a "humbug" and he hands out the diploma, the medal, and the testimonial token.

The book series Film Flubs discusses these along with others that are in the film.

* When the Cowardly Lion meets Dorothy, Judy Garland covers her face with Toto. It wasn't because she was frightened, she was actually laughing at Bert Lahr's blubbering in the scene.
* MGM had a weekly radio program entitled Leo is On The Air, which previewed upcoming films, and in what is probably one of the first such instances, their program featuring excerpts from the score of The Wizard of Oz included actual broadcast of performances of the songs taken directly from the film soundtrack. This was highly unusual in an era in which soundtrack albums had not yet become the norm.
* When the Scarecrow receives his diploma from the Wizard, he immediately exhibits his "knowledge" by reciting a mangled version of the Pythagorean theorem: "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side." This is inaccurate. He should've said something to the effect of "The sum of the squares of the two shorter sides of a right triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse." This whole sequence may have been intended as a deliberate joke by the writers, because throughout the whole picture, the scarecrow comes up with the best ideas, even though he supposedly has no "brain." Then, when he receives the diploma, proving that he now has a "brain," the next words out of his mouth sound educated, but are actually complete nonsense. It drives the thematic point home that all of the characters had what they needed all along, they just didn't know it. Bolger considered it a mistake that he did not like saying.
* A small bridge, near which Marvel's wagon is parked, is a set piece that was also used in Gone with the Wind, in the scene where the film's protagonists are hiding from advancing Union soldiers.
* Judy Garland reportedly disliked the Ruby Slippers and always slipped out of them in between takes. Apparently during the filming of the apple-tree sequence she forgot to put them back on, as blooper clipreels show. It also may be possible that she didn't "forget" to put the shoes on, but that she wasn't required to wear them on takes when it was determined that the shoes would not be visible in the shot. Since movies are made very carefully, shot by shot, they may not have expected her feet to be seen when she momentarily jumped up during the apple tree sequence. On May 24, 2000, a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the film (with red sequins; seven pairs are believed to exist) sold at auction for $666,000.
* A bizarre rumor that one of the Munchkins hanged himself in the forest set is easily disproved by close inspection of the scene. The supposed body, swinging from a tree branch in the forest set, is actually a live crane in the background. It can be seen as the characters exit the forest near the Tin Man's cottage.
* The tornado that picks up Dorothy's house and sends her to the land of Oz was produced by a muslin stocking-like artifact being whirled on a traveling pivot, and blown by a fan repeatedly.
* Frank Morgan played 5 roles in the film. The roles he took up were: Professor Marvel, The Emerald City Doorman, The Cabbie around Oz, The Guard, and The Wizard of Oz himself.
* Fans claim that Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon can be synchronized with the film as an alternative soundtrack.
* At one point during the film's development, "Over The Rainbow" was considered for cutting from the film, because of some concerns that it would slow the pace of the film
* There is a rumor that studio executives thought it was disgraceful that an MGM star would be seen singing on a farm. For that reason, Over the Rainbow was cut from the film, but re-edited in at the last minute.
* The Golden Cap can be seen in the witch's hands when commanding the monkeys, a reference to the golden cap as mentioned in the book.
* During the Tin Man's song "If I Only Had A Heart" you can hear a woman's voice sing the line "Wherefore Art Thou Romeo." This is a line (read in a common misinterpretation) from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". In the Tin Man's song, Adriana Caselotti does the voice of "Juliet" as she sings the line in the song. Adriana Caselotti was also the voice of Snow White in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” done the previous year.
* Actor Buddy Ebsen was first cast as the tinman but he had a near-fatal reaction from inhaling the aluminum dust makeup used with the costume. The makeup was switched to a paste, to avoid risking the same reaction in Jack Haley. The new makeup did cause an eye infection which caused Haley to miss four days of filming, but he received treatment in time to prevent permanent damage.
* Glamourous and more traditionally attractive actress Gale Sondergaard was originally cast to ply the glamourous Wicked Witch of the West, but she refused to wear makeup designed to make her look ugly when the character of the witch was changed. Margaret Hamilton was then cast for the role
* The original name of Oz may have come from a filing cabinet labelled O-Z
* In the original novel by L. Frank Baum, the Wicked Witch of the West is not green and the famous slippers are silver. Both were changed because of the advent of the Technicolor technology and the fact that a green witch and ruby slippers would look better on film
* In the original novel, Glinda is the Good Witch of the South and is met by Dorothy and friends at the end of the book. The Good Witch of the North who meets Dorothy in Munckinland is a different character.
* The role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was originally meant for Judy Garland. However, MGM executives were concerned with Garland's box office appeal. Shirley Temple was considered for the role, however, she was unable to appear in the film when a trade between Fox and MGM fell through.
* The 2006/7 BBC TV series 'Life on Mars' has several references to the Wizard of Oz, most notably the naming of one of the characters in the second series as Frank Morgan, sharing the name of the actor who plays the Wizard. The Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version of Over The Rainbow is also played in the final episode. For more on this aspect please see the Life on Mars article.
* During the Emerald City sequence, it is rumored that Billie Burke had a broken ankle during several takes.
* This film is #86 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

The scene in which the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man approach the Wicked Witch's castle has been paid homage to in David Lynch's Wild at Heart, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Spaceballs , and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Peter Jackson is on record in interviews as confirming that the scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in which Frodo, Sam and Gollum first approach the Black Gate of Mordor from overlooking mountain crags is a deliberate homage to the scene in The Wizard of Oz where the three friends arrive at the Witch's castle. The reference is driven home when a group of Southrons march in from the right, voicing an impressive but unintelligible chant.

The chant of the Ku Klux Klansmen in the Coen brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou is said to be a humorous parody of the chant of the Wicked Witch's guards.

The song, "Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead" was a (indeed, the only) hit song for The Fifth Estate, a 1960s pop group whose version interpelated the bourée from Michael Praetorius's The Dances of Terpsichore. Also, in the animated cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force, one of the characters Master Shake during an episode sang "Ding dong, the dick is dead, Carl."

The castle guards' chant has been interpolated into several songs, including LL Cool J's "I'm That Type of Guy," Metallica's "The Frayed Ends of Sanity," Prince's "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night", and Kid Rock's "Trucker Anthem".

The witch's dying cry, "I'm melting! Melting!" has been referenced or spoofed in films such as Field of Dreams, Spaceballs, Gremlins 2: The New Batch and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

In Class of 3000, Cheddar Man was making a film similar to this one. He says "What a hood" and "There ain't no place like my crib."

The lyrics to the song "Home" by alternative metal band Breaking Benjamin are almost entirely influenced by The Wizard of Oz.

In the earlier days of the show Ally McBeal, the perceived ill-tempered and hard-nosed character of Ling Woo (Lucy Liu) was emphasized by having her frequently stormy entrances to episodes underscored by the Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch musical motif.

In the television series Stargate SG-1 involves countless references to The Wizard of Oz throughout its ten year run. This culminated in the 200th episode, which featured an extended sequence of Stargate characters reenacting the movie.[citation needed]

Movies where the characters are seen watching The Wizard of Ozinclude One Fine Day, Shoot the Moon, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

The Spongebob Squarepants episode "The Thing; Hocus Pocus" contains a scene in which a fish behind a curtain controls a floating head.

Also notable is that in the sitcom, Scrubs, the 100th episode, My Way Home is a homage to the Wizard of Oz.

In the show Futurama, from the episode "Anthology of Interest II", there is a sequence in which the main female character Leela gets knocked out by a lever being pulled down, and dreams that she herself enters the land of Oz. She eventually deserts the friends she meets on the way (who are of course in likingness of her friends from her real life), and chooses to become a witch by the Wicked Witch of the West's granted wish.

The English band America produced a song called "Tin Man", which included the line "Oz didn't give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn't already have."

In the sitcom ALF a friction is made between ALF and and Kate's mother Dorothy causing him to refer to her as "The Wicked Witch Of The West". Both are deliberate homages to The Wizard Of Oz.

In the ALF episode You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog ALF refers to a mean elderly woman (Anne Ramsey) by remarking, "I'd love to throw some water on her and watch her melt".

In the movie Beetlejuice, the character Otho says about another character "Don't mind her. She's still upset because somebody dropped a house on her sister."

The film is often referred to in teaching children about self-confidence and latent talents, such as when Dorothy was captured by the Witch and the Scarecrow drawing out plans for the Lion, Tin Man and him to engage in a rescue mission for Dorothy, indicating he had a brain, or the Lion confronting the Witch, showing his inner courage revealed well before the Wizard presented him with a medal for courage.

In the cult classic video game God of Thunder, when Thor approaches Surtur to recieve the answer to any question, there is a curtained off area with a sign saying "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." In reference to the Wizard of Oz.

In the popular video game World Of Warcraft the karazhan instance contains the opera event, players get to face 1 of 3 encounters. This is the Wizard of Oz, the big bad wolf or Romeo and Juliet. Also in this instance you can obtain the Ruby Slippers as treasure off of certain enemies.

In the May 23, 2006 episode of the soap opera As the World Turns, Emily Stewart and Henry Coleman joke about where Henry got his heart and he wishes the Wizard had given him a brain. But Emily stresses that she's the one in need of the brain since she is in the Psych Ward at the time.

The HBO Series OZ, refers to the main cell block 'Em City', named after Emerald City in the story.

In the movie Robots the Tin Man is seen running off with the other characters in the scene where Rodney first enters Robot city.

In the Disney Channel tv show That's So Raven there is an episode where Raven dreams that she is in the Wizard of Oz. Corey is the Tin Man, Chelsea the scarecrow, and Eddie the lion. Raven's teacher Dr. Stuckerman comes as the Wicked Witch who throws water at Raven, who reverses the scene and says "I'm melting." Afterward Victor comes out as the Wizard.

In South Park an episode is modeled after the wizard of oz while Kyle and his friends attempt to get back his adopted brother ike, from his biological parents in Canada.

* The Wizard of Oz was recorded live on Christmas day, 1950, and starred Judy Garland in this radio version of the classic film. Her daughter Liza Minnelli was in the audience.
* Noel Langley penned a direct sequel based on The Marvelous Land of Oz that utilized similar conflicts created for this film, which centers upon a girl named Tippie living in an orphanage who dreams that she goes to Oz. The script is undated, but was probably created in the 1950s.
* The Wizard of Oz has an official sequel, the animated production Journey Back to Oz (most of its work was done in 1964, but funding for finishing the project could not be raised until eight years later), featuring the voice of Liza Minnelli, Garland's daughter, as Dorothy, and Margaret Hamilton as the voice of Aunt Em. A section of the music at the start of the film is probably more familiar to viewers in the United Kingdom as the theme music for ITN's "News at Ten".
* The 1974 musical and 1978 film The Wiz were adapted from the same story.
* The considerably darker Return to Oz, was made by Walt Disney Studios in 1985 starring Fairuza Balk as Dorothy.
* An animated series set after the original movie was created for the ABC Network's Saturday morning lineup in the fall of 1990. According to the opening, Dorothy discovers the ruby slippers in her closet one day and uses them to return to Oz and reunite with her three friends. However, the Wicked Witch of the West, resurrected by a handful of remaining loyalists, returns to blow the Wizard's balloon off-course and steal the awards that he "gave" the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion their desired character traits. The series covers the heroes' journey through Oz to rescue the Wizard, reclaim their treasures, and utterly defeat the Witch. The cartoon lasted one season of thirteen episodes.
* In 1995, Gregory Maguire released the critically acclaimed novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an other-side-of-the-story look at the witches of The Wizard of Oz: Glinda and Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West). Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman turned it into a musical entitled Wicked in 2003 with Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda and Idina Menzel as Elphaba. Despite mixed reviews from critics, the show was a box office smash. In 2004, it was nominated for 9 Tony Awards, winning 3 (including one for Idina Menzel). There are currently five productions running, on Broadway, on a U.S. national tour, in Chicago, in Los Angeles, and in London's West End.
* In 2005, Illusive Arts Entertainment launched Dorothy, a fumetti-style comic book series that is an updating of Baum's original story, though it also references numerous elements of the 1939 film, including starting out in a "colorless" Kansas and referencing dialogue from the film. Absent from the first issue at least is any reference to Toto. Like Return to Oz, this is a much darker take on the story, with Dorothy (portrayed in the photographs by Catie Fisher) depicted as a rebellious, disfranchised teenager who steals her uncle's truck as she runs away.

Several versions were produced prior to the 1939 film:

* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910 film)1
* Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz (1910 film)
* His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz1
* The Magic Cloak of Oz 12
* The Wizard of Oz (1921 film - never completed or released)
* Wizard of Oz (1925 film), which includes Oliver Hardy as the Tin Woodman.1
* The Land of Oz (1932 film)
* The Land of Oz, a Sequel to the 'Wizard of Oz' (1932)
* The Wizard of Oz (1933 cartoon) 1
* The Wizard of Oz (1938 short film)
* Conductor and arranger John Wilson transcribed Harold Arlen's music and conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in a live performance of the original score accompanying the original film, stripped of all its musical elements to leave only sound effects, dialogue and singing. It premiered on January 7, 2007 at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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