Thursday, August 12, 2010

Celebrating: 71 Years Ago Today "The Wizard of Oz" Premiered

One of my most favorite films is The Wizard of Oz. Today, the film is celebrating its 71st anniversary.

From The Guardian: Here are 71 Facts about The Wizard of Oz:

1) So frightening was Margaret Hamilton's performance as the Wicked Witch of the West that most of her scenes were heavily edited or cut entirely.

2) When the script was written, the part of the Wizard had been earmarked for WC Fields.

3) Judy Garland's white dress was actually pink as it was easier to shoot in Technicolor.

4) A sequel using the original cast was mooted, but scrapped after Garland became such a big star and Hamilton expressed doubts over the feasibility of such a project.

5) The film has numerous lines in Premiere magazine's poll to find the 100 Greatest Movie Lines. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" came in at No 24.

6) "There's no place like home" came in at No 11.

7) "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" was at No 62.

8) "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" was No 99.

9) The same magazine named it one of the 20 most overrated movies of all time.

10) Judy Garland's childlike physique was achieved with the help of a corset.

11) Several actors playing Winged Monkeys were injured when the piano wires holding them up snapped during a shoot on the haunted forest scene.

12) An unused screenplay was written by Ogden Nash.

13) Reports suggest each Munchkin earned $50 per week, while Toto bagged $125 per week.

14) Jell-O crystals were stuck over all the horses in the Emerald City palace to lend them their colour. The scenes were shot speedily, before the horses began to lick them off.

15) The running time is 101 minutes, but the original cut was 112 minutes – only audiences at test screenings have seen the additional 11 minutes.

16) MGM toned down the gore in L Frank Baum's novel, which involves scenes showing "Kalidahs" (tiger-bear hybrids) being dashed to pieces in a crevasse, the Tin Woodman using his axe to decapitate a wildcat and 40 wolves, and bumblebees stinging themselves to death against the Scarecrow.

17) The production costs came in at $2,777,000 – a vast sum for the time. On initial release, the film only earned $3m.

18) MGM head Louis B Mayer had the idea of changing the colour of the slippers from silver to ruby.

19) The song Over the Rainbow came in at No 1 on the American Film Institute's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films.

20) The film is rated No 1 on the AFI's 2008 list of the 10 greatest fantasy films.

21) In their 2007 list, the AFI ranked it as the 10th greatest film of all time.

22) So scary were the costumes worn by Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr and Jack Haley that they had to eat meals in their dressing rooms, lest they alarm other diners in the MGM cafeteria.

23) Bert Lahr's costume weighed 90 pounds

24) In 1989, a pair of real ruby slippers were made to mark the 50th anniversary. These are valued at $3m.

25) Louis B Mayer's trigger for getting the film into production was to trump the critical and commercial success of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

26) Five different directors and 14 writers were involved in various stages of pre-production.

27) Judy Garland won an Oscar Juvenile Award in 1939 for her role; a gong she would later refer to as the Munchkin award.

28) L Frank Baum received $75,000 for the rights to his book.

29) Standard industrial paint, bought from a hardware store several blocks away from the studio, was used to coat the bricks on the Yellow Brick Road.

30) The oft-quoted line "Fly my pretties, fly" is a falsely remembered bit of dialogue – it's actually "Fly, Fly, Fly."

31) The fire that engulfs the Witch's hands as she's trying to remove the ruby slippers is actually apple juice spewing out of the shoes – the film was then sped up to make it look more like fire.

32) The uniforms of the Flying Monkeys match those worn by the Witch's castle guards (or Winkies).

33) A recycled bit of score from the film Marie Antoinette (1938) can be heard during the castle escape film – the music for both films was composed by Herbert Stothart.

34) To show Dorothy's house falling from the sky, a miniature house was dropped onto a sky painting on the stage floor, then the film reversed to make it appear the film was falling towards the camera.

35) Jack Haley's Tin Woodsman costume was so stiff that he had to lean against a board if he wanted a rest.

More Here
Here is the link to the song "If I Only Had a Brain" (sorry, not able to be embedded)
Here is the link to the "Merry Old Land of Oz"
Here is Judy Garland singing "Over The Rainbow" :

Here is the google doodle:


Just a conservative girl said...

Let me know if you are coming for the 9/12 march or the Beck Rally. We can meet up if you like. We are trying to get together a blogger get-together at the Beck rally.

Opus #6 said...

Ooo, have a fun meetup! I demand PICS!

T, I LOVE the Wizard of Oz, too. It is fun watching it with my kids and seeing their reaction. Just like sharing my favorite children's books with them. Super cool.

LL said...

After viewing the Wizard of Oz for I don't know how many times -- I still enjoy it. It's a timeless classic.

commoncents said...

Thanks for posting this!! It is an awesome movie!

Common Cents

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Happy Dorothy Day !

Hoping the Blind Will See said...
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John Carey said...

Brings back such treasured memories Teresa. Thank you for posting.

Hoping the Blind Will See said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoping the Blind Will See said...

Maybe I should proofread BEFORE I post, lol!!

Once upon a time this was my all-time favorite movie. But so many others have come out that I like I can't say that anymore. Still it's a classic that I enjoy watching year after year - just a tradition.

BTW, I'll be at 8/28, I'm expecting a great event. I'll be as close to the steps as I can get at 7:30 that morning...

Chicago Ray said...

It's one of my favorite movies too, I still catch it once in a while around the holidays it seems...

All those rules and stuff were chucked a long time ago with the new PC we are the world "Hollywood" of today.

Can't do this,can't do that, Can't call em flying monkeys' or 'can't force a kid to work this and that' etc etc...oh but they can get em all hooked on drugs and fame...they still allow that. ;)

Amusing Bunni said...

I love this movie too, Teresa.
Over the rainbow is such a beautiful song.
I hope you have a great weekend.

The_Kid said...

Here's one not mentioned. Buddy Ebson was the original Tin Man, but he almost died from an allergy to the alluminum dust they used as the makeup for the Tin Man.

Actually, I think that movie has more tag lines than any other.

I love the munchkin scene.

Great Movie. True genius at work.