10 Interesting Facts About The Timeless 1939 Classic ‘The Wizard Of Oz’
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We are where nostalgia lives
The Wizard of Oz is a truly timeless classic that gets better as it ages over time. The iconic 1939 film is jam-packed with catchy songs, inspiring quotes, and messages, and was based on the 1900 book by L. Frank Baum. Decades later, it continues to warm the hearts of people young and old.
Just like any other classic film, there are tons of hidden facts deep within the realms of the movie. Some of them you might already be aware of, some you might not. The Wizard of Oz is packed with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here are 10 facts about The Wizard of Oz!
1. Jack Haley wasn’t going to be the Tin Man originally
The original Tin Man was going to be played by Buddy Ebsen, but he had a severe allergic reaction to the aluminum-powder makeup. He was then replaced by Jack Haley, the Tin Man we know and love today.
2. Farm-Girl Dorothy was actually supposed to be Glam-Girl Dorothy
Day2:this is a stupid question obviosly my favorite character is Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz #judygarland #joots #judy #thewizardofoz #technicolor #mgm #1939#missshowbusiness #icon #30daysofjudygarland
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In the early stages of production, Dorothy was actually supposed to be a glam girl with a blonde wig and tons of makeup. Fortunately, that look didn’t last very long.
3. Toto made some money, too
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Toto, the dog, made more money than the munchkin actors did! Toto made $125 per week, whereas one of the munchkins, Margaret Pellegrini, revealed she made $50 per week.
4. Judy Garland got the backhand
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During the filming of Oz, Garland couldn’t get her giggles under control upon the entrance of Bert Lahr’s the Cowardly Lion into a scene. Victor Fleming, the director of the film, took Garland aside, slapped her across the face, and told her to “go in there and get to work.” While this would be considered highly abusive and wrong today, it was actually condoned back in the day because it produced results.
5. The power of Technicolor
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Without the movie being in technicolor, the movie franchise would not be as big as it is today. The ruby slippers are the most iconic part of Dorothy’s getup. In the book series, the slippers were actually silver, but they changed the slippers to ruby red because the contrast of the bright red would show up nicely next to the technicolor yellow brick road.
6. There were actually multiple directors for the film
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Victor Fleming was the only director credited on screen, but there were actually four directors who worked on the film at one time. Richard Thorpe was fired after less than two weeks, George Cukor was called to go work on Gone With The Wind, Victor Fleming was also called to work on Gone With The Wind, and King Vidor actually finished up the film.
7. Ray Bolger was initially cast as the Tin Man but convinced Buddy Ebsen to switch roles with him
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Apparently, it was just that easy to get the role you wanted. Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow that we all know and love, was originally cast as the Tin Man. He didn’t like this, and so asked Buddy Ebsen (who got cast as Scarecrow) to switch roles.
8. Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch) appeared on Mr Rogers Neighborhood
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A post shared by Wicked Witch of the West🔮 (@abadwitch) on Jul 27, 2018 at 10:08am PDT
Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch in the original Wizard of Oz film and she actually appeared on Mister Rogers Neighborhood to talk about her role in the movie! “She’s what we refer to as ‘frustrated.’ She’s very unhappy because she never gets what she wants,” Hamilton says about the character.
9. The 1939 film was not the first adaptation of the book
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A 13-minute short film called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was produced in 1910. In this short, Dorothy and the Scarecrow are already friends when they’re swept up into the twister. The short ends with Dorothy not going back to Kansas and staying in Oz.
10. They used Jell-O to get the horses to change color
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The ASPCA was involved in making sure that the Jell-O being used was not harmful in any way to the horses on set. The Jell-O based tint was used to give the horses in the Emerald City scene their beautiful, bright colors.
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