7 Fun Facts About The Wizard of Oz
2019 marks the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz movie and despite it’s 1939 release, the movie is still continuing to grow in fame. How did the film become so popular and well-loved? Not only are there numerous powerful themes that people of all ages can appreciate and understand, but it also has to do with television. The film wasn’t very popular back in the fifties, so stations bought broadcasting rights cheaply, and ran it frequently to fill time. People loved it!
The Wizard of Oz movie has been incorporated into pop culture so much that almost anyone knows and can quote it, including some favorite lines like “If I only had a brain,” “There’s no place like home,” “Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!” and especially “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Why not celebrate its anniversary by taking a look at some of the fun facts you may not know about this classic and unforgettable film.
#1 – The Wizard Played Many Other Roles
Frank Morgan’s Many Hats: Frank Morgan is famous for his role as the titular wizard the gang of four go to visit, but did you know the actor played several other roles in the film? Not only did he play the fortune-telling professor from before Dorothy travels to Oz, he also plays an Emerald City cabbie, a guard at the Wizard’s palace, and a doorkeeper.
#2 – Dorothy’s Dress Was Pink And White
What a Colorful World: The innovative and expensive technology developed to get the film in color (called “Technicolor”) required a few changes. This included changing Dorothy’s Ruby slippers from the original silver, but it also required them to change the planned blue-and-white dress to a checkered blue and pink which, thanks to the filming process, showed up as the now classic blue gingham we all know and love.
#3 – Dorothy Had a Glamorous Makeover
Dorothy’s Lost Look: Judy Garland’s Dorothy look is famous now, but it was almost much different. She originally had a blonde wig and heavy “babydoll” makeup, but when George Cukor took over as director, he scrapped the design and had Garland go with a much more natural look which is more fitting for a small town girl from Kansas.
#4 – There Were Originally 5 Witches
Five Witches? In the film, witches from the east and west are evil, and witches from the north and south are good. But in the original book, there is also an evil witch living in the north, named Mombi. Additionally, in the book the witches of the east and west, while sisters in the movie, are unrelated.
#5 The Cowardly Lion Costume Weighed Nearly 100 Pounds
That’s One Big Cat: The different outfits for the three friendly characters all have interesting facts, but the biggest is by far the Cowardly Lion. Actor Bert Lahr’s costume was made from real lion pelts, and weighed nearly a hundred pounds. Also, the facial prosthetic he wore were made from a simple brown paper bag.
#6 – The Tin Man’s Tears Were Chocolate
Sweet, Sweet Oil: Another interesting fact about The Wizard Of Oz costumes: While it may look as if Dorothy uses black oil to loosen up the Tin Man’s joints, the liquid is actually chocolate syrup! Since oil wouldn’t photograph well, they had to try out a bunch of different substances, with chocolate syrup getting the part.
#7 – Most Watched Film Ever
Oh MY, That’s One Big Hit: The Wizard of Oz is, according to the Library of Congress, the most watched film ever.
With high-def 4k / Ultra HD versions coming out this year, there’s no reason to think this legendary film will ever fade from the public consciousness. Be sure to revisit this classic piece of film magic. There are plenty of incredible stories about this film, but the most important are those personal to you. We all have a connection to this film, whether it’s memories of watching it with your grandparents, dressing up as the four main characters for Halloween, or something else entirely. You can visit Rubies.com to see more fun facts about The Wizard of Oz movie. Congratulations to their winners of The Wizard of Oz costume and movie giveaway!