The wizard of Oz ... Trivia

Posted by Claudia Moser on 6:42 PM in , , ,

The film received a mention in the Guiness Book of World Records as the film to which a live-action sequel was produced after the longest period of time (Return to Oz was released 46 years after The Wizard of Oz).

Throughout the rest of his career, Jack Haley (Tin man) denounced the idea that the making of this film was enjoyable. He frequently quipped "Like Hell, it was; it was work!"

The movie's line "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." was voted as the #24 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007. "There's no place like home." was voted #11 in the same. "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." was 62.

Judy Garland had to wear a painful corset-style device around her torso so that she would appear younger and flat-chested.

Terry (Toto) was stepped on by one of the witch's guards, and had a double for two weeks. A second double was obtained, because it resembled Toto more closely. Judy Garland very much wanted to adopt Terry after the two spent so much time together shooting the film. Unfortunately, the owner of the dog wouldn't give her up, and Terry went on to a long career in films. She died in 1945 and was buried in her trainer's yard.

When filming first started, Judy Garland wore a blond wig and heavy, "baby-doll" makeup. When George Cukor assumed the role of intermediate director (after MGM fired the original director and before they found a replacement), he got rid of the wig and most of the makeup and told her to just be herself.

The Munchkins are portrayed by the Singer Midgets, named not for their musical abilities, but rather for Leo Singer, their manager. The troupe came from Europe, and a number of the Munchkins took advantage of the trip to immigrate and escape the Nazis. Professional singers dubbed most of their voices as many of the Midgets couldn't speak English and/or sing well. Only two are heard speaking with their real-life voices - the ones who give Dorothy flowers after she has climbed into the carriage.

The film started shooting on 13 October 1938 and was completed on 16 March 1939 at a then-unheard-of cost of $2,777,000. It earned only $3,000,000 on its initial release.

The song "Over the Rainbow" was ranked #1 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.

Ranked #1 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Fantasy" in June 2008.

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #10 Greatest Movie of All Time.

More trivia here

P.S. This is dedicated to this week's Monday BFF theme



Hi Claudia. Fantastic facts there about the film The Wizard of Oz. Poor Toto being stepped on like that! I particularly liked the fact that, at first, Judy Garland wore a blond wig and heavy baby doll make up. Ugh! That would have been really creepy. Thank goodness they changed it. Hope Peter is now fully recovered.

@Diane - thank you, I found them also interesting. Yes, Peter is much much better, thank you!

I was reading some of those extra facts. It could have been a very different film with Deanna Durbin or, heaven forbid Shirley Temple!

I grew up loving this movie. They would play it on TV every Halloween. Thanks for the background info!

@Sarah - well yes, some decision do influence a whole movie!
@Belle - yes, it is a magical movie!

My daughter is a huge Judy fan because of this movie. We've learned so much about it. My husband's Aunt knew Margaret Hamilton. She was definitely no witch in real life, rather one of the nicest people you could meet in real life.

Also--When they did a second take of her fiery exit from Munchkinland, Margaret Hamilton suffered 2nd degree burns on her hand and 3rd degree burns on her face.

Cheers, Jenn.

@Jenn - wow! Margaret Hamilton's role in the movie is very crucial in my opinion and you must know even more interesting trivia!

I love this movie and the random facts are really interesting.

Loved these interesting little bits of information about one of my favorite movies!

Not all of the munchkins were part of a troup. I'm not sure any of them were. I know my grandfather went to school with a couple of them. I also saw a video on youtube that was posted in 2009 of the 5 remaining living munchkins and they were all American. They talked about how there weren't any auditions, all little just flew out to hollywood and were accepted into the film. So that one little bit of trivia threw me off.

One interesting thing I learned in the munchkin video, Toto got paid more than they did. :)

If anyone's interested, the video is here: (I guess you have to copy/paste the link)

And...I have an autograph picture of the movie from one of the original munchkins! How about that?!?! Now I just need to find it LOL)!

Interesting trivia. My husband loves this stuff!

@Luan - they always bring an added value!
@Laura - glad :)
@Angie - wow thank you, this is for sure a statement which could be added to imdb and also which should edit the information. Thank you for the hints and research!
@Susan - look for it :) for sure it must have not only a sentimental value but also a financial one!
@Darlene - well me too :)

After I posted, I got to looking and there was a troup of about 20 munchkins, out of about 120? But the troup you mentioned was in, it just didn't make up all the munchkins. I also found that there were a few kids cast to play munchkins to get the number they needed. If you click on the link to see more cast on IMDB, it gives you the names of more of the munchkins. Since there were 120, it doesn't list them all, but it does give credit to some of them that they didn't get in the list of credits of the movie. The movie credits just listed "the munchkins" not giving any of them any individual credit.

@Angie - thank you for your further research, this is a fascinating subject!

Very interesting facts!! I enjoyed reading, and I didn't know a lot of them. Well done on the research!


@Kathy - thank you, it was not so creative but educative!

The appeal of the film results from the perfect integration of musical numbers and adventures for enhancing and advancing a gripping plot. Wizard of Oz' posses all the ingredients of a perfect fairy tale. In fact, the movie laid down these rules.

@Dhiraj - very true!

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