Take it from Dorothy, tornadoes are not the best method of travel—unless you want to get to Oz!

August 25 marked the 75th anniversary of the 1939 MGM production of The Wizard of Oz. It isn’t the only film adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s literary masterpiece, but it is by far the most memorable.

The Wizard of Oz is an intoxicating array of Technicolor (which was still relatively new in the late 30s), quirky characters, and clever storytelling. Who can forget the Munchkins, the Yellow Brick Road, or those terrifying Flying Monkeys that still give us nightmares? Everybody’s seen The Wizard of Oz, and if you haven’t, stop reading this right now and don’t come back until you know all about the Lollipop Guild.

Admire these fantastical pieces of fan art, and expand your knowledge of the 1939 adaptation of The Wizard of Oz with these fun facts!

SEE ALSO 14 ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Alternative Movie Posters

Wizard of OZ movie postersImage via Montygog

You know the Ruby Slippers? Yeah, in the book they’re actually silver. They were changed to red for the film so they’d show up better in Technicolor.

wizard of oz poster

Image via Mike Mahle

At the start of filming, Buddy Ebsen—that’s right, Jed Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies—was set to play the Tin Man. He passed costume and makeup tests, and even recorded the songs for the soundtrack. Ebsen was hospitalized when his lungs failed due to a reaction to the aluminum powder makeup he had to wear. Unable to continue filming, he spent 2 weeks recovering in the hospital, and Jack Haley was hired to replace him.

Wizard of OZ movie postersImage via Liana Anjuli

MGM wanted a young girl to star as Dorothy. At nine-years old, Shirley Temple was the studio’s first choice, but MGM could never reach an agreement with the actress. Instead, 16-year old Judy Garland was cast, and required to wear corset to make her look younger.

Wizard of OZ movie postersImage via Casey Caison

Margaret Hamilton (Almira Gulch/the Wicked Witch) loved kids, and she was a kindergarten teacher before she got into acting. Additionally, many of the Wicked Witch’s scenes were cut from the film because they were considered to be too scary for children.

Wizard of OZ movie postersImage via Shaun Teamer

Terry, the Cairn terrier who played Toto, was quite the actress herself. She broke her foot on the set of The Wizard of Oz, but went on to star in The Women and Tortilla Flat.

Wizard of OZ movie postersImage via Alexander Belgrave

The producers used Jello crystals to dye the Horse of a Different Color. They had a hard time keeping the horse from licking itself.

Wizard of OZ movie postersImage via wingwingwingwing

There are a lot of coincidences between Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon album and The Wizard of Oz. If you start the album on the MGM Lion’s third roar, many of the songs correspond with scenes of the film.

Wizard of OZ movie postersImage via Amanda Reese

The cast worked long and hard to shoot the film. Six days a week for five months, the actors arrived on set at about 6 am to get their makeup, and worked until 7 or 8 pm.

wizard of oz poster

Image via Kimberly Waldroup

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Which Wizard of Oz movie is your favorite?









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