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  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default Friday Trivia: The Wizard of Oz

    Some interesting facts about the movie:


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    Dorothy's blue-and-white gingham dress was blue and light pink, which was easier to shoot in Technicolor. (This 3-strip film process was truly expensive — and innovative — at the time.)

    The famous sequined shoes were originally silver, like they are in the Oz books. But MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer wanted to show off Technicolor, so he did.

    The Tin Man: Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Scarecrow, but he swapped roles with Ray Bolger. Then when filming started, cramps and trouble breathing due to a severe allergic reaction to the aluminum dust used in the makeup sent Ebsen to the hospital and forced him to leave the production. Ebsen was then replaced with Jack Haley, and the rest is cinematic history.

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    Of course The Tin Man was supposed to shed machine oil, but that didn't photograph well. The solution? Chocolate syrup is what's really streaming down Jack Haley's silver face.

    Terry, the little female Cairn terrier that plays Toto, was paid $125 a week. While the dog's trainer always bemoaned not asking for more (the producers were desperate to cast Terry), the residents of Munchkinland only made $50 a week. Terry was also injured during filming when one of the guards stepped on her.

    One of the most pervasive urban legends, that one of the 124 little people hired to play the munchkins hung himself, is not true. That dark spot in the background as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man skip down the yellow brick road? It was a bird — MGM had a bunch of exotic birds around the set to make the background look interesting.

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    The Wicked Witch had a rough time: But it wasn't from the sparks that shot off the ruby slippers (those jolts were merely apple juice.) Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch, was badly burned making her smoky exit from Munchkinland — her dress, hat, and broom caught on fire and severely burned her face and hand. She had to recuperate for six weeks before resuming filming. Even worse: The green face paint was so toxic that she (and several other actors) couldn't eat once it was applied and had to subsist on a liquid diet via straw during the day. Plus, her face stayed green for weeks after *shooting because of the copper-based ingredients.

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    On top of the physical torture, most of the Wicked Witch's scenes had to be edited or cut completely after being deemed to terrifying for children.

    The Wizard played five roles: Sure, you probably know that the fortune-telling Kansas professor and the Great and Powerful Oz are both actor Frank Morgan. But he was also the Emerald City cabby driving the Horse-of-a-Different-Color, a guard at the Wizard's palace, and the doorkeeper there.

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    Professor Marvel wore L. Frank Baum's coat. The much-debated story is that MGM's wardrobe department purchased a tattered coat at a local second-hand shop. A tag in the garment read L. Frank Baum (Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz). Despite being dismissed as a stunt, several people from the production vouched for it. (And the Oz author did spent the latter years of his life in Hollywood.) Either way, it's a fitting tall tale.

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ID:	155057. L. Frank Baum

    The stunning Billie Burke, who played Glinda the Good Witch of the North, was 54 years old at the time — 18 years older than her counterpart Margaret Hamilton, who portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West. Good witch, good genes.

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    The scarecrow face prosthetics that Ray Bolger wore left a pattern of lines on his face that took more than a year to vanish.

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    Judy Garland wore a corset to appear more childlike. The 17-year-old actress was the second choice for the role — behind 11-year-old Shirley Temple — and when she got the job, she was ordered to lose 12 pounds.

    Temperatures on set often exceeded 100 degrees. The early Technicolor process required more light than a normal film production. Yikes.

    The Cowardly Lion's costume was made of lion pelts. Talk about authentic! (And his facial makeup included pieces of a brown paper bag.) Between the hot temps on-set and the 90 lbs. of costume, Bert Lahr was pretty miserable and had to remove his suit completely between takes.

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    Jell-O gave the horse it's different color. Seriously. Jell-O crystals were stuck over all the multiple Emerald City horses playing the Horse-of-a-Different-Color to give them their color. But the scenes were shot quickly, because the horses started to lick them off.

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    Garland's daughter married the Tin Man's son. In 1974, Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli married producer Jack Haley, Jr. — whose father was Jack Haley. (They split in 1979.)

    The 1939 film was the 10th screen adaptation of the book. And L. Frank Baum was only paid $75,000 for the rights to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.



    Ahhhh, the memories of watching this as a child......wasn't that just a few years ago? My, how time flys!


    This will be the last Trivia for a few weeks. I'll be back when I can!
    Anita

  2. Thanks SuzanneOrleansOntario thanked for this post
  3. #2
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Friday Trivia: The Wizard of Oz

    Enjoyed reading the Wizard of Oz trivia. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #3
    Designer Diva

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    Default Re: Friday Trivia: The Wizard of Oz

    Fun stuff!

    A favorite move for my DD and I. She played dress-up as Dorothy many days. Her character poster from the movie is still hanging in my sewing room.

  5. #4
    Batting Beauty

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    Default Re: Friday Trivia: The Wizard of Oz

    Lovely write up and I did learn some new things!

  6. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Friday Trivia: The Wizard of Oz

    A favorite on our list.

    Look forward to more, when you return.

    Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

    Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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