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20 Wizard of Oz Facts You May Not Know

20 Wizard of Oz Facts You May Not Know
Wizard of Oz Facts You May Not Know, How Well Do You Know Your Wizard of Oz Facts, 20 Interesting Wizard of Oz Facts, What Do You Know About the Wizard of Oz, Fun Facts About the Wizard of Oz, Interesting Wizard of Oz Facts, So You Think You Know The Wizard of Oz, Awesome Fun Facts About the Wizard of Oz, The Mysteries That Happened on the Set of the Wizard of Oz, Wizard of Oz Facts for the Hardcore Fan

About twenty years ago, a new neighbor moved in across the street from my mother-in-law.  When we met the couple, she gave my daughter a Wizard of Oz pin.  I thought it was odd at the time, but we later learned she was the former Mayor of Liberty, Kansas.  And she was the Chairwoman of the Wizard of Oz cast reunion.

Through our friendship with her, we had the pleasure of hosting Margaret Pelligrini at our home for a Wizard of Oz themed birthday party for our oldest daughter’s ninth birthday.  Ms. Pelligrini was sixteen at the time the movie was filmed and was one of the Munchkins.  In honor of Ms. Pelligrini, here are twenty facts about the Wizard of Oz that you may not know.

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The dress Dorothy wore was originally light pink and blue.  The color of her dress was easier to film in Technicolor, which was an expensive and innovative way to film at the time.

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Dorothy’s ruby red slippers were originally silver, the same color as in the book.  But  Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM studios changed the color to ruby red to show off the Technicolor filming process.

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Buddy Ebsen was originally cast in the Wizard of Oz to play the Tin Man.  But after an allergic reaction to the aluminum dust used in his costume, he was rushed to a hospital with an allergic reaction.  Ebsen was later cast as Jed Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies.

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In the movie, the Tin Man is suppose to cry oil.  Because the oil wasn’t easy to see on film, the Tin Man cried chocolate syrup.

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Toto’s real name was Terry and she was a Cairn terrier.  Toto was paid $125 a week during filming and her trainer complained that they didn’t ask for more money.  The Munchkins however were paid $50 a week.  Toto was injured during filming when one of her guards stepped on her foot.

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One of the urban legends in the movie was that one of the Munchkins had died on set.  The legend was created because of a black spot in the film while Dorothy, the Tin Man and and Scarecrow were skipping down the yellow brick road.  The black spot in the movie is actually a bird.  MGM had brought it a bunch of birds to make the background more realistic.

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Did she scare you as much as she scared me?  Margaret Hamilton had a difficult time in her role as the wicked witch.  She spent six weeks recuperating after her exit from Munchkinland when her hat, broom and dress caught fire.  And because of the copper based paint used, her face remained green weeks after filming.

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And with the torture that Margaret Hamilton endured during filming, a lot of the scenes she filmed were not used because they were considered too scary for children.  What?!  Every scene she was in terrified me as a kid.  There were more scenes?

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Frank Morgan was cast to play the role of the Wizard.  But Mr. Morgan also played other roles in the film.  He was the cabby driving the horse of a different color in the Emerald City, a guard at the Wizard’s palace and also a doorkeeper at the palace.

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Legend has it that the coat that Professor Marvel wore in the movie actually belonged to L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz books.  The coat was purchased at a thrift store and the tag in the coat had his name written in it.  Several members of the production team vouched that the coat indeed had his name in it.

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Glinda the Good Witch of the North was 54 years old at the time the movie was filmed.  She was 18 years older than Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West.

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Ray Bolger, the actor who played the Scarecrow in the movie remembered his role for the next year after filming was complete.  The prosthetics used to create his costume left lines on his face that lasted for a year.

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MGM’s first choice for the role of Dorothy was Shirley Temple.  When their second choice accepted the role, Judy Garland was ordered to lose 12 pounds and had to wear a corset to appear more child-like.

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Because filming in Technicolor required more lights to film, the studio temperature normally stayed around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Can you imagine being in costume and having to deal with those temps?

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Although some of his costume on his face was made out of a paper bag, the fur on his costume was actual pelts from real lions.  Because of the temperatures in the studio, he had to take the costume off in between filming scenes.

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The horses of a different color were colored using Jell-O.  The scenes had to shot quickly because the horses would lick the Jello-O crystals off of them.

Also, the water was died blue using Jello-O.  Off the screen were ducks to make the water move.  After filming, the ducks were died blue.

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In an odd twist of fate that nobody could have seen coming, Judy Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli married the Tin Man’s son, Jack Haley, Jr. in 1974.  The split up five years later.

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The film that we know of today as the Wizard of Oz was actually the 10th time the film had seen the screen.  And L. Frank Baum sold the rights to his book for only $75,000.

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The movie the Wizard of Oz was released at the end of the Great Depression in 1939.  Another blockbuster movie was released during the same time called “Gone with the Wind”.  The film barely recouped its cost to make, 2.8 million dollars.  It did win two Oscars,  best original score and best original song.

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On November 3rd, 1956, the movie Wizard of Oz was seen on television for the first time ever.  It was the last installment of the CBS anthology series Ford Star Jubilee.  Since then, the movie has become a classic and favorite of many.

Rest easy Ms. Pellegrini.

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