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Interesting Facts About The Wizard Of Oz

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March 9, 2013 by Craig Sutherland


ImageWith ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’ in cinemas right now we thought it would nice to look back at the 1939 musical that started it all…

Here’s some interesting facts about ‘The Wizard of Oz’…

-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).

Margaret Hamilton, a life-long fan of the Oz books, was ecstatic when she learned the producers were considering her for a part in the film. When she phoned her agent to find out what role she was up for, her agent simply replied, “The witch, who else?”

– Many of the Wicked Witch of the West‘s scenes were either trimmed or deleted entirely, as Margaret Hamilton’s performance was thought too frightening for audiences.

– The movie was named as one of “The 20 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time” by Premiere.

– 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.

– During the haunted forest scene, several actors playing the Winged Monkeys were injured when the piano wires suspending them snapped, dropping them several feet to the floor of the sound stage.

– According to lead Munchkin Jerry Maren, the “little people” on the set were paid $50 per week for a 6-day work week, while Toto received $125 per week.
 
– “Over the Rainbow” was nearly cut from the film; MGM felt that it made the Kansas sequence too long, as well as being too far over the heads of the children for whom it was intended. The studio also thought that it was degrading for Judy Garland to sing in a barnyard. A reprise of the song was cut: Dorothy sang it to remember Kansas while imprisoned in the Witch’s castle. Judy Garland began to cry, along with the crew, because the song was so sad.
 
oz1– The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.
 
– The song “Over the Rainbow” was ranked #1 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.
 
– There are a striking number of coincidences between events in the movie and musical cues (and lyrics) on the 1973 Pink Floyd album, “Dark Side of the Moon”. It is highly improbable that the band had a print of the movie with them at Abbey Road, and few attempt to claim it to have been deliberate (David Gilmour dismisses it as nonsense), but the coincidences are remarkable nonetheless. If you begin the album on the third roar of the MGM lion (using the NTSC version of the movie, not the 25 fps PAL version which runs a little over 4% faster) the coincidences include (but are not limited to):
  • The line “balanced on the biggest wave” comes as Dorothy balances on the fence.
  • The song “On the Run” starts as Dorothy falls off the fence.
  • The Great Gig in the Sky” begins when the tornado first appears.
  • The song “Us and Them” is played when Dorothy meets the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • The line “black and blue” is repeated when they are talking to one another (Dorothy in her blue outfit, the Wicked Witch in black).
  • The line “the lunatic is on the grass…” coincides with Dorothy meeting the Scarecrow.
  • When we first see Miss Gulch on her bicycle, the song “Time” starts with its bells and alarms.
  • Dorothy asks Professor Marvel what else he sees in his crystal ball as the line “thought I’d something more to say” comes along in the song “Time”.
  • As the Scarecrow sings “If I Only Had a Brain”, Pink Floyd sing “Brain Damage”.
  • Side 1 of the original vinyl album (up to the end of “The Great Gig in the Sky”) is exactly as long as the black and white portion of the film.
  • As Dorothy listens to the Tin Man’s chest, the album ends with the famous heartbeat sound effect.

Have a look here… Creepy…

This phenomenon is known as “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” “Dark Side of Oz,” and “The Wizard of Floyd.”

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