Wizard of oz 1930

MGM

1. There actually exist two Wizard of Oz movies. The first was a 1925 silent film, which, puzzlingly, had no magic. You might recognize one of its actors: the Tin Man was played by Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy fame.

2. Shirley Temple, then America’s most popular child star, and Deanna Durbin were initially considered to play the role of Dorothy in the MGM version.

4. Ray Bolger was originally cast as the Tin Man, but because he preferred to be the Scarecrow—he felt the character’s style would showcase his physicality and dancing ability—he was allowed to switch.

5. Buddy Ebsen (later, a costar in TV’s Beverly Hillbillies) was the original Tin Man but after a few weeks of filming, he suffered an allergic reaction to the aluminum powder makeup. He was replaced by Jack Haley.

6. Since Dorothy was originally envisioned by studio execs to be a blonde, Judy Garland wore a wig for the first two weeks of filming until they changed their minds. Then, she was given a henna rinse and wore a partial wig to lengthen her hair.

7. Judy Garland was 16 during the making of Oz. In the book, author L. Frank Baum did not provide an age for Dorothy, but in the illustrations, she is clearly a child. As a result, Garland had to wear a corset for the film so she’d appear as young and flat-chested as possible.

8. There are many, many differences between the book and the film. The Wicked Witch has a much smaller role in the book, and she wears an eye patch. The most visible difference of all? In the book, the coveted slippers were silver. They became ruby for the movie, because it was thought that hue would look better in glorious Technicolor.

9. Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion) was paid $2,500 per week, and he had his contract written to guarantee a minimum of five weeks of work. Turns out there was no need for that clause—the shoot ended up lasting 26 weeks.

10. His makeup took two hours to apply.

11. His tail was able to move thanks to a fishing line controlled by a stagehand sitting on a catwalk above the soundstage.

12. His costume was made from real lion pelts, and it weighed 60 pounds.

13. Lahr was a Broadway and vaudeville star before The Wizard of Oz. In Oz, he had two musical numbers: “If I Were King of the Forest” and “If I Only Had The Nerve.” They were written for him by Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen, a team who’d previously created songs for two Broadway shows starring Lahr so they were very familiar with his delivery and mannerisms.

14. MYTH CHECK! It’s long been rumored that the older actors disliked young whippersnapper Judy Garland and tried to push her off the yellow brick road. That was not true, reports John Lahr, Bert’s son.

15. The close relationships among the cast extended off screen. Jack Haley (Tin Man) was the godfather of Bert Lahr’s son, John. Judy Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli married Jack Haley Jr, the Tin Man’s son. And, at the memorial service for Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow) gave the eulogy.

16. The Munchkins were played by 124 little people, who ranged in height from 2’3 to 4’8. They were each paid $100 a week. Since filming lasted 26 weeks, that added up to $322,400 spent on Munchkins alone.

17. The pre-Oz Kansas scenes were shot in sepia, not in black and white. However, they were shown on black and white in the TV version until 1989 when a sepia tint was restored to the film.

18. MGM spent roughly $2.78 million on the movie, making it the studio’s most expensive production at that point.

19. While The Wizard of Oz was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in 1940, the award went to Gone with the Wind. It did take home an award for Best Original Song (“Over the Rainbow”). In an interesting Wind/Oz overlap, four directors worked on Oz, although the one who got the final credit was Victor Fleming, who left the helming of Oz to take over directing duties for Gone with the Wind.

19. The role of Toto was played by a five-year-old female Cairn terrier named Terry. She was owned by Carl Spitz, who trained military and police dogs in Germany in WWI before he emigrated to America in 1926 and opened Carl Spitz’s Hollywood Dog Training School. He helped innovate the use of silent hand signals to command dogs, and among his cinematic trainees was Buck, the St. Bernard in the film Call of the Wild, starring Clark Gable.

20. Terry was originally intended to be a house pet for Spitz and his family, but when Clark Gable and studio executives went to Spitz’s kennel to meet Buck, they were charmed by Terry so Spitz decided to train her for the movies.

21. As many as 100 dogs tested for the role of Toto. After The Wizard of Oz, Terry’s name was permanently changed to Toto.

22. She was injured during filming when one of the Winkies, or castle guards, stepped on the dog’s foot and broke it, putting her on the disabled list for two weeks.

23. It took up to 12 takes for the director to get Terry/Toto to run alongside the human actors on the yellow brick road.

24. Terry earned $125 per week. Over her lifetime, she appeared in 17 movies.

25. MYTH CHECK! It’s been widely rumored that Terry’s salary was greater than Garland’s. That’s not true. Garland earned $500 a week.

26. Ray Bolger and Tin Man were the top earners on Oz, getting paid roughly $3,000/week.

MGM

27. Some of the oft-repeated lines from the movie include “I’m melting! I’m melting!”, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore,” “Lions and tigers and bears oh my!”,”I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too,” and, of course, “There’s no place like home.” Field of Dreams, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Nightmare on Elm Street, Spaceballs, The Matrix, Avatar, Swingers, and Twister are among the many movies that have quoted from Oz.

28. There were thought to be four or five pairs of ruby slippers made for the movie. Each shoe was made of red satin covered by 2,300 sequins.

29. One pair is on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. (along with Bolger’s Scarecrow costume); another pair sold for $666,000 at auction in 2000; and one pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2005. A $1 million reward has been offered for their return.

30. One final pair of ruby slippers is waiting in the wings to be shown at the future Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angles. A group of deep-pocketed donors, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Stephen Spielberg, pooled together their funds to buy a pair. The price they paid was not revealed, but it’s thought to have been in the $2-$3 million range.

31. The Wicked Witch’s crystal ball sold for $129,000 at auction in 2011.

32. The Cowardly Lion’s costume hauled in $3.1 million at auction in 2014. (Fun fact: at the same auction, the piano from Casablanca was sold for $3.4 million).

33. One of Dorothy’s dresses will be sold at auction in November 2015. Ten dresses were made for use in the film; one went for $480,000 in 2012.

34. To create the winged monkeys, MGM initially tried using cartoons. Displeased with how they looked, the movie designers opted for miniature rubber monkeys of different sizes (some were only a few inches tall) to create the effect of depth, and they were “flown” by wires. Small human stuntmen were mixed in.

35. MYTH CHECK! The “horse of a different color” in Emerald City has been said to be achieved by dyeing two horses’ coats with Jell-O, which the horses kept licking it off. That is not correct—vegetable dye was used.

36. Before she became an actress, Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch) once worked as a kindergarten teacher.

37. Perhaps Hamilton should have emulated her character’s fear of fire—the actress was seriously burned on her face and right hand during her Munchkinland scene and was sidelined for six weeks.

38. Hamilton was known to quip that she hoped newspapers would someday print the words “Ding, dong, the witch is dead!” above her death notice. After she passed away in 1985, some newspapers followed through on her request and used that as the headline of her obituary.

39. To create the sonorous voices of the Winkies, the Witch’s castle guards, the actors’ voices were recorded and then slowed down.

40. The Munchkins’ distinctive voices were also achieved by pre-recording; in their case, the actors’ voices were sped up to what moviegoers heard.

41. MGM spent the immense sum of $250,000—$4.19 million, in today’s dollars—to promote and publicize the film.

42. It took 22 men one week to make the 40,000 fake flowers that made up the film’s poppy field.

43. The snowflakes in that scene were flakes of asbestos!

44. North Carolina is home to an abandoned Land of Oz theme park (complete with yellow brick road). It was open to the public from 1970 to 1980 and now re-opens once a year in the fall.

45. Novelist Salman Rushdie has said that seeing The Wizard of Oz as a child “made a writer out of me.”

46. Only two shots—the clouds in the opening and end credits—in the movie were filmed outside. The rest was filmed on 65 sets constructed over six sound stages in Culver City.

47. In 1998, TV writer Rick Polito achieved renown when he wrote the unforgettable one-sentence summary about The Wizard of Oz for TCM: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

48. MYTH CHECK! The biggest myth about The Wizard of Oz is that in the background of one scene, viewers can see a hanged person—a Munchkin—dangling from a tree. Relax, there was no hanging. It’s a bird wing.

49. When the movie was first released in 1939, it was a box-office disappointment, grossing $3 million. However, it more than made up for that poor showing by the profits made in subsequent showings (when it was re-released in theaters in 1949, it grossed $1.5 million) and in TV broadcast rights.

50. The movie was first shown on TV in 1956, but since most sets were black-and-white, home viewers did not get to see the wonderful Technicolor of Oz. Still, an estimated 45 million watched. The next TV showing occurred in 1959 when it aired as a Christmas special. CBS paid MGM $225,000 for each broadcast.

51. The last surviving principal actor from the film is Jerry Maren, who is 95. In the movie, he was a Munchkin and a member of the Lollipop Guild—Maren was the one to hand Dorothy a lollipop.

52. The songs for Oz were composed by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, who collaborated on many other shows. Among their better-known songs are “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady,” and “Cabin in the Sky.”

53. After Harburg saw a stage version of The Wiz in the 1970s, he responded with the following witty rhyme: “From FDR to Nixon/From The Wizard to The Wiz/It doesn’t quite seem possible/But oh my country, ’tis.

54. The song “Over the Rainbow” was cut from the film three times, because it was thought not to be appealing to children, the movie’s intended audience.

55. In the film, the Witch wrote “Surrender Dorothy” with her broom in the sky. In real life, it was written by a production designer with a hypodermic needle filled with dye in a tank of cloudy water with cloudy water. He had to write the words backwards in order to be filmed.

56. In the original trailers for Oz, none of the Kansas scenes were shown because MGM execs wanted moviegoers to think the entire movie was in Technicolor.

‘The Wizard of Oz’: How Surprising Amount of Money the Cast Made

The Wizard of Oz is an iconic — perhaps the most iconic — Hollywood film but the cast didn’t make big bucks for their roles. Continue reading to learn just how much money Judy Garland and the rest of the cast made in The Wizard of Oz.

Premiering on Aug. 25, 1939, The Wizard of Oz hit theaters across America but didn’t initially wow movie-goers. It took time for the film to become a success. What made the film a household name came when it began airing on TV giving more people access to Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Costing $3 million to make — $2,777,000 to be exact — The Wizard of Oz demonstrated the new technology of the time, technicolor, which took the film industry from black and white to color.

Judy Garland’s salary for playing Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Garland, a teen when The Wizard of Oz premiered, earned $500 a week for her iconic role as Dorothy, according to the Los Angeles Times. For the 1930s, Garland made good money for playing the film’s main character but her salary didn’t foreshadow how successful the film would become. Plus, she made much less than her male counterparts in the cast.

Although The Wizard of Oz made Garland famous, filming the movie wasn’t always a pleasant experience for her. Director Viktor Fleming slapped Garland when she couldn’t stop giggling filming the slap scene with the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). Allegedly, some of the actors who played munchkins put their hands up Garland’s blue and white gingham dress.

And it’s unfortunately where Garland developed what would become a life-long battle with drugs. She began taking amphetamines to maintain her weight (she was a teen playing a little girl and needed to look like she hadn’t hit puberty) and also took barbiturates as a sleep aid to get her to bed after 16-hour days on set.

Ray Bolger’s salary for playing the Scarecrow in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

During her journey through Oz, Dorothy (Garland) made friends, one of them being the lovable Scarecrow played by actor Ray Bolger. He made six times Garland’s salary at $3,000 a week, demonstrating the disparity between men and women in Hollywood at the time.

Scene from The Wizard of Oz. | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Bolger’s scarecrow costume stuck with the actor long after filming on The Wizard of Oz ended. He had marks on his face for a year as a result of his makeup in the film.

Jack Haley’s salary for playing the Tin Man in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Jack Haley played the Tin Man and, like Bolger, made six times Garland’s salary. He made $3,000 a week.

Haley almost didn’t become the famous silver and shiny character. The role first went to Buddy Ebsen who wore a metal suit then suffered a reaction to his makeup for the film, which landed him in the hospital.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ cast. | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Bert Lahr’s salary for playing the Cowardly Lion in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Actor Bert Lahr played the Cowardly Lion and wore a real lion’s hide while filming which made him sweat constantly. He made $2,500 a week, five times Garland’s salary.

Art imitated life when the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion became friends. Haley, the Tin Man, and Lahr, the Cowardly Lion, were so close Haley became godfather to Lahr’s son.

Eighty years ago, Dorothy Gale, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the rest of the gang followed the Yellow Brick Road into Americans’ hearts and minds after the release of “The Wizard of Oz.” Filmed in brilliant Technicolor — and taking full advantage of it — the film also was groundbreaking for its memorable score, use of special effects, and sheer scale of production.

Based on the 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, the film was instantly woven into the American fabric. Blue gingham dresses and ruby red slippers became a perennial Halloween costume choice. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” became every cross-country traveler’s punch line. And “Over the Rainbow” — almost cut from the film during editing — endures as a beloved American classic, taking the No. 1 spot in the Recording Industry Association of America’s “Songs of the Century” list in 2001.

But beyond the Technicolor was a darker side, with a revolving door of cast and crew, severe injuries, and even a fabled Munchkin hanging. Eighty years after its release, fewer than 10 cast members remain living, most of them children hired as munchkin stand-ins. Still, the film endures as an American classic. Here are 20 things you might not have known about the cast, inspiration, and legacy of the wonderful–and sometimes chilling–land of Oz.

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The original cut was too scary

Many kids — and adults — are terrified by the Wicked Witch and her fleet of flying monkeys. Apparently, early viewers were so afraid of the winged terrors that much of their footage was cut from the final edit. The version of “The Wizard of Oz” we all know and love is 101 minutes long, down from just under two hours originally. Chief among the cut scenes are those featuring the monkeys, Wicked Witch, and tornado — all scenes ultimately considered too frightening for the intended audience. According to cinema lore, some of the original scenes frightened children so badly that they were taken from the theater crying. Other cuts were less about fear and more about length: a “Jitterbug” dance scene, an “Over the Rainbow” reprise, and a scene alluding to a future romance between Dorothy and the Scarecrow, in reality her family’s farmhand Hunk.

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Dorothy’s shoes were originally silver

In L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book, Dorothy was whisked home by clicking the heels of her silver slippers. But one of the film’s claims to fame is its early use of Technicolor, and alongside a yellow brick road and Emerald City, silver shoes just don’t pop. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the idea for ruby red slippers is credited to screenwriter Noel Langley, and chief costume designer Gilbert Adrian created the sequin-laden heels. Dorothy’s ruby red slippers have become one of the film’s most iconic elements — so iconic, in fact, that a pair has resided at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History since 1979 and is among its most popular artifacts. Another pair was famously stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota, but was recovered in September 2018. The shoes worn by Judy Garland in the film, incidentally, are a size 5.

National Museum of American History

Which Witch is which?

Four Witches in Oz

Dorothy melts the Wicked Witch of the West, by W.W. Denslow

There are four witches in Oz – one in each corner, or rather, one in each Cardinal Direction. L. Frank Baum laid out the powers that ruled the corners of Oz. In his first book, he detailed this witchy phenomenon:

“There were only four witches in all the Land of Oz, and two of them, those who live in the North and the South, are good witches. I know this is true, for I am one of them myself, and cannot be mistaken. Those who dwelt in the East and the West were, indeed, wicked witches; but now that you have killed one of them, there is but one Wicked Witch in all the Land of Oz–the one who lives in the West.”

— The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, chapter 2, “The Council with the Munchkins”

So, four Witches? Is this a Star Wars dark lord of Sith-type limitation on the number of Witches? Let’s explore this witch-rule across three different versions of Oz – canonical Oz, by L. Frank Baum; Disney Oz, coming to theaters soon; and The Hidden History of Oz, available now.

You may have seen what Disney is doing with their Oz prequel, Oz, the Great and Powerful. If not, here’s a quick peek at one of the TV spots.

Disney’s Witches

Official character bio for each witch:

Glinda – Glinda is a good witch who rules over a peaceful kingdom of simple, kind folk. Beautiful Glinda is not only a compassionate and benevolent witch, but also a fierce protector of her people. Though Glinda sees through Oz’s facade early on, she knows genuine goodness lies within and helps Oz achieve his true destiny.

Evanora – A witch to be feared, Evanora is Theodora’s over-protective sister. With her penetrating gaze, she exudes a powerful presence and has positioned herself as the royal advisor and protector of Emerald City.

Theodora – Theodora is a beautiful, naive witch who is protected by her powerful sister Evanora. Theodora only wants peace to come to the Land of Oz and truly believes that a prophesied wizard will arrive someday to restore order.

Then there is a silhouette of a witch in the fire. Who could this be? We’ll have to wait until March 8, 2013, when the film is released, to find out.

Baum’s Witches

North

The Good Witch of the North was not named in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Nor whas she named in any of Baum’s Oz books. However, Baum gave her the name of Locasta in the 1902 musical extravaganza, The Wizard of Oz.

Ruth Plumly Thompson, Baum’s handpicked successor in writing Oz books, revamped the character and gave her the name of Tattypoo.

The Good Witch of the North is often confused with Glinda. Why? Because the 1939 MGM movie, The Wizard of Oz, combined the two good witches into one and called her Glinda. Thanks for that.

East

The Wicked Witch of the East is not named in Baum’s books.

West

The Wicked Witch of the West is not named in Baum’s books. However, in the 1910 silent film, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this witch is named Momba in the intertitles (or title cards).

South

The Good Witch of the South is Glinda the Good. She is the most powerful of the Witches. According to the Soldier with Green Whiskers, Glinda:

“knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived.”

— The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, chapter 18, “Away to the South”

So she was the most beautiful of the four witches. Later books in Baum’s Oz series refer to Glinda as a Sorceress, rather than a Witch.

Hidden History Witches

This information is taken from The Hidden History of Oz, Book One: The Witch Queens.

Gayelette

Gayelette is the eternal sorceress who rules from the Ruby Palace in the lands of the North. She is a sorceress who exists in a different time than normal people – she does not ever age. She is more than one hundred years old. Her constant research keeps her too busy to pay attention to either matters of state or family.
Gayelette researches the power of dreams, probing into the mystery, “Why does nobody in Oz dream?”

Kalinya

Kalinya rules over the Munchkins in the East as their unquestioned leader. She is cruel and easily irritated. Her magic is telekinetic, and her greatest threat is to throw a person into the sky. She is clever and constantly schemes to gain more power, especially against her chief rival, Gayelette.
It is Kalinya who later becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the East.

Ondri-baba

Ondri-baba is the homely and cruel younger sister of Kalinya. She is short and stocky, and fond of wearing ornate neckpieces. Her magic is invisibility. She has a magic eye that can see long distances; it can see what normal waking eyes cannot see. She controls the majority of the magic hourglasses sold by Smith & Tinker, and so controls the Sandy Armies.
It is Ondri-baba who eventually conquers the Winkies in the West and becomes the Wicked Witch of the West.

Sonadia

Sonadia is only mentioned in the book. She met her untimely death under very mysterious circumstances. Through conversations with Kalinya and Glinda, we learn that Sonadia had powers over weather, and she taught some of these spells to Gayelette.

Mombi

Mombi is a strategist and political opportunist. Though her powers of transformation and disguise are well-known to the leaders of the various lands in Oz, Mombi seeks out the true positions of power – those behind the throne. She is careful in her use of power, though sometimes she gets caught up in Kalinya’s schemes.
Note: Mombi is not mentioned in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, though she is the primary antagonist in Baum’s second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz.

Locasta

Locasta is a young Munchkin maiden, taken as an apprentice by Kalinya, Witch of the East. She is quiet and non-confrontational, doing what she is told. She fears her master and the cruel punishments that she earns for her supposed ineptitude. Her most powerful magic is the ownership of an oracular hat.
Though sent to capture Glinda, she learns a valuable lesson from the young sorceress and finds the courage to stand on her own merit. With Glinda building her forces in the South, Locasta becomes what Glinda cannot be – the Witch of the North.

Glinda

Glinda is the daughter of the Ruby Sorceress, Gayelette, and Quelala, rulers of the North. She was born a princess, but she imagines for herself adventure and romance, just like in her large collection of books. She has fiery red hair, and a temper to match.
When her parents disappear, Glinda finds herself thrown into adventure, with the Wicked Witches chasing after her. With a name and a fame belonging to her mother, Glinda fights back against the witches to earn for herself the title of Glinda the Good, and secure a new home for herself in the South.

History of the Witches in Oz

According to Baum’s later Oz books, the witches had been ruling for decades, and the three witches – East, West, and Mombi in the North – conspired to conquer the entire Land of Oz and divide it up among themselves.

Hidden History version

According to stories in Book One, there have been two Witch Wars. Both of these wars tore the Land of Oz apart as the Witches combined their powers and created vast armies to fight against the kings and queens of the land.

In the Second Witch War, the Witches obtained an alliance and power from the Queen of Dreams, a mysterious ruler from across the sea. The Witches unwisely used this power and poisoned and destroyed the sea. The sea became a toxic desert that surrounds the Land of Oz.

Book One details the beginning of the Third Witch War, as the Wicked Witches again combine their power to overthrow the rulers of the land. While this book begins the Third Witch Wars, they do not end until later books, with the arrival of a young “sorceress” (Dorothy) to the Land of Oz.

How will it end?

The Witch Wars end when all the Witches are dead. We know that Dorothy interacts with all of the main witches in the original story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She destroys two of them, and receives magical protection and favors from the other two. However, the journey from four cardinal witches to two witches is a fascinating one explored in the Hidden History of Oz novels.

If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, you can find it on Amazon (in paperback and Kindle versions) or on Smashwords.

Edit: Update on the ending of the Third Witch Wars. It happens in later books, not Book Four. – Tarl

1) So frightening was Margaret Hamilton’s performance as the Wicked Witch of the West that most of her scenes were heavily edited or cut entirely.

2) When the script was written, the part of the Wizard had been earmarked for WC Fields.

3) Judy Garland’s white dress was actually pink as it was easier to shoot in Technicolor.

4) A sequel using the original cast was mooted, but scrapped after Garland became such a big star and Hamilton expressed doubts over the feasibility of such a project.

5) The film has numerous lines in Premiere magazine’s poll to find the 100 Greatest Movie Lines. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” came in at No 24.

6) “There’s no place like home” came in at No 11.

7) “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” was at No 62.

8) “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” was No 99.

9) The same magazine named it one of the 20 most overrated movies of all time.

10) Judy Garland’s childlike physique was achieved with the help of a corset.

11) Several actors playing Winged Monkeys were injured when the piano wires holding them up snapped during a shoot on the haunted forest scene.

12) An unused screenplay was written by Ogden Nash.

13) Reports suggest each Munchkin earned $50 per week, while Toto bagged $125 per week.

14) Jell-O crystals were stuck over all the horses in the Emerald City palace to lend them their colour. The scenes were shot speedily, before the horses began to lick them off.

15) The running time is 101 minutes, but the original cut was 112 minutes – only audiences at test screenings have seen the additional 11 minutes.

16) MGM toned down the gore in L Frank Baum’s novel, which involves scenes showing “Kalidahs” (tiger-bear hybrids) being dashed to pieces in a crevasse, the Tin Woodman using his axe to decapitate a wildcat and 40 wolves, and bumblebees stinging themselves to death against the Scarecrow.

17) The production costs came in at $2,777,000 – a vast sum for the time. On initial release, the film only earned $3m.

18) MGM head Louis B Mayer had the idea of changing the colour of the slippers from silver to ruby.

19) The song Over the Rainbow came in at No 1 on the American Film Institute’s 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films.

20) The film is rated No 1 on the AFI’s 2008 list of the 10 greatest fantasy films.

21) In their 2007 list, the AFI ranked it as the 10th greatest film of all time.

22) So scary were the costumes worn by Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr and Jack Haley that they had to eat meals in their dressing rooms, lest they alarm other diners in the MGM cafeteria.

23) Bert Lahr’s costume weighed 90 pounds

24) In 1989, a pair of real ruby slippers were made to mark the 50th anniversary. These are valued at $3m.

25) Louis B Mayer’s trigger for getting the film into production was to trump the critical and commercial success of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

26) Five different directors and 14 writers were involved in various stages of pre-production.

27) Judy Garland won an Oscar Juvenile Award in 1939 for her role; a gong she would later refer to as the Munchkin award.

28) L Frank Baum received $75,000 for the rights to his book.

29) Standard industrial paint, bought from a hardware store several blocks away from the studio, was used to coat the bricks on the Yellow Brick Road.

30) The oft-quoted line “Fly my pretties, fly” is a falsely remembered bit of dialogue – it’s actually “Fly, Fly, Fly.”

31) The fire that engulfs the Witch’s hands as she’s trying to remove the ruby slippers is actually apple juice spewing out of the shoes – the film was then sped up to make it look more like fire.

32) The uniforms of the Flying Monkeys match those worn by the Witch’s castle guards (or Winkies).

33) A recycled bit of score from the film Marie Antoinette (1938) can be heard during the castle escape film – the music for both films was composed by Herbert Stothart.

34) To show Dorothy’s house falling from the sky, a miniature house was dropped onto a sky painting on the stage floor, then the film reversed to make it appear the film was falling towards the camera.

35) Jack Haley’s Tin Woodsman costume was so stiff that he had to lean against a board if he wanted a rest.

36) The film is meant to be one of the most watched in the western world, partly because of its heavy presence on TV schedules.

37) The head winged monkey is called Nikko – also the name of the Japanese town home to the shrine featuring the Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil monkeys.

38) In 2007, the Munchkins were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Seven of them attended the ceremony: Mickey Carroll, Ruth L Robinson, Margaret Pellegrini, Meinhardt Raabe, Karl “Karchy” Kosiczky and August Clarence Swenson.

39) Baum thought up the name for Oz when looking at his filing cabinets, organised A-N and O-Z.

40) Jack Haley regularly claimed that making the film was far from enjoyable. “Like Hell, it was; it was work!”, he was say.

41) Judy Garland couldn’t stop giggling while filming the scene in which Dorothy slaps the Cowardly Lion. So the director, Victor Fleming, took her aside and slapped her. She returned to the set and filmed the scene in one take.

42) The line “What makes the dawn come up like thunder?” in the Cowardly Lion’s speech about courage is a reference to a line in Rudyard Kipling’s Mandalay: “An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!”

43) The tornado was a 35-foot-long muslin stocking, spun around among miniatures of a Kansas farm and fields in a dusty atmosphere.

44) Lux Radio Theater broadcast a 60-minute CBS Radio adaptation of the movie on Christmas Day 1950 with Judy Garland reprising her film role as Dorothy.

45) In 1985 Disney made a sequel to Wizard of Oz named Return to Oz. It has since become a cult classic.

46) The musical Wicked is based on Gregory Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and

Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s essentially a back story to The Wizard of Oz, and shows the Wicked Witch of the West is a positive light.

47) The stage version of The Wizard of Oz returns to London’s West End in February 2011. The role of Dorothy was decided by BBC talent show Over the Rainbow, which aired in spring 2010.

48) Four sets of slippers were used in the film, one pair of which was stolen from a museum in Minnesota in 2005. They were insured for $1m.

49) The film won two Oscars for best original score and best original song, and was nominated for best art direction, best cinematography and best effects.

50) A Cairn terrier called Terry played the role of the dog Toto.

51) Spotlights and shadows from camera equipment are visible on the grass as Dorothy and the Scarecrow dance off singing “We’re off to see the Wizard”.

52) Hamilton was hospitalised with severe burns after a botched explosion in a take of the moment in which she disappears into a cloud of smoke.

53) In the final version of this scene Hamilton is clearly visible making her exit through a trap door.

54) In the original novel, the gift given to the Tin Man is not a heart clock but a stuffed satin heart put into the Woodsman’s chest and then patched over with tin.

55) When George Cukor started as the director, Garland wore a blond wig and heavy, “baby-doll” makeup. Cukor changed Judy Garland’s and Margaret Hamilton’s makeup and costumes and instructed Garland to act more naturally, necessitating wholescale reshoots.

56) Most actors on the five-month shoot worked six days a week and had to arrive at the studio at four and five in the morning to be fitted with makeup and costumes. They would then work till seven or eight at night.

57) The early Technicolor process required a huge amount of lighting, which would often heat the set to over 100 degrees.

58) Jack Haley’s aluminium paste makeup gave the actor a severe eye infection.

59) Margaret Hamilton’s makeup could not be ingested, so she lived almost entirely on a liquid diet during filming.

60) A persistent rumour suggested one of the Munchkins can be seen having committed suicide by hanging himself in the background of one scene. But it’s been proved false: it was actually a wild crane used in the forest scene.

61) When Margaret Hamilton returned from hospital following her burns accident, she refused to do the scene in which she flies on a broomstick that billows smoke, so the directors brought in stand-in Betty Danko instead. Danko was severely injured doing the scene.

62) In May 2010 Drew Barrymore was announced as the director of a loose sequel to the film, Surrender Dorothy.

63) The New York premiere at Loew’s Capitol Theater on 17 August 1939 was followed by a live performance with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. They would continue to perform there after each screening for a week, extended in Rooney’s case for a second week and in Garland’s to three.

64) The film was deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress, which selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1989.

65) In June 2007, the film was listed on Unesco’s Memory of the World Register.

66) Last year the San Francisco Chronicle devoted a film section front page to the film, in which Mick LaSalle declared that the film’s “entire sequence, from Dorothy’s arrival in Oz to her departure on the yellow brick road, has to be one of the greatest in cinema history — a masterpiece of set design, costuming, choreography, music, lyrics, storytelling and sheer imagination.”

67) A prequel to Wizard of Oz is scheduled to be released in 2013. The working title is Oz: The Great and Powerful. It will be directed by Spider-Man’s Sam Raimi and is likely to star Robert Downey, Jr.

68) The pairing of the 1973 Pink Floyd music album The Dark Side of the Moon with the visual portion of the film produces moments where the film and the album appear to correspond with each other in a music video-like experience. This juxtaposition has been called Dark Side of the Rainbow.

69) The Observer Music Monthly voted it the greatest film soundtrack of all time.

70) On the Rotten Tomatoes website, 100% of critics give the film positive reviews.

71) The film is at No 10 on the BFI’s list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.

• This article was amended on 13 August to reinstate the missing 62nd fact.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland appears in a scene from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”

(File photo)

Was Judy Garland sexually abused at age 16 while filming her most famous movie? Yes, one of her husbands claims.

A newly uncovered memoir by Sid Luft, who was married to “The Wizard of Oz” actress from 1952 to 1965, says some of the Munchkins molested Garland repeatedly. The film producer and business manager describes the alleged abuse in “Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland,” a new book coming out next month.

“They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress… The men were 40 or more years old,” Luft wrote.

“They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small.”

According to People, rumors about misbehavior have persisted for years about the 100-plus actors in the 1939 film that made up the “Lollipop Guild” and other Munchkin groups. Garland said in a 1967 interview that they were “little drunks,” but did not make any allegations about abuse.

“Flower Pot” Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini, who died in 2013, and Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin at age 97, have admitted that some of their co-stars drank but denied ever seeing anything ever getting out of hand. Both said they worked hard for little pay.

“How could you get drunk on $50 a week?” Maren reportedly said.

Garland, who was married five times, died from an accidental barbiturate overdose in 1969 at age 47. Luft, who died in 2005, describes her struggles with drugs and multiple suicide attempts in the memoir.

Randy Schmidt, who edited the memoir, told The Daily Mail that the book is “Sid’s long-lost love letter” to the two-time Oscar nominee best known for playing Dorothy in Victor Fleming’s film based on Chittenango native L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The movie was filmed while she was just 16 years old.

“Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland,” published by Chicago Review Press, will be available in March.

Yes! The Wizard of Oz was filmed that way to give it the “Over the Rainbow” effect. The Black and White parts were actually filmed on Sepia Tone film, It has a more brownish tint to it. Which if you have the DVD you will see the true color of the Sepia Tone. The color parts of the movie were filmed on 3 strip Technicolor film. It was extremely expensive back then but they decided to do it right. The Wizard Of Oz was NOT the first color movie, there were quite a few others before. Where the black and white turns to color those few frames on the film were hand painted to give the transition a smooth effect (where Dorothy is looking out of the house door). So to sum this up, The Wizard Of Oz was purposly filmed that way, and was never changed. Some people thought it was later “colored” in. Which it wasn’t, even this day and age that is nearly impossible*. Also the 3 strip technicolor film offered the apsolute best rich color and resolution. Today we use a single strip which isn’t nearly as good of quality, but it is cheaper and more economical. When I say 3 strip technicolor, that is for Red, Green, Blue. 3 diffrent films running through the camera at the same time. The cameras were loud, large and expensive for that time.

* When I said nearly impossible I mean to have it look as colorful as the Wizard Of Oz is. I beleive Ted Turner had some movies “colorized”, but they are no wheres near the comparason of a true color film. Computers are pretty good at colorizing, however they still can’t seem to give it the right depth and effect to make it look as though it was filmed in color. So generally speaking, with the technology available I think it is safe to say it would be nearly impossible to colorize a Black & White film and give it the true rich color that is seen in The Wizard Of Oz.

50 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Wizard of Oz’

It was a modest box officer winner when it was released on this day back in 1939, but MGM’s grand Technicolor fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz, won the hearts of millions more when it debuted on TV for the first time in 1956. It became an annual tradition for many families to huddle around the telly and watch the tale of a girl and her dog traveling the Yellow Brick Road. We’re honoring the film’s theatrical release with an epic list of facts, many strange but true, that shed light on one of cinema’s most beloved movies.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

1. Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume weighed almost 100 pounds and was made with real lion pelts.

2. Judy Garland had to wear a corset in order to appear more childlike for her role as Dorothy. She was 16 years old when she made the movie.

3. The early Technicolor process required more light than a normal film production, so the set temperatures often exceeded 100 degrees.

4. In L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s slippers were silver. They were changed to “ruby” in order to take advantage of the Technicolor wow factor. Multiple sets were created for the film. A pair of the ruby slippers were stolen in 2005, but several others remain under lock and key.

5. The special effects crew used flavored Jell-O powder to color the horses for the Emerald City scenes. It was a snappy shoot since the horses attempted to lick themselves clean.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

6. Actress Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West and was depicted as an old hag. In reality, Hamilton was only 36 years old at the time, while her on-screen nemesis, the younger-looking and prettier Glinda the Good Witch of the North (played by Billie Burke), was 54.

7. Shirley Temple, then 11-years-olds, was a frontrunner for the part of Dorothy, but it’s said that producers didn’t think she had the vocal chops to cut it. There was also a contract quibble.

8. Buddy Ebsen (aka Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies) was the first choice for the Tin Man, but the actor suffered from an extreme allergic reaction to the aluminum dust in his makeup. Jack Haley took over the role, and makeup artists switched to an aluminum paste. It gave him an eye infection, but he avoided Ebsen’s near-death experience.

9. Toto was a female Cairn Terrier named Terry. She was injured during filming (one of the witch’s guards accidentally stepped on her). She was paid a $125 a week, which was more than many of the Munchkin actors received. Toto had a happy career in movies until she died in 1945.

10. It’s rumored that one of the Munchkins committed suicide by hanging, and the body can be seen swinging in the background during one scene in the movie. Many dismiss it, blaming the odd shadow on a bird, since there were several wild animals on loan from the Los Angeles Zoo to create a realistic woodland setting.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

11. Judy Garland was outfitted with a blonde wig and heavy baby-doll makeup when filming started, but intermediate director George Cukor ditched the look in favor of a natural appearance.

12. Clara Blandick, who played Auntie Em, committed suicide in 1962 when her failing health became too much to bear. The first line of the note she left read: “I am now about to make the great adventure.”

13. The Wicked Witch’s makeup was toxic, so actress Margaret Hamilton lived on a liquid diet to avoid accidental ingestion. Her face stayed green for weeks after shooting finished due to the copper-based ingredients.

14. The tornado in the film was created with a 35-foot-long muslin stocking that was spun while dirt, dust, and wind blew against it. The Kansas farm was a miniature.

15. Judy Garland had a major giggle fit during the scene where she slaps the Cowardly Lion. In order to snap her out of it, Victor Fleming took her aside and surprised the actress by slapping her right before they filmed another take.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

16. Wicked Witch actress Margaret Hamilton was severely burned in the scene where she disappears into a cloud of smoke. Her stand-in and stunt double, Betty Danko, was also injured during the skywriting sequence.

17. It took five directors and 14 writers to bring The Wizard of Oz to the big screen.

18. The paint used to color the Yellow Brick Road showed up green on a screen test. The crew replaced it with standard yellow industrial paint.

19. The Wizard of Oz hit VHS in 1980.

20. Producer Louis B. Mayer wanted to create a movie that would beat the success of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney wanted to film the Baum adaptation, but MGM owned the rights to the book.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

21. Ray Bolger (The Scarecrow), Bert Lahr (The Cowardly Lion), and Jack Haley (The Tin Man) ate in their dressing rooms during breaks since their costumes frightened diners in the MGM cafeteria.

22. The now famous song “Over the Rainbow” was almost cut from the movie, because execs thought it made the movie too long.

23. The Tin Man’s oil was really chocolate sauce. Real oil didn’t show up sufficiently on film.

24. After the Scarecrow gets his brain, he states the isosceles Pythagorean Theorem incorrectly.

25. There were 3,210 costumes created for the movie.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

26. The shabby coat that Frank Morgan’s Professor Marvel/The Wiz wore was a thrift store find. It was discovered later that it used to belong to Oz author, L. Frank Baum (his name was sewn into the garment). Baum’s widow and tailor confirmed the find.

27. The girl’s voice heard in the Tin Man’s “If I Only Had a Heart” belongs to Adriana Caselotti, who voiced Walt Disney’s Snow White.

28. Chrysotile asbestos fibers (yes, the carcinogenic stuff) were used to create the snow in the “poppy field” scene.

29. The Wicked Witch’s crystal ball was previously used as a prop in The Mask of Fu Manchu, starring Boris Karloff.

30. Many of the scenes featuring the Wicked Witch had to be cut or edited, because she was considered too frightening for children.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

31. Dorothy’s blue and white gingham dress was actually blue and pink. True white looked underwhelming on the big screen due to the Technicolor process.

32. The 1939 New York Times review of the movie stated: “It is all so well-intentioned, so genial and so gay that any reviewer who would look down his nose at the fun-making should be spanked and sent off, supperless, to bed.”

33. The original cut ran 120 minutes long, but several scenes were deleted, including one in which the Tin man was turned into a human beehive.

34. Dorothy’s hair changes length in the movie, most visible in the Scarecrow’s cornfield scene. This was due to reshoots, and changes in her costume and overall look.

35. The Wicked Witch’s death certificate is dated May, 6 1938, which marked the 20th anniversary of L. Frank Baum’s death.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

36. The Wizard of Oz was shot on a studio set. The only location footage featured in the movie is the shot of clouds during the opening credits.

37. There were 124 little people cast as Munchkins. Only two are alive today.

38. Dorothy’s jumper dress was fit for a 27-inch waist. Her name was sewn on the inside hem.

39. Part of the Cowardly Lion’s facial prosthetic consisted of a brown paper bag.

40. When The Witch tries to yank off the Ruby Slippers, a fire erupts. The effect was created with apple juice, but sped up on film to make it look like fire.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

41. Poor Toto was frightened of the steam that shot out of the Tin Man’s hat.

42. Ray Bolger’s facial prosthetic created an intense impression of lines on his face. It took about a year for them to disappear.

43. You can see wrinkles in the Tin Man’s pants, which betrays the fantasy that he’s made of metal.

44. The scenes of Dorothy’s house falling from the sky were captured by dropping a miniature prop onto a painting of a sky. The film was reversed to create the effect.

45. The original 120-minute cut of the film was viewed by a theatrical audience only one time.

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Photo by Mgm/Kobal/REX/

46. There are about 44 major differences between Baum’s book and the film.

47. Only two of the Munchkins actually had speaking parts. Professional singers and voice actors dubbed the others.

48. In the original 120-minute cut of the movie, the Wicked Witch’s skywriting read: “Surrender Dorothy or Die! — WWW.”

49. MGM paid L. Frank Baum a whopping $75,000 for the film rights to his book, which was big money in those days.

50. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, but lost Best Picture to Gone with the Wind.

Warner Home Video

When I was a kid, I thought The Wizard of Oz introduced color cinema to the world. Wouldn’t that have been amazing? Dorothy wakes up in her black-and-white (or sepia) house after it’s been deposited by the tornado and she walks out and – bam – moviegoers get their first ever look at a polychromatic shot. But that was not the case. Rudimentary color cinematography is nearly as old as cinematography itself, and even the three-strip Technicolor process used for the 1939 classic was hardly brand new. It was relatively rare, especially for as much footage as The Wizard of Oz has, but it wasn’t unknown to audiences.

Still, it arrived at a significant time for color films. The Academy Awards had included special achievement Oscars for color cinematography beginning with the ceremony honoring works from 1936. Three years later, there were actual nominees for the distinction. The Wizard of Oz was among the six titles up for the award, the only contender that wasn’t fully shot in Technicolor, but it lost to Gone With the Wind (which also became the first color film to win Best Picture). Other hybrids were also still hot at the time, including another MGM feature released just a few weeks after The Wizard of Oz: The Women, which contained a single color fashion show sequence within the primarily black-and-white film.

Many of the films of the 1930s that featured a single color scene had them near the end, like a climactic spectacle you had to wait for. Often they were musical numbers. Usually they weren’t necessary except as a gimmick to woo the crowds. That might seem odd, that a movie like The Women would have such suplemental appeal with a single Technicolor scene when more and more features were fully in color, but we can look at the modern equivalent of when a couple of the Harry Potter movies featured only climactic sections in 3D while movies released fully in the format were becoming quite common.

There was some reason to have the fashion show in The Women in color. Viewers wouldn’t have a full appreciation of the outfits in black and white. Still, director George Cukor wasn’t into the idea and didn’t shoot it himself. For a while, in recent years, the movie was screened without the sequence, as was Cukor’s preference, though now it’s been restored. The point is that while it sort of made sense for the bit to be in color, it didn’t have to be. Now try to imagine The Wizard of Oz not having its transition to color. Whether the whole movie were all in black and white or all in color, it would be so much of a different movie that it, well, wouldn’t really be the movie at all.

Of course, a lot of people did watch The Wizard of Oz completely in black and white when it aired on television and the majority of households didn’t have a color set. What a shame, because that switch to color is important to the story. Without it, you might as well also watch the movie with all the scenes of the Wicked Witch of the West cut out. To a minor degree, the idea is a gimmick, but to much greater degree it’s narratively necessary. It’s also faithful to the imagery described by L. Frank Baum in his books. It may not have been a shock for viewers to get the color scenes after a lengthy black-and-white first act, but the changeover still has a tremendous power, for the audience and for Dorothy and Toto.

It doesn’t feel like a gimmick, and there hasn’t been a lot of movies since then that mix color and black and white in a way that doesn’t feel like a ploy or at least a device. Could Schindler’s List be as good without the red coat being red? Probably. Could movies with black-and-white flashbacks also work with color flashbacks? Maybe more confusingly for some audiences, but yes. Pleasantville is one of the few films where the mix is narratively motivated, and it’s a clever concept all the way, but it’s also a movie based around a gimmick that was suddenly easy to do thanks to new digital effects – and sort of trendy for a while, particularly in advertising.

One of the most noteworthy hybrids is Powell and Pressburger’s Stairway to Heaven (aka A Matter of Life and Death), which arrived seven years after The Wizard of Oz with a kind of reversal. In the film, the real world is in color and the fantasy sequences – this time set in Heaven – are in black and white. It would be a great device anyway, but it can’t help but seem informed by (or even in response to) and more interesting because of what The Wizard of Oz did beforehand. It’s been noted that eventually it was the norm for black and white to be used for non-real worlds within color movies. But mainly that’s relegated to dreams and flashbacks or stories where the fantasy world is an old film or TV show universe, a la Pleasantville and The Purple Rose of Cairo.

It makes more sense for the real world to be monochromatic and dull and for the dream or fantasy world to be colorful, as it’s supposed to be a heightened plain. In The Wizard of Oz, it’s also tied to the idea of being over the rainbow, a symbol of cheeriness coming after the gloominess of rain and of course a literal image of the whole spectrum of color. But it’s also been done iconically enough with The Wizard of Oz that anything else would seem like a copycat. Disney’s recent Oz the Great and Powerful, which isn’t officially connected to the MGM classic (now owned by Time Warner), mimicked the earlier film in its own transition from Kansas to Oz, and it feels more derivative than tribute.

Preferably, Oz the Great and Powerful should have been made seven years earlier, back when the new digital 3D format was an industry craze rather than the norm. The movie could have been 2D in Kansas and then 3D in Oz, and maybe that would have had a similar effect to what The Wizard of Oz did 75 years ago. Yet that wouldn’t have been as smooth because it’d require a prompt for the audience to put on their glasses. Maybe some other Oz movie, or something else entirely, can take on that sort of significance instead once autostereoscopy (3D without glasses) makes its way to theaters. Or possibly there’s some next cinematographic innovation we can’t even imagine yet that will be more appropriate.

Otherwise, have we ever had something so noteworthy and narratively necessary as what we see in that introduction to Oz in The Wizard of Oz? I can’t think of anything. It’s not only a historical sequence, but it’s also a one-of-a-kind instance where storytelling and cinematic progress came together for a perfect cause and one of the most monumental moments in film. Hopefully it will never be taken for granted due to modern standards and preferences and technological allowances making the transition seem dated or simple. Three-quarters of a century after its release, the sequence remains one of the greatest of all time.