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20 Crazy Wizard of Oz Fun Facts You Didn’t Know!

Here’s some awesome facts about the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz!

It’s been over 80 years since The Wizard of Oz was released in cinemas. That, we’re sure you’ll agree, is absolutely ages ago. To celebrate this awesome movie, here are some blam facts Dorothy, that scarecrow and the little dog too!

1. The original version was too scary!

Many scenes involving The Wicked Witch of the West were edited out of the final version of the film, as it was thought they would be too frightening for the viewers! 

The Wizard of Oz | MGM | Mervyn LeRoy | Victor Fleming via Giphy

2. A pair of shoes became a star of the film!

Dorothy’s red slippers are such a popular attraction at the Smithsonian Institution that the carpet in front of the display has had to be replaced many times!

3. How did they make the horses a different colour?

Jelly crystals were used to turn the horses in Emerald City a variety of different colours. It’s said that the scenes had to be finished quickly as the four-legged co-stars enjoyed licking it off. 

4. The special effects team were geniuses!

The tornado was actually made from a big stocking and spun around a model of the Kansas farm.

5. How much does a dog earn in the movie business?

The dog Toto was paid a wage of $125 a week – $75 more than the actors who played the Munchkins.

6. Judy Garland was still at school during the film!

Because Judy was just 16 years old at the time, she was only able to film a few hours a day and spent a few hours each day in lessons.

7. One of the film’s most famous lines wasn’t actually spoken at all!

Many people think the Wicked Witch shouts “Fly, my pretties, fly!” in one classic scene. She never said that though, and opted for the less memorable “Fly, fly, fly!” instead.

8. Ruby slippers hurt your feet, apparently!

Dorothy’s ruby slippers hurt Judy Garland’s feet so much, she could only bare to wear them during the scenes. If you look closely, there’s a scene with the Tin Man where she’s wearing more comfortable shoes.

The Wizard of Oz | MGM | Mervyn LeRoy | Victor Fleming via @tcm | Giphy

9. One particular song was almost scrapped!

The film’s most famous song, Over The Rainbow, was almost cut from the film as the movie bosses thought it went on for ages. Imagine if they had!

10. A lot of people watched the film on TV!

When the film was first shown on TV in 1956, 44 million people across the USA watched the movie in the comfort of their own homes.

The Wizard of Oz | MGM | Mervyn LeRoy | Victor Fleming

11. Dorothy’s dress wasn’t the colour you think it is…

Her blue and white dress was actually blue and pink! These colours were easier to film at the time. 

12. Those famous red shoes were part of a FBI raid!

Judy Garland wore different pairs of ruby slippers during the making of the film. One pair was on display at a museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and stolen in 2005. After 13 years, the FBI recovered the iconic shoes in an undercover operation.

13. Tasty, tasty tears…

When the Tin Man cried, his tears weren’t made of oil but chocolate syrup. That’s far nicer than oil, isn’t it? 

14. Careful with that green face paint, Witchy!

Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch, had a green face for weeks after the film was finished. The face paint had copper in it, which explains the sprout-tinged hue.

15. The Scarecrow actor had a tough time, too…

Actor Ray Bolger was left with marks on his face thanks to the make-up used to create the Scarecrow’s wrinkly face. They vanished after a year!

The Wizard of Oz | MGM | Mervyn LeRoy | Victor Fleming

16. One actor must have been exhausted!

The actor Frank Morgan had a busy time on the Wizard of Oz set. He played the Wizard, the Kansas professor, an Emerald City um, horse driver, a palace guard and a doorkeeper!

The Wizard of Oz | MGM | Mervyn LeRoy | Victor Fleming

17. It was boiling on set!

Spare a thought for every actor in heavy make-up and thick costumes, as the temperature on set reached over 100 degrees due to the amount of lighting required.

@adidas | Giphy

18. Who exactly directed the film?

A number of different directors worked on the film at different stages: Richard Thorpe, George Cukor, Victor Fleming and finally, King Vidor.

woman on director's chair on stage

19. Look out, it’s a flying monkey fact!

The flying monkey boss Nikko is named after the town in Japan, famous for the Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil monkeys. Is there anything more scary than a flying monkey? We’re not so sure.

20. Here’s another dog fact!

Toto was a Cairn terrier and his real name was actually Terry.

The Wizard of Oz | MGM | Mervyn LeRoy | Victor Fleming via @ralph | Giphy

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