The Wizard of Oz (1939)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 42 mins

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In this charming film based on the popular L. Frank Baum stories, Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught in a tornado's path and somehow end up in the land of Oz. Here she meets some memorable friends and foes along her journey to meet the Wizard of Oz, who everyone says can help her return home and possibly grant her new friends their goals of a brain, heart and courage. How will this magical journey unfold? Will Dorothy succeed in returning home?
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Did you know? Some see L. Frank Baum's story containing political and social satire. The little girl from the Midwest (typical American) meets up with a brainless scarecrow (farmers), a tin man with no heart (industry), a cowardly lion (politicians, in particular William Jennings Bryan) and a flashy but ultimately powerless wizard (technology). Although the little people keep telling her to follow the yellow brick road (gold standard), in the end it's her silver (in the original story) slippers (silver standard) that help her get back to the good old days. Read More
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as Professor Marvel / The Wizard of Oz / The Gatekeeper / The Carriage Driver / The Guard
as Dorothy
as 'Zeke' / The Cowardly Lion
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
as Hickory' / The Tin Man
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
as Hunk' / The Scarecrow


Production Company



Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Set Decorator


Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, Mono
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 (Flat), 2.35 : 1, 1.37 : 1
Mighty Miracle Show Of 1000 Delights !
Amazing Sights To See ! The Tornado . . . Munchkinland . . . Horse Of A Different Color . . . Startling Balloon Ascent . . . Flying Monkeys . . . Trees That Talk And Throw Apples
Let's go "Over the Rainbow" with Judy in her greatest hit! (1955 re-release)
Hear beloved star JUDY GARLAND sing "Over The Rainbow" and other songs ! (re-release)
Great On The Wide Screen ! (1955 re-release)
We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful [Wizard of Oz]! (UK release)
Gaiety! Glory! Glamour!
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Technicolor Triumph
Biggest Screen Sensation Since "Snow White"!
The Mighty Miracle Show That Is the Talk of America!
The Greatest Picture in the History of Entertainment
Water causes the Witch to melt. When then would she keep a bucket of water in her castle or have a moat of water?

Revealing Mistakes
Dorothy smiles and tries not to laugh after she smacks the lion and he asks "Is my nose bleeding?"

Revealing Mistakes
When the Wicked Witch of the West disappears from Munchkinland in a cloud of smoke and fire, the smoke appears before she reaches her mark.

Revealing Mistakes
The purple "horse of a different color" can be seen licking off his purple dye, which was made of grape-flavored gelatin.

Revealing Mistakes
A trapdoor can be seen opening so the Wicked Witch of the West can leave Munchkin Land.

Revealing Mistakes
When the wicked witch is melting, the outline of the trap door is visible under the witch's dress.

Revealing Mistakes
When Toto reveals the Wizard by pulling the curtain aside, he doesn't use his mouth; the curtain is tied to the dog. Dorothy can even be seen later removing the rope.

Revealing Mistakes
After the scarecrow was re-stuffed because of his body being severed by the monkeys, he stands up, and trips slightly in the hole that was meant to conceal the lower half of his body.

Revealing Mistakes
Twister scene, as Aunt Em runs out of the house and things are blowing around, the hanging flower pot on the porch is still.

Revealing Mistakes
Dorothy apparently almost trips on a wire or rope when she walks down from the hill of poppies arm in arm with her companions. You can see her mouth open in surprise as she almost falls forward, but is held up by the other actors. To the right of the actors, some of the poppies on the hill are briefly bent over by the rope or wire as it is dragged over them.

Revealing Mistakes
When the wizard rewards the lion with his badge, the lion shakes his head in embarrassment. As his head moves you can see the white t-shirt under the costume.

At the beginning of the film as Dorothy is running down the road and stops to talk to Toto, it is established that the nearest dwelling is at least a mile down the road; but in the next shot a split second later she is running into the farmyard.

The sign pointing the way to the Haunted Forest and Witch's Castle says, "Witches Castle."

When Professor Marvel looks into the crystal ball, he mentions a weather vane but no weather vane is visible in any shots of Dorothy's house.

When the farmhouse is shown swirling around in the cyclone, from the outside Dorothy's bedroom windows are closed but from the inside shots they are obviously open.

After the Tin Man sings "If I Only Had A Heart" and starts his dance in the road, the scene shows Dorothy and the Scarecrow watching him dance; Dorothy's right arm is crooked like she is carrying the basket but the basket is not on her arm. The next scene has her holding the basket on her arm.

When Dorothy and Scarecrow first meet the Tin Man, Dorothy has 2 red apples in her hands. She drops the one in the left hand and switches the apple that is in her right hand over to her left so she just has one apple. While helping Tin Man move his arm, she then drops the other apple. The apple then reappears soon after in a subsequent shot.

At the beginning of the film as Dorothy and Toto run down the dirt road toward the farmhouse, Dorothy bends down to pick Toto up and you can see a grease spot on the front of Dorothy's apron, but by the time they reach the farm, the spot has disappeared.

When the four travelers confront the fraudulent Wizard, the Scarecrow is standing second from the left, between the Tin Man and Dorothy, up until the line, "And Scarecrow's brain?" In the very next shot, however, when the Wizard replies, "Why, anybody can have a brain," the Scarecrow is suddenly standing first on the right, next to the Cowardly Lion.

When Glinda is leaving Munchkinland, all three members of the Lollipop guild and a female munchkin (among others) run towards her pink bubble and shout their goodbyes to her. Those same characters are still standing behind Dorothy in the very next shot as she says "People come and go so quickly here."

When the heroes enter the castle disguised as guards, the Tin Man is carrying a spear. His ax appears from nowhere to smash the door to free Dorothy.

The length of Dorothy's hair keeps changing throughout the film.

After escaping from Miss Gulch's basket, Toto returns to Dorothy's room in her Kansas house by jumping through the rectangular opening where there should be a window pane. Soon after, the twister blows out the window (that wasn't there when Toto came back) and knocks Dorothy unconscious.

The Technicolor bouquet given to Dorothy by the Munchkins disappears the moment she leaves Munchkinland.

Crew/Equipment Visible
In the scene in the farm yard by the pigs, at or near when she is balancing on the fence you can see a boom shadow pass over the scene.

Character Error
During the song, "If I Were King of the Forest," the Lion asks, "What makes the Sphinx the seventh wonder?" The Great Pyramid, not the Sphinx, is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.

Character Error
After Scarecrow is given an honorary diploma, he says "The sum of the square roots of any 2 sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side". This is a mis-statement of the Pythagorean Theorem, which is in fact about right triangles and not isosceles ones. However, this statement is not true about any triangle, and so it is completely wrong.

Character Error
When Dorothy visits Professor Marvel, he takes the picture of her and Aunty Em and puts it under his left thigh while looking into the crystal. As Dorothy is leaving the wagon to return home, he holds the photo up but doesn't give it back to her. Even after he visits at the end of the movie, he still never returns the photo.

Character Error
The ticking heart the Wizard gives the Tin Man reads 1:10 when first given to him. It still reads 1:10 in the balloon scene.

Character Error
When Glinda kisses Dorothy goodbye, she hits her crown with her wand.

Character Error
In the scene in the farm yard by the pigs, at or near when she is balancing on the fence you can see a boom shadow pass over the scene. 3 of 3 found this interesting | Share this Character error During the song, "If I Were King of the Forest," the Lion asks, "What makes the Sphinx the seventh wonder?" The Great Pyramid, not the Sphinx, is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. In the "King of the Forest" scene, Dorothy trips up the emerald carpet on her way back up the stairs.

Character Error
When the Scarecrow gets his brain he misquotes Pythagoras theorem by referring to an isosceles triangle; the theorem applies to right-angled triangles, not isosceles.

Character Error
The Munchkin coroner sings that he has "thoroughly examined" the Eastern Witch and declares that "she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead." A few scenes later you can see the house completely covering the Witch with only her feet sticking out. How could she have been "throughly examined"?

Character Error
When the Lion is chasing Toto around the tree, the Lion clearly hesitates a few seconds to give Dorothy time to pick Toto up.

Audio/Video Mismatch
The Mayor and his agents' voices get mismatched in at least two places. During the congratulatory music, one Munchkin interrupts the festivities and demands legal verification of the Witch's death. When they exchange words, saying "From now on you'll be history! You'll be hist - you'll be hist - you'll be history!", that "lawyer" Munchkin has a completely different voice, as though from a different actor. Furthermore, when the Mayor says that last "history!", we hear not his voice, but that of the "lawyer" Munchkin.

Audio/Video Mismatch
After the line, "Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents too," the Witch is about to deliver further dialog, which we do not hear. The script backs up this claim. The full dialog was: "Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents, too - and this is how I do it!"

Audio/Video Mismatch
When the three chant "Lions and tigers and bears!" just before encountering the Cowardly Lion, and it is Dorothy's turn to say the first, "Oh my!", her mouth does not move.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Dorothy uses the knocker on the door to the Emerald City, four knocks are heard although she only hits the door three times. The first is heard as she is drawing the knocker back.

Audio/Video Mismatch
In at least two shots, where the violin players in red and white are visible, as Dorothy is leaving Munchkin Land, the sounds of the violins in the accompanying music do not match the actors' hand movements.
This movie is based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, and is noteworthy for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture. It also featured what may be the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects in a film up to that time.

With the exception of the clouds seen in the beginning and end credits, the entire film was shot indoors.

Two actors portraying the Winged Monkeys were injured when their lines snapped from the ceiling.

Jerry Maren played a cameo role in this movie as the green-shirted member of the Lollipop Guild, and became the center of a cult of celebrity based on this scene. Although his film career spanned over 70 years, no film gained him recognition like his one brief scene in this film. With the death of Ruth Duccini on January 16, 2014, he is the only surviving actor to have played a Munchkin.

Harry Earles, the prominent little-person star of The Unholy Three (1930) and Freaks (1932) made his final film appearance in this movie, playing a cameo as the blue-shirted member of the Lollipop Guild.

Almost fifty years after the release of this film, Margaret Hamilton revealed her approach to the character of the Wicked Witch in an interview with Fred Rogers for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968). Hamilton saw the Witch as a person who relished everything she did, but who ultimately was a sad, lonely figure--a woman who lived in constant frustration, as she never got what she wanted (this is, in fact, the basis of the novel and musical 'Wicked', where the Wicked Witch of the West is portrayed as an unfortunate protagonist). In the same interview, Hamilton also famously donned the original Witch costume to explain that the witches were only make believe, and that children shouldn't be afraid of them.

In the famous "Poppy Field" scene (in which Dorothy fell asleep) the "snow" used in those camera shots was made from 100% industrial grade chrysotile asbestos - despite the fact that the health hazards of asbestos had been known for several years.

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.

"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.

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?"

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.

A recent study claimed that this is the most watched movie in film history, largely due to the number of television screenings each year as well as video which has enabled children of every generation to see it.

The Scarecrow face makeup that Ray Bolger wore consisted, in part, of a rubber prosthetic with a woven pattern to suggest cloth. By the time the film was finished the prosthetic had left a pattern of lines on his face that took more than a year to vanish.

In the first take of the scene when the Wicked Witch of the West leaves Munchkinland, the smoke that was supposed to go up around her came early, and started forming before she stepped on the platform she was supposed to be on. On the second take, part of Margaret Hamilton's cape became caught in the platform when the burst of fire appeared. Her make-up heated up causing second- and third-degree burns on her hands and face, and it was later discovered that one of the key components in her make-up was copper. The producers used the first take. You'll notice the early appearance of the red smoke.

In 1898, Dorothy Louise Gage was born to the brother and sister-in-law of Maud Gage Baum, wife of author L. Frank Baum. When little Dorothy died exactly five months later, Maud was heartbroken. Baum was just finishing "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and, to comfort his wife, named his heroine after Dorothy, changing her last name to Gale in his second book. Dorothy Gage was buried in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois, where her grave was forgotten until 1996 when it was rediscovered. When Mickey Carroll, one of the last existing Munchkins from the movie, learned of the discovery, he was eager to replace her deteriorated grave marker with a new one created by his own monument company. The new stone was dedicated in 1997 and the children's section of the cemetery renamed the Dorothy L. Gage Memorial Garden, in the hope that bereaved families would be comforted in thinking of their lost children as being with Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz".

Judy Garland had to wear a painful corset-style device around her torso so that she would appear younger and flat-chested.

While filming the scene where Dorothy slaps the Cowardly Lion, Judy Garland got the giggles so badly that they had to take a break in shooting. The director, Victor Fleming, took her aside, gave her a quick lecture, and then slapped her. She returned to the set and filmed the scene in one take. Fleming was afraid that this would damage his relationship with Garland and even told a co-worker he wished that someone would hit him because of how bad he felt, but Garland overheard the conversation and gave him a kiss on the nose to show that she bore no hard feelings. In the film she can still be seen to be stifling a smile between the lines "Well, of course not" and "My, what a fuss you're making".

In the song "If I Only Had A Heart", the girl who says, "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" is Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

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.

When the wardrobe department was looking for a coat for Frank Morgan (Professor Marvel / The Wizard), they decided they wanted one that looked like it had once been elegant but had since "gone to seed". They visited a second-hand store and purchased an entire rack of coats, from which Morgan, the head of the wardrobe department, and director Victor Fleming chose one they felt gave off the perfect appearance of "shabby gentility". One day, while he was on set in the coat, Morgan idly turned out one of the pockets and discovered a label indicating that the coat had been made for L. Frank Baum. Mary Mayer, a unit publicist for the film, contacted the tailor and Baum's widow, who both verified that the coat had at one time been owned by the author of the original "Wizard of Oz" books. After the filming was completed, the coat was presented to Mrs. Baum.

Some see L. Frank Baum's story containing political and social satire. The little girl from the Midwest (typical American) meets up with a brainless scarecrow (farmers), a tin man with no heart (industry), a cowardly lion (politicians, in particular William Jennings Bryan) and a flashy but ultimately powerless wizard (technology). Although the little people keep telling her to follow the yellow brick road (gold standard), in the end it's her silver (in the original story) slippers (silver standard) that help her get back to the good old days.

Ray Bolger was originally cast as the Tin Man. However, he insisted that he would rather play the Scarecrow - his childhood idol, Fred Stone had originated that role on stage in 1902. Buddy Ebsen had been cast as the Scarecrow, and now switched roles with Bolger. Unbeknownst to him, however, the make-up for the Tin Man contained aluminum dust, which ended up coating Ebsen's lungs. He also had an allergic reaction to it. One day he was physically unable to breathe and had to be rushed to hospital. The part was immediately recast and MGM gave no public reason why Ebsen was being replaced. The actor considered this the biggest humiliation he ever endured and a personal affront. When Jack Haley took over the part of the Tin Man, he wasn't told why Ebsen had dropped out (and in the meantime, the Tin Man make-up had changed from aluminum dust to aluminum paste as one of its key components). However, his vocals remain whenever the song "We're off to see the Wizard" is played. Jack Haley's vocals were never used during the song, but were used for "If I Only Had a Heart" and "If I Only Had the Nerve." Ebsen's vocals are also heard in the extended version of "If I were King of the Forest," though the spoken segment has Jack Haley. Although no Ebsen footage from the film has ever been released, surviving still photos show him taking part in the Wicked Witch's castle sequence.

The Munchkins are portrayed by the Singer Midgets, named not for their musical abilities, but rather for Leo Singer, their manager. The troupe came from Europe, and a number of the Munchkins took advantage of the trip to immigrate and escape the Nazis. Professional singers dubbed most of their voices as many of the Midgets couldn't speak English and/or sing well. Only two are heard speaking with their real-life voices - the ones who give Dorothy flowers after she has climbed into the carriage.

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. The latter is frequently misquoted as, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto."

Dorothy's iconic red slippers now live at the Smithsonian Institution, and are so popular that the carpet in front of the attraction has had to be replaced numerous times due to wear and tear.

Terry (Toto) was stepped on by one of the witch's guards, and had a double for two weeks. A second double was obtained, because it resembled Toto more closely. Judy Garland very much wanted to adopt Terry after the two spent so much time together shooting the film. Unfortunately, the owner of the dog wouldn't give her up, and Terry went on to a long career in films. She died in 1945 and was buried in her trainer's yard.

The song "Over the Rainbow" was ranked #1 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.

Judy Garland's portrayal of Dorothy was the main inspiration for the character of Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island (1964).