Tuesday, August 19, 2014

75th Anniversary of Wizard of Oz: True or False

With relatively little fanfare, MGM’s iconic movie, “The Wizard of Oz” will be celebrating its 75th anniversary on August 25. The beloved movie’s themes, characters and music are so ingrained in our lives, that much of its history is known by many of its fans. Still, here are a handful of trivia facts that you may not know:

One member of the Lollypop Guild still lives.
TRUE: Jerry Maren who played a Munchkin, is alive and well at age 93 and living in a retirement home in Los Angeles. The last living female Munchkin was Ruth Robinson Duccini who passed away in January of this year. She was 95.

Dorothy wears ruby-colored slippers in both the novel and the 1939 movie.
FALSE: In L. Frank Baum’s 1900 “The Wonderful World of Oz,” Dorothy receives a set of silver shoes that had belonged to the wicked witch of the east and were used as her ticket back home to Kansas. Noel Langley, the movie’s screenwriter, changed the silver shoes to ruby slippers to take advantage of the film’s new Technicolor technology.

Judy Garland was always the first choice to play Dorothy Gayle

TRUE and FALSE: Director Victor Flemying originally wanted Shirley Temple to play the role of Miss Gayle, but Judy Garland was the first choice of producers Arthur Freed and Mervyn Leroy. However, studio big wigs were concerned that Garland was too old for the role who was 16 at the time.