History Trivia / TheWizardOfOz

3rd Sep '17 8:52:51 PM jonathan-sherwin
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* BoxOfficeBomb: Yes. Budget, $2.8 million (not counting marketing costs), $4.2 million (counting them). Box office, $2,048,000 (domestic), $3,017,000 (worldwide). It couldn't make up the budget domestically and got MGM hit with a $1,145,000 loss over the film. The fact that UsefulNotes/WorldWarII started mere days after the film hit theaters likely didn't help (WWII is partially responsible for derailing Disney's ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'' a few months later). Thankfully, the studio and director Victor Fleming had the distribution rights to ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'', which Fleming also directed, to fall back on. It has since recovered.

to:

* BoxOfficeBomb: Yes.Believe it or not, this classic film was a bust. Budget, $2.8 million (not counting marketing costs), $4.2 million (counting them). Box office, $2,048,000 (domestic), $3,017,000 (worldwide). It couldn't make up the budget domestically and got MGM hit with a $1,145,000 loss over the film. The fact that UsefulNotes/WorldWarII started mere days after the film hit theaters likely didn't help (WWII is partially responsible for derailing Disney's ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'' a few months later). Thankfully, the studio and director Victor Fleming had the distribution rights to ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'', which Fleming also directed, to fall back on. It has since recovered.
8th Aug '17 5:09:36 AM ClintEastwood
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* OrphanedReference: There's a scene where the Wicked Witch is giving instructions for her flying monkeys to intercept Dorothy's party, and she says, "They'll give you no trouble, I promise you that. I've sent a little insect on ahead to take the fight out of them." This was in reference to a deleted scene where a bug called the Jitterbug stings the main characters, and they break into a dance number.



* TroubledProduction: Cast and director changes, budget overruns, impractical costumes and make-up (specially under heavy lighting!), Hamilton getting hospitalized when flames gave her second-to-third degree burns... basically anything and everything that could complicate the shoot happened.

to:

* TroubledProduction: Cast Legendarily so.
** The trouble began with the script. Three writers were ultimately created (Florence Ryderson, Edgar Allen Woolf,
and director changes, budget overruns, impractical costumes Noel Langley); however, these were merely the three who did the most work on it, as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_(1939_film) the laundry list below the three credited writers will show.]]. And Langley, the studio's favored writer, took a massive step away from the story, introducing slews of new characters (including Prince Florizel, a handsome prince given a BalefulPolymorph into the Cowardly Lion), pushing Dorothy completely to the periphery of the plot, and make-up (specially turning Auntie Em into a cruel, heartless caretaker that was, in the first drafts, the one trying to get rid of Toto. Woolf and Ryderson mostly applied damage control, cutting away the more bizarre elements of Langley's scripts while keeping the majority of his dialogue.
** Casting was another problem. Margaret Hamilton, a single mother, got into an argument with the studio over guaranteed time to work, only agreeing to take the role of the Wicked Witch three days before filming. Ironically, although she finally got an agreement for five weeks of work, she ended up working on the film for three ''months''. Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Scarecrow, while Ray Bolger was the Tin Man; Bolger, whose childhood hero was Fred Stone (who had played the Scarecrow in a 1902 stage adaptation of the story), worked out a deal with Ebsen and switched roles with him. During filming, Ebsen suffered a severe allergic reaction to his Tin Man makeup and was forced to quit, being replaced by Jack Haley.
** The film went through no fewer than five directors. The first, Norman Taurog, oversaw initial casting and set construction, but left before shooting begin. Actual filming began
under heavy lighting!), Richard Thorpe, who lasted a little over a week before being fired, after the footage he shot looked like absolute crap; Dorothy in particular was made to wear ridiculous-looking "baby doll" make-up. George Cukor then came on-board for a few days to help re-tool the film's look, before being sent off to work on ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'', and replaced by Victor Fleming. Fleming oversaw the vast majority of filming, but was ironically sent away to replace Cukor on ''Gone with the Wind'', leaving King Vidor to handle filming of the Kansas scenes. In the end, Fleming was the only one of the five directors to be credited.
** The elaborate nature of the makeup caused a great deal of agony for all actors involved, but particularly Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion) and Hamilton. Lahr could only eat through a straw (if he decided to eat anything more elaborate, he had to spend an extra hour in makeup to repair his face appliances), and due to the massive amounts of hot stage lighting needed for Technicolor, had to remove his entire costume and stand in front of a fan between shots to avoid heat stroke. Hamilton, meanwhile, couldn't eat at all due to the copper in her makeup! Ray Bolger was at least able to eat with his Scarecrow makeup on, but the rubber mask cut off air and moisture to his face; his skin would regularly crack and bleed when he removed the mask. When filming finished, the mask had left a pattern of lines on his face that took over a year to fade.
**
Hamilton getting hospitalized when flames gave suffered a serious burn during the filming of her second-to-third degree burns... basically anything and everything exit from Munchkinland, which was aggravated by her makeup making treatment difficult. Once she recovered, she refused to film the "SURRENDER DOROTHY" scene on hearing they'd made her a fireproof costume, despite the studio's insistence that could complicate the shoot happened.scene involved no pyrotechnics; her stand-in did the scene... and was seriously burned herself!
** And because of that burn (which put her in the hospital for weeks), and her subsequent refusal to do any more fire stunts, the studio was stuck with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Leb83bRkXDg the rehearsal take]] of the scene, in which [[SpecialEffectsFailure the smoke comes on too early and the trapdoor can be seen being opened]].
** Filming in general was a struggle uphill, with the cast's call time being four AM and their departure being at seven or eight at the ''earliest''.
** The only element that went relatively peacefully was the music... and even then several songs were conceived and dropped, and one, the famous "Jitterbug" sequence, was cut entirely after early test screenings found the audience unreceptive.
13th Jul '17 10:37:15 PM dsneybuf
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* AwardSnub: Margaret Hamilton somehow failed to get a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Oscars, which is pretty surprising if you consider how many other [[Film/NoCountryForOldMen scary]], [[Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs iconic]] [[Film/TheDarkKnight performances]] have been recognized by the Academy.
11th Jul '17 11:26:05 PM glickmam
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Margaret Hamilton as the Witch provides a rather infamous example. She was a kindergarten teacher, and children would ask her frequently after the film why she was so mean to Dorothy, to the point Hamilton guest starred on an episode of ''Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood'' to explain that the witch was only a role she played. It's also reported that Judy Garland found it difficult to actually fear her.

to:

* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Margaret Hamilton as the Witch provides a rather infamous example. She was a kindergarten teacher, teacher[[note]]In fact, two of her students were future fellow actors William Windom and Jim Backus.[[/note]], and children would ask her frequently after the film why she was so mean to Dorothy, to the point Hamilton guest starred on an episode of ''Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood'' to explain that the witch was only a role she played. It's also reported that Judy Garland found it difficult to actually fear her.
11th Jul '17 11:15:59 PM glickmam
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Judy Garland's feet hurt so much in the ruby slippers that she could only wear them for shots when they would be visible on camera (this also cut down on the wear-and-tear the slippers had to endure). When her feet weren't shown, Garland wore booties or black shoes, which can be glimpsed briefly when she and the Scarecrow are backing away from the apple trees.
** Margaret Hamilton could not eat with the make-up on (Bert Lahr also decided to have his redone daily as he got tired of a liquid diet).
** The Tin Woodsman costume worn by Jack Haley was so stiff that he had to lean against a board to rest.
** The Cowardly Lion's costume was really hot due to being made of real lion skin.
** And everyone had to suffer with really hot studio lights.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The movie is AllJustADream because studio executives thought moviegoers would be "[[FantasyGhetto too sophisticated]]" to accept a ''real'' fairyland.

to:

** Judy Garland's feet hurt so much in the ruby slippers that she could only wear them for shots when they would be visible on camera (this also cut down on the wear-and-tear the slippers had to endure). When her feet weren't shown, Garland wore booties or black shoes, which can be glimpsed briefly when she and the Scarecrow are backing away from the apple trees.
trees. In addition, Garland's breasts were tightly bound and corseted to make her look younger.
** Jack Haley's Tin Man costume was so bulky that he couldn't sit down at any time, he could only lean.
** Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion costume was so thick and heavy that he had to have two of them, due to constantly sweating in the costume under the hot studio lights. While one costume would be getting drenched in Lahr's perspiration, the other costume would he under an air dryer drying out.
** Ray Bolger's Scarecrow makeup practically forced him onto a liquid diet out of fear that any solid food would ruin the makeup.
** Even
Margaret Hamilton could not eat with the make-up on (Bert Lahr also decided to have his redone daily as he got tired of a liquid diet).
** The Tin Woodsman costume worn by Jack Haley
was so stiff that he had to lean against a board to rest.
** The Cowardly Lion's costume was
affected. While she didn't really hot due to being made of real lion skin.
** And everyone had to
suffer with really hot studio lights.
any constant pain from making the movie, the green makeup she wore for the Wicked Witch of the West tinted her skin for weeks after filming concluded.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The movie is AllJustADream because studio the MGM executives thought moviegoers would be "[[FantasyGhetto too sophisticated]]" to accept a ''real'' fairyland.
4th Jun '17 7:08:57 PM PurpleWarrior13
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* DeletedScene: There are several known:
** There was one in Kansas with Hickory showing off his wind machine to Dorothy, telling her that it was a machine with a "real heart," providing a bit of extra foreshadowing for his role as the Tin Man. The script survives, but no footage does.
** The only one that actually survives is an extended dance number with the Scarecrow following "If I Only Had a Brain." It was choreographed by the legendary Busby Berkeley. However it was thought to slow the film down, and the cornfield sequence was partially reshot to smooth over the changes. The footage for this original sequence was discovered in 1989.
** The "Jitterbug" dance number. Cut for pacing, and out of fear that the song and dance would quickly date the film (The "Jitterbug" being a popular dance craze in the late 1930s/early 1940s). The song survives, but the actual footage does not, outside of 16mm home movie recordings of some dance rehearsals.
** There was a somber reprise of "Over the Rainbow" with Dorothy singing while locked up in the Witch's castle. The audio survives, but the footage doesn't, other than some still photographs.
** The triumphant reprise of "Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead" in the Emerald City that follows Dorothy and the gang back to Oz after melting the Wicked Witch. The song survives, and a few seconds of the original footage exists in the sneak preview, but is lost outside of that.
** Many, many scenes of the Wicked Witch were cut after they made children cry in test screenings, reducing her role to 12 minutes of screen time. All of this footage is completely lost.



** Gale Sondergaard was the original choice to play the Wicked Witch of the West, but she balked after learning that she'd have to wear heavy makeup and facial prosthetics in order to appear uglier.

to:

** Gale Sondergaard was the original choice to play the Wicked Witch of the West, but she balked after learning that she'd have to wear heavy makeup and facial prosthetics in order to appear uglier. Edna Mae Oliver was also considered.
1st Jun '17 5:38:35 PM BlackSwan81
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The script originally included an end scene that was never filmed, in which Hunk (the real-world counterpart to the Scarecrow) went away to agricultural college and Dorothy promised to write to him. The implications were heavy that this would result in a romance between them, which would account for Dorothy's particular affection for the Scarecrow during her time in Oz.

to:

* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The script originally included an end scene that was never filmed, in which Hunk (the real-world counterpart to the Scarecrow) went was going away to agricultural college and Dorothy promised to write to him. The implications were heavy that this would result in a [[ShipTease romance between them, them]], which would account for Dorothy's particular affection for the Scarecrow during her time in Oz.
27th Apr '17 4:12:58 PM fruitstripegum
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Mervyn LeRoy and William Cannon wanted to do a dark, "realistic" retelling of the Oz tale. In their version, the Oz Scarecrow was a flesh-and-bone human who was so stupid that he could only get a job standing in a field and chasing off birds, while the Tin Man was a "heartless" man sentenced to be locked in a tin suit of armor for all eternity. Dorothy was only supposed to meet him many years into his sentence, after he had softened and become kind.
26th Apr '17 12:24:00 PM Golondrina
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* DawsonCasting: Here it's a 16 year old Creator/JudyGarland playing an 11 year old Dorothy Gale. This is largely unnoticed unless the viewer has read the book. ShirleyTemple was originally considered for the role, but the plan fell through.

to:

* DawsonCasting: Here it's a 16 year old Creator/JudyGarland playing an 11 year old Dorothy Gale. This is largely unnoticed unless the viewer has read the book. ShirleyTemple Creator/ShirleyTemple was originally considered for the role, but the plan fell through.
8th Mar '17 11:54:39 PM Nakayama90
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* CreatorBacklash: Jack Haley (the Tin Woodman) did ''not'' view making the film as a fond experience, describing it as "awful" and "not fun at all" throughout the rest of his career.
This list shows the last 10 events of 101. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Trivia.TheWizardOfOz