Today in History: Wizard of Oz has Hollywood debut

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The Wizard of Oz is the most watched film of all time. I think that regardless of how old you are, there is a good chance that you have seen this film. Although it was not the first to do so, it was regarded as the most memorable use of Technicolor, which was brand new at the time in 1939.


This film needs no introduction or explanation as no matter how old you are, you are almost certainly familiar with this movie. I think a big part of the reason why this film is so remembered as being the "first color film" (even though it isn't - that distinction goes to 1935 film “Becky Sharp”) is because the film begins in black and white, then turns into vivid color as soon as Dorothy lands in Oz.


The whimsical characters, the amazing set design and costumes, and even the use of what little special effect technology existed at the time made this film a wonderful experience in '39 and makes it still a great film today.

It's hard to imagine, but during it's initial release this film failed to make back its rather large budget of nearly $3 million - which would be a paltry sum by today's standards but at the time was the most expensive film that MGM had ever made at that point.

It would't turn a profit until it was re-released in 1949. Although nominated for 6 Academy Awards, it failed to win most of them, being beaten out by "Gone with the Wind" in most categories. Interestingly enough, Gone with the Wind and Wizard of Oz were both directed by the same man, Victor Fleming.

Although it is (understandably) very low quality, the above video is the original trailer back in 1939.

This film is one of the first memories of movies in my life and I don't know how many times I have seen it since then... a great many i would imagine. It is rated as the number 6 movie of all time by the American Film Institute and "Over the Rainbow" is rated as the number 1 movie song of all time.

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I am reading this with a grin on my face because I have never watched Wizard of OZ :D What an interesting trailer! I love the way the books are being thrown around like money on music videos. It's just different :)

well, i'm surprised. Certainly you are familiar with some of the songs though. You really should see it. Despite being very old it is still entertaining and it is also a large piece of cinematic history.

I should watch it. I have loved a few things from that back and this seems like one I'd love :)

It is interesting to know that how the colors were depicted in the films back then.
Technology have took a long leap I must admit!

I was never quite sure how I felt about The Wizard of Oz. It always kind of freaked me out a bit when I was a little kid. I guess I probably led a pretty sheltered life. Now days, there really isn't that much that shocks me. I think it is definitely interesting how much of a cult like following it has garnered over the years.

Definitely a Sunday snoozer after a generous size roast dinner ! I don't believe i have got through the entire movie, its all a bit of a haze ? maybe it will all fit together someday just not in the right order.
Another interesting write up cheers !

It is nice knowing about such history about the film nice update