The Wizard of Oz Overview:

The Wizard of Oz (1939) was a Adventure - Family Film directed by King Vidor and Mervyn LeRoy and produced by Mervyn LeRoy and Arthur Freed.

The film was based on the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and also Musical written by L. Frank Baum published in 1900 (novel); Jan 20, 1903 - Oct 3, 1903 (play performed at Majestic Theatre, NY).


Treasured by millions with each new screening, this colorful musical fantasy defines for many the greatest achievements of Hollywood's classic period. MGM put every resource into the production, from dazzling Technicolor (an early use of the three-strip process; the colors astonished audiences of the day), marvelous songs from Arlen and Harburg that would become standards, a star-making performance from Garland (actually the studio's third choice for the role), and the thousands of studio artisans who created hundreds of costumes and 70 sets for an ambitious, months-long production led by three of the studio's most-trusted directors (and early sequences, not in the final cut, by Richard Thorpe). The result follows a Kansas farm girl (Garland) who escapes her black-and-white life and Hamilton's threat to do away with her beloved dog, Toto, to a Technicolor world that lies over the rainbow. After becoming the hero of Munchkin Land, Garland and Toto link arms with Bolger, Haley, and Lahr (the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion) to place each of their desires in front of the fabled Wizard, desires that they learn are really always within their reach. One of the classics that rewards each viewing. The special 50th anniversary video edition includes 17 minutes of extra footage, including Ray Bolger's scarecrow dance and the rehearsal and sound track from the jitterbug dance, both of which were edited out of the film; Buddy Ebsen (the initial Tin Man) performing "If I Only Had a Heart"; Judy Garland receiving her Oscar; the original theatrical promotional trailer; and a 32-page souvenir booklet.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


The Wizard of Oz was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989.

Academy Awards 1939 --- Ceremony Number 12 (source: AMPAS)

Best Art DirectionCedric Gibbons, William A. HorningNominated
Best CinematographyHal RossonNominated
Best Music - ScoringHerbert StothartWon
Best Music - SongMusic by Harold Arlen; Lyrics by E. Y. HarburgWon
Best PictureMetro-Goldwyn-MayerNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Cinemallennials: The Wizard of Oz (1939)?

By Dave Lewis on Jul 27, 2021 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Cinemallennials: The Wizard of Oz (1939) For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cinemallennials, it is a bi-weekly podcast in which I, and another millennial, watch a classic film that we?ve never seen before, and discuss its significance and relevance in today?s world. In this epi... Read full article

Silver Screen Standards: The Wizard of Oz (1939)

By Jennifer Garlen on Jul 8, 2019 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

For the very first post of a column called ?Silver Screen Standards,? I can?t think of a better choice than The Wizard of Oz (1939), a film that continues to delight and amaze viewers of all ages eighty years after its original release. People often ask me to name my favorite movie, a request I find... Read full article

Book Review: “The Wizard of OZ FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About Life According To Oz”

By Stephen Reginald on Jan 19, 2019 From Classic Movie Man

Book Review: “The Wizard of OZ FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About Life According To Oz” Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about The Wizard of Oz, here’s a book to inform you how little you actually do know about the classic film. Released durin... Read full article

Win Tickets to see ?TCM Big Screen Classics: The Wizard of Oz 80th Anniversary? (Giveaway runs now through Jan 13)

By Annmarie Gatti on Jan 8, 2019 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Win tickets to see ?The Wizard of Oz? on the big screen! In Select Cinemas Nationwide Sun Jan 27, Tues Jan 29, Wed Jan 30 ?Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.? CMH continues into our?4th year of our partnership with Fathom Events?- with the?1st?of our 14 movie ticket givea... Read full article

Silent Sunday – The Wizard of Oz (1925)

By Michael on Jan 7, 2018 From Durnmoose Movie Musings

Since Sunday tends to be a day of quiet and reflection for many people, it seems an appropriate day to celebrate silent movies. But in keeping with the “day of rest” theme, I’m just going to post this without any commentary and just sit back and let you enjoy.... Read full article

See all The Wizard of Oz articles

Quotes from

Dorothy: Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!

Tin Woodsman: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I - I think that it - it wasn't enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em - and it's that - if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?

Cowardly Lion: I- I- I hope my strength holds out.
Tin Woodsman: [hanging by Lion's tail] I hope your tail holds out!

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Facts about

At the time this film was made, film soundtracks were generally quite simple, with most of the sound recorded on the set, with post-production dubbing and looping being used only when necessary. However, due to the large number of special sound effects in this film, it was one of the rare cases in the 1930s of the use of a sound designer (another was Murray Spivack on King Kong), whose job it was just to work out and design the sound elements of the soundtrack. O.O. Ceccarini (a close friend of Albert Einstein), who occasionally did special sound work at MGM, was brought in to design the soundtrack, with the assistance of special sound effects engineer Franklin Milton (who would later head up the MGM post-production sound department, replacing Douglas Shearer and Wesley C. Miller in the 1950s). Ceccarini was a brilliant mathematician as well, and he applied mathematics to achieving some of the more complicated sound elements.
The Tin Woodsman costume worn by Jack Haley was reportedly so stiff that he had to lean against a board to rest. Thirty-eight years later, Anthony Daniels (who played C-3PO in the Star Wars movie series) had the same problem with his costume.
The steam shooting from the Tin Man's cap startles Toto, who runs out of the shot.
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Best Music - Scoring Oscar 1939

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National Film Registry

The Wizard of Oz

Released 1939
Inducted 1989

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Also directed by Victor Fleming

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Also produced by Mervyn LeRoy

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