K- When I was a kid, I looked forward to each year when the “Wizard of Oz” came on television. I loved watching Dorothy’s ruby slippers glitter and shine down the yellow brick road as Toto followed her. I memorized the songs and enjoyed watching each of the characters do their introductory song and dance. I also liked noticing Dorothy’s hair length in different scenes – sometimes it’s long and sometimes it’s shorter. So when Warner Bros. decided to show “The Wizard of Oz” for one week (Sept. 20 to 27) on IMAX and in 3D I couldn’t resist!
Although the movie is over 70 years old and the the special effects aren’t nearly as realistic like those of today it’s still pretty impressive. The IMAX 3D experience was really enjoyable – everything was enhanced. Who knew that Dorothy had freckles or all of the different greens in the City of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. I also never realized the Art Deco style of the City of Oz until I saw it on the big screen.
The Wizard of Oz is only showing tonight and tomorrow night. Don’t miss an opportunity to see this wonderful old film redone!
The Wizard of Oz showing at AMC theaters including Tysons Corner 16, Loews Georgetown 14 and Hoffman Center 22.
Some Wizard of Oz trivia:
- Jell-O crystals were stuck over all the horses in the Emerald City palace to lend them their colour. The scenes were shot speedily, before the horses began to lick them off.
- Bert Lahr’s (The Cowardly Lion) costume weighed 90 pounds. It was made from a real lion skin and was very hot. The arc lights used to light the set often raised the temperature on the set to over 100 degrees. Lahr used to sweat so profusely that the costume would be soaked by the end of the day. There were two people whose only job was to spend the night drying the costume for the next day. The costume was dry cleaned occasionally but usually, in the words of one of the crew members, “it reeked”.
- The fire that engulfs the Witch’s hands as she’s trying to remove the ruby slippers is actually apple juice spewing out of the shoes – the film was then sped up to make it look more like fire.
- The tornado was a 35-foot-long muslin stocking, spun around among miniatures of a Kansas farm and fields in a dusty atmosphere.
- The ruby slippers were silver (like in the book) until MGM chief Louis B. Mayer realized that the Technicolor production would benefit from the slippers being colored.
- The famous “Surrender Dorothy” sky writing scene was done using a tank of water and a tiny model witch attached to the end of a long hypodermic needle. The syringe was filled with milk, the tip of the needle was put into the tank and the words were written in reverse while being filmed from below.
- 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.
- Frank Morgan plays the roles of the Wizard, Professor Marvel, the Gatekeeper, the cab driver with the “horse of a different color” who performs a musical number, and the Wizard’s Guard.