Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Wizard of OZ celebrates 75th early with 3D film release

“Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. We must be over the rainbow!”
~~ Judy Garland, playing Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz film, 1939, American actress, singer and vaudevillian (June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969).

The Wizard of Oz turns 75 years on August 12th of next year, but that is not stopping the early celebration which began September 15th with the First-Ever Hollywood 3D IMAX Premiere release (California only release nationwide Sept. 20th).

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, Warner Bros., IMAX Corporation and the TCL Chinese Theatre have teamed up to host the world premiere of the film's first-ever IMAX 3D release at the new TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, California on Sept. 15th, followed by an exclusive one-week IMAX engagement at the new theatre and IMAX theatres across North America beginning Sept. 20.

This 1939 American fantasy adventure film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was first released on August 12, 1939 (the official 75th is August 12, 2014).

To see the 3D video trailer visit The Wizard of Oz 3D Youtube Trailer.

Based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum the film starred Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan, with Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins.

Surprisingly, the initial release of The Wizard of Oz was not a box office hit and barely broke even. According to, the film earned roughly 3,000,000 and had a huge budget for that time, estimated at $2,777,000.

What appeared to save this film was, of course, what else – technology – particularly with the use of Technicolor, along with the fantasy storytelling, musical score, and unusual characters. Gradually The Wizard of Oz has become one of the most well known films and part of American popular culture.

It also featured what may be the most elaborate use of character make ups and special effects in a film up to that time. With this gradual popularly, came huge earnings, adjusted in 2012 to $239,190, 498 (source:


According to a Forbes article in 2008, Inside the Search for Dorothy’s Slippers, the ruby slippers worn by Dorothy during The Wizard of OZ are now among the most treasured and valuable of film memorabilia.

Multiple pairs were made for the film, and of them five pairs are known to have survived; one pair was stolen in 2005 and has never been recovered. Interesting to note that in L. Frank Baum's original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy actually wore Silver Shoes however it was changed for the film to ruby to take advantage of the new Technicolor film process.


Music in The Wizard of Oz was highly acclaimed for musical selections and soundtrack. Music & lyrics were by Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, who won the Academy Awards for Best Music Song for "Over the Rainbow."

Also, Herbert Stothart, who composed the instrumental underscore, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

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Do you plan on seeing the 3-D version to be released on the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz? What was your favorite part of the original film?

▲   The Wizard of Oz, Warner Brothers
▲   The Wizard of Oz on Wikimedia
▲   The Wizard of Oz on Facebook,
▲   The Wizard of Oz on YouTube
▲   The Wizard of Oz photo stream on Facebook, Warner Bros. studio screening of The Wizard of Oz 75th anniversary in 3-D!
▲   The Ruby Slippers: Inventing an American Icon, The Lemelson Center,

All photos courtesy of unless otherwise indicated.

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