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What famous film maker Encouraged the Making of the Wizard of Oz?


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During the introduction of the 70th anniversary showing of "The Wizard of Oz" at the AMC theater inside the Florida Walt Disney World Resort, Angela Lansbury talked about how Walt Disney encouraged director Victor Fleming throughout the filming of The Wizard of Oz.


When we approached the theater to attend the showing our excitement gained momentum as we could see above the theater Disney had afloat in the night sky a brilliant hot air balloon similar to the one used by the Wizard.


We watch TCM religiously however it was quite special attending a sold out movie house event.

We were a bit surprised that there were mostly teenager to 40 year old attendees as we were thinking a classic movie would skew towards an older demographic. With Halloween approaching some of the younger people wore outfits and green makeup depicting the wicked witch of the west. One young lady who told us she works as Minnie Mouse at the Magic Kingdom during the day carried a Wizard of Oz theme purse.


There was thunderous applause when Robert Osborne appeared on the giant wide screen.


Throughout the movie there was "out loud" laughter and clapping unlike you would experience when viewing alone at home.


At the end of the show there was a long applause of appreciation for the film itself, the talent, and the opportunity to attend such a fantastic event. Atypical of at the end of movies in theaters these days, most people stayed while the credits played instead of rushing out the door. It was like we were all sharing a special historic moment.


As people exited they were excitedly talking about how great it would be to attend a big screen showing of "White Christmas" over the Thanksgiving holiday, or closer to Christmas, or even possibly Saturday December 26th when it would probably have a better chance of being viewed by larger audiences versus the busy time leading up to the 25th.


A grand salute to TCM and its partners for sponsoring this successful event !

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*_The Wizard Of Oz_ (1939)*




*The book was made into films on many different occasions during the silent era.*



[Archivist Mark Evan Swartz's book _Oz Before the Rainbow_ (2000) compiles an in-depth history of the evolution of Baum's work with all its stage and screen permutations up through the 1939 MGM musical version, and its significant cultural influences]:


?The Wizard of Oz (1908)



?The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910), with 9 year old Bebe Daniels as Dorothy

◦and two other films from Selig Polyscope Company based on Baum's Oz: Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz (1910), and The Land of Oz (1910)



?three times in 1914, all produced by Baum's own short-lived Oz Film Manufacturing Company



◦The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914)

◦The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914)

◦His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914/15) - the closest to Baum's original book and the only one directed by him




?The Wizard of Oz (1921)



?The Wizard of Oz (1925), a full-length silent film from Chadwick Pictures, with comedian Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy fame portraying the Tin Woodsman, from producer/director/star/writer Larry Semon.






There were a total of four directors who collaborated in the making of the film: first, Richard Thorpe (for almost two weeks) and then George Cukor (for two or three days). Victor Fleming (the credited director) was involved for four months, but was hired away by David O. Selznick to direct Gone With the Wind (1939). An uncredited King Vidor finished the production in ten more days, which consisted mostly of completing the film's opening and closing sepia sequences in the Kansas scenes.


The back-story behind the chaos and confusion created by the many Munchkin extras was strangely and improbably documented in director Steve Rash's _Under the Rainbow_ (1981), a tasteless comedy set in 1938 during the filming of Oz, that starred Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, and Eve Arden.







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