As authors of the new tribute book The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion, we were pleasantly surprised at the popular reception of our recent Huffington Post article entitled 10 Things You Never Noticed About The Wizard of Oz. As a follow-up piece for all of you dedicated Ozophiles, here are a few more intriguing tidbits about this movie classic. Be sure to look for them on your next trip down the Yellow Brick Road!
1. Miss Gulch's Glasses. When Almira Gulch presents the sheriff's order allowing her to remove Toto from the Gale household, she briefly affirms its warranty by checking it with the spectacles that dangle from her dress. In mirroring her Kansas counterpart, the Wicked Witch of the West also possessed a pair of similar lenses, which can be seen for a split second as she slinks away from behind the apple tree after spying on Dorothy and the Scarecrow. After this scene, the spectacles were retired from the Witch's wardrobe and not seen on screen again.
2. "Balloon Exhibitionist." As Professor Marvel comes around the side of his caravan and sees the runaway Dorothy, poster panels can be glimpsed advertising his proficiency with hot air balloon ascensions. These are, of course, subliminal foreshadowing of the balloon employed by the Wizard to depart the Emerald City. Another Ozzy allusion occurs when the professor tells Dorothy he sees a weathervane of a running horse in his crystal ball; a few bars of "The Merry Old Land of Oz" play, referring to the Horse of a Different Color in Oz.
3. Toto Concealed. As the Munchkins are celebrating their "day of independence," the town dignitaries escort Dorothy to the pavilion where Glinda awaits her. This all happens just before the Wicked Witch bursts onto the scene in cloud of red smoke. Given that terriers are quick to startle, Toto is concealed until that point under the Munchkin barrister's magenta cloak until the moment of the explosion, when Dorothy scoops him up to safety in her arms.
4. The Scarecrow's Pumpkin Patch. Watch carefully in the scene where Dorothy rescues the Scarecrow from his pole in the cornfield. As he spills to the ground, several orange pumpkins can be seen among the cornstalks. In an extended dance sequence that was deleted from the film, the largest of the pumpkins rolls loose and collides into the strawman, propelling him skyward.
5. Tin Man's Déjà vu. When Dorothy and the Scarecrow discover the Tin Man, he's rusted solid in a fixed position with his right arm upraised. Flash back to Kansas, where farmhand Hickory Twicker, the Tin Man's human doppelganger, strikes a similar pose when he announces that someday they'll make a statue in his image. It is no coincidence, then, that he when he first reappears in Oz, Hickory/Tin Man is as frozen as the statue of which he foretold.
6. Dorothy's Dream within a Dream. Here's one for devotees of famed analytical psychologist Carl Jung: If Dorothy's delirium is a dream state brought on by a concussion during the Kansas twister, then is it possible for her to experience a dream within a dream? When she, Toto, and the Cowardly Lion are doped by the aroma of the poisonous poppies, she is overcome and falls fast asleep. For the few moments that she is out, does she dream? And if so, what about?
7. Dorothy's Hanky. There are several occasions during her adventures in Oz, when Dorothy uses her white handkerchief, most notably to daub away the Cowardly Lion's tears. But where does it come from? It may seem as though she pulls it out of thin air, but in actuality there's a hidden pocket along the seam on the right side of her skirt. In November 2012, one of the gingham jumpers worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy sold at auction for almost half a million dollars.
8. The Witch's Zodiac. The Wicked Witch relies on her crystal ball when keeping tabs on the progress of Dorothy and her companions. This valuable remote-viewing device rests in an ornate dais (decorated with winged monkeys) on an elevated platform before the Witch's throne. But look closely to see that on the floor, encircling the crystal ball, is a large zodiac -- an homage to the Evil Queen in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (released shortly before Oz went into production), who has a zodiac motif around her magic mirror.
9. Emerald City Citizens. The peasants who inhabit the Emerald City were said to number 300 according to MGM publicity. Each was made-up and attired with great care, with the men all wearing bald caps with hairlines created from thick black paint applied directly to the caps so they would resemble toy soldiers. What's unique is that each of the painted hairlines is a different design and, at the time, some of the extras complained that the regular use of bald caps was making their real hair fall out!
10. The Ending That Never Woz. Remember the final scene where Dorothy declares there's no place like home, and the camera pans down to a shot of the Ruby Slippers as the movie ends? If you do, then you're among those who have collectively experienced this "re-imagining" of a film shot that never was! Although it was never considered or filmed -- it wasn't even in the script -- many people swear it's there. If it were, it would be in keeping with the idea that Dorothy's adventures in the original book are true.
For more Wizard of Oz fun facts and fascinating trivia, check out the new book The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion.
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