The iconic MGM feature has reached the ripe old age of 71 today. The film catapulted Judy Garland to stardom and made quotes such as “Oh Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” and “Follow the yellow brick road” iconic cultural references.
Though the film was a huge success, filming was not without its troubles. Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, was severely burnt during one scene, when a fire broke out and blocked off her exit.
Buddy Ebsen, who played the Tin Man, was also hospitalised after inhaling much of the aluminium powder make up he had to wear.
MGM almost cut Over the Rainbow, when they felt the film was too long and needed to be shortened. Luckily it was kept in and became Judy Garland’s signature song, inspiring many successful cover versions.
Happy Birthday Wizard of Oz.