Press Office

Saturday 12 Jul 2014

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Over The Rainbow: Oz facts

  • Ten auditionees turned up to the regional auditions dressed as Dorothy, complete with gingham dresses and pigtails, and over 100 contestants turned up with various versions of ruby red slippers (including a pair of red Doc Martins!).
  • Only one contestant with the true name Dorothy auditioned for Over The Rainbow.
  • Three auditionees brought their own dogs with them – a pug, a Chihuahua and a Westie – to add some authenticity to their auditions!
  • Seven pairs of ruby slippers were made for film The Wizard Of Oz.
  • Only five pairs have a known whereabouts. Actress Debbie Reynolds owns a pair.
  • During the filming of the Munchkinland scene, the witch's (played by Margaret Hamilton) hat, broom and cloak caught fire and she suffered severe second and third degree burns on her hands and lower face.
  • Shirley Temple was the original first choice to play Dorothy, but producer Mervyn LeRoy did not believe she had the singing talent and 20th Century Fox would not loan her to MGM.
  • Judy Garland had been signed for another movie role when the opportunity to play Dorothy came up, but was released from her contract. The movie? Gone With The Wind.
  • Toto was played by a dog called Terry and even has his own IMDb page.
  • Author Frank L Baum came up with 'Oz' as the magical place where Dorothy lands from the letters on his filing cabinet. The drawers were divided in A-N and O-Z.
  • Gelatine dessert crystals were used to colour the Emerald City horses – a make-up consistently reapplied when the animals eagerly licked it off.
  • Reacting to criticisms that followed the first sneak preview of the film, studio head Louis B. Mayer decided to remove the 'Over The Rainbow' musical sequence. After much intervention, the milestone song was restored.
  • Jack Haley Jr. (son of the actor who played the Tin Man) and Liza Minnelli (daughter of Judy Garland) were husband and wife from 1974 to 1979.

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