September 25, 2005

Wildcard: My Passion

Last semester, my wildcards were a description of me and then my favorite movies. I guess I'm going to continue on that vein and blog about my hobbies once again.

One of my passions in life is the "Wizard of Oz." I really couldn't tell you when this obsession started, but for as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with everything WOZ, books and movie. For those who aren't familiar, I'll show off my endless capacity of useless WOZ knowledge.

There are 40 official WOZ books, called the canon. L. Frank Baum, the creator, wrote 14 of those books, 19 written by Ruth Plumly Thompson, and the rest written by various other authors. The first book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written in 1900.

Not only do I love the books, the 1939 MGM production is also a favorite. Most people hate watching the film with me; I talk the entire time! Here are some fun facts about the movie.

The jacket worn by Prof. Marvel in the movie was found in a flea market. After the coat was purchased, it was discovered that L. Frank Baum's name was stitched in the inside.

The math equation the Scarecrow recites is not the Pythagorean Theorem.

There is not a hanging man/munchkin in the film. It is a bird.

Dorothy had a "stunt double" that wore an identical black and white gigham dress. The double was used to transition from the black and white to color film.

The shoes in the book were silver, but were changed to ruby in the film because the color showed up better.

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was originally cut from the movie.

The Wicked Witch's head flying monkey is named Nikko.

If anyone has anymore questions, ask me. If I don't know, I bet I can find out!

Posted by KatherineLambert at September 25, 2005 08:23 PM

Yes Katie! The Land of Oz rocks! Especially in Wicked, which I will be kidnapping you in February to see with me when it comes to Pittsburgh.

If anyone's not sure what the musical's about, check out:

I know that you and I have had several discussions about these two subjects. Granted, Baum's Oz differs from Maguire's version. Yet, the two tend to make political statements in their own way- Baum more so with the characters. I wonder if his choice to mask Oz's corruption reflects society during that time period (i.e. Dust Bowl and Depression)? Curious to know more of your thoughts!

Posted by: Bethany at September 26, 2005 10:48 PM

The legend states that Baum invented Oz to entertain a group of children. He needed a title for his land and when he glanced over at the bookshelf, he saw the encyclopedia O-Z. Later on his work might have been a reflection on society, but truthfully I think it began as just a simple children's story.

Posted by: Katie at September 27, 2005 12:44 PM
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