Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Letter W


I’d be surprised if someone has not seen this delightful film made during the best year ever for movies. It’s about a young girl with her dog running away from home because of a bitch who wants Dorothy’s dog destroyed. A tornado has her come home but she gets knocked out and has one psychedelic adventure in colour! The bitch is now a witch, there are munchkins, a talking scarecrow, a tin man and a scene stealing lion. Let’s not forget opium induced sleep, a yellow brick road, a green city, flying about an LSD trip. It is a brilliant film filled with great songs and a great cast that made Judy Garland a star and is seen every year, it used to be around Easter time but now, I think they play it at Christmas.

All sorts of antics happened on the set from the munchkins running amok (a movie was made about them starring Chevy Chase), Margaret Hamilton suffering severe burns when she “disappears” as the witch, Buddy Ebson almost dying from the silver dust placed on him and being replaced by Jack Haley to Judy Garland being introduced to uppers and downers so she could continue working. Oh and that snow falling in the poppy field is asbestos.

Fun anecdote- Frank Morgan, who played the great Oz, was given a coat to wear for his character by the costume dept. An employee in this dept. found the coat in a second hand store. When Frank Morgan looked inside he noticed, on the lapel, hand written was Frank L. Baum, who happened to write the books....this was Baum's actual coat!


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    Mrs. Shady and I recently watched the Wizard of Oz for the umpteenth time when our toddler grandson came to visit. His eyes popped and he kept pointing and making comments as the story unfolded and spectacles filled the screen. The only trivia I knew about the film was that Judy hated working with Toto because he bad doggie breath. I wasn't aware of those other pieces of trivia. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a wonderful day, dear friend BB!

  2. I didn't know that about the coat! How wonderful! Truth is often stranger than fiction.

    A lovely film, I agree. The music was great and who doesn't know, "I'll get you - and your little dog too!" ?

    Aussie Children's Writers: W Is For Gabrielle Wang and the Wilkinsons

  3. This is one of my all time film favorites. I've seen it many times and my oldest daughter has probably seen it many more times than I have since she and her cousin used to watch it almost every day when they were little.

    This is a great film that deserves the label of "classic".

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  4. Birgit,

    'The Wizard of Oz' is a favorite movie from childhood. I haven't seen this film since our kids were young. I wouldn't mind seeing it again but the wicked witch scares me so I may have to wait until DH is with me. :D

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    A2Z iPad Art Sketch 'W' Water Glass

  5. Two in a row with movies you have featured that I have seen! I love this movie. It was a favorite growing up to watch it yearly when it came on. Indeed it is a classic!


  6. Hi Birgit - definitely a favourite of so many ... cheers Hilary

  7. Well, I might be the person to surprise* you, but i’m not sure i’ve ever seen more than clips from this, unless I was so young I can’t remember it.

    *or not, given my general ignorance about movies!

  8. This was such a beautiful, enchanting movie! I need to rewatch it.

  9. Amazing film, kids today still love it, even though it is 80 years old!

  10. That is neat about the coat. It sure is still a hit today. Great film indeed.

    That is a lot of crap to happen on set though.

  11. This was "must see TV" every year around Thanksgiving (which for us is in November). When Ted Turner got the rights to it, he started playing the hell out of it, and it lost some of the magic for me.

    Recently I've read some articles that say that L. Frank Baum intended the story to be an allegory for political and economic life in the 1890's. Google "wizard of oz as an allegory" and read some of the articles. Certainly changed my whole view of things, as did some of the memes that have been flying around the Internet about it.

    As far as I'm concerned, Margaret Hamilton was the real star of that movie. She was fantastic as the Wicked Witch of the West. There's a wonderful video of her talking to Mister Rogers ( about playing the witch, and her thoughts of why she was so wicked. She reminds me of my grandmother in the video...

    It was a disgrace the way they treated Judy Garland while they were making the movie. I heard that her diet consisted of coffee and cigarettes, because they didn't want her to gain any weight. I think the heads of the studios were a bunch of dirty old men. No wonder she was so screwed up.

    Funny story about my uncle Jack (who comments on my blog pretty regularly): when the movie came out, one set of grandparents took my mom (who was seven) and him (who was probably five) to see it. When the Wizard makes his first appearance (you know, the giant head and booming voice), Jack was terrified and ran out of the theater screaming...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sorry, serious typo, so I deleted my comment. Here it is again.

      John, I read somewhere once that the reason so many Hollywood stars who had been child actors were so messed up as adults was because they kept feeding them drugs to keep them awake so they could work. And this was AFTER the legislation to protect them because of what had happened to Jackie Coogan. It was a disgrace! If it happened today, in a developing country factory, we’d hear all about it through on line petitions.

  12. Haven't seen it in a while, but when we first came to Canada saw it on an old TV someone had lent us and was surprised 'cos I'd never seen it on TV in the UK. It was/is a great movie.

  13. I only saw this all the way through recently. In an English class. They were not impressed.

  14. My husband's favorite film. It's a good story, and there are those spinoffs, Wicked, and Oz the Great and Powerful. The mystique continues.

  15. I don't think Daisy has seen it yet

  16. That was meant to be -- Baum's coat being worn in the movie. Perfect. As a kid, I looked forward to Easter not for the holiday but for The Wizard of Oz being on TV.

  17. Asbestos??!!! Good lord. I do enjoy the Wizard of Oz, but my husband can't stand it, so I only get to watch it occasionally :)
    Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters