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Published:August 12th, 2010 10:39 EST
The Wizard of Oz Celebrates 71 Years: Judyth Piazza chats Meinhardt Raabe

The Wizard of Oz Celebrates 71 Years: Judyth Piazza chats Meinhardt Raabe

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)


The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It has become one of the most famous motion pictures ever made; some would even say the most famous. It is based on L. Frank Baum`s turn-of-the-century children`s story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a resourceful American girl is snatched up by a Kansas tornado and deposited in a fantastic land of witches, a talking scarecrow, a cowardly lion, and more. Mainly because of its frequent TV showings, its principal cast members,

 Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton, are all now more famous than they were when the film was released, although Judy Garland quickly became one of the most famous film stars of all time and had many movie hits during her career. Billie Burke and Frank Morgan were already fairly well-known when Oz was made and had been Oscar-nominated for previous films, but nearly all of the actors in The Wizard of Oz are famous today primarily because they appeared in that one film.

The movie also featured a cast of individually uncredited small actors in the roles of the Munchkins, including Jerry Maren in the Lollipop Guild and Meinhardt Raabe as the Munchkin Coroner. While not the earliest feature film produced in Technicolor (the first of which was released in 1917), The Wizard of Oz made conspicuous use of the now-perfected technology; the film`s Kansas bookend sequences are in sepia-toned black-and-white, while the Oz scenes are in full three-strip Technicolor. The film is scheduled for theatrical re-release in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2006.

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