It was a modest box officer winner when it was released on this day back in 1939, but MGM’s grand Technicolor fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz, won the hearts of millions more when it debuted on TV for the first time in 1956. It became an annual tradition for many families to huddle around the telly and watch the tale of a girl and her dog traveling the Yellow Brick Road. We’re honoring the film’s theatrical release with an epic list of facts, many strange but true, that shed light on one of cinema’s most beloved movies.
The Wicked Witch Actually Melted!
During a scene where the Wicked Witch (played by Margaret Hamilton) exits from Munchkinland in a blaze of fire. The actress suffered first-degree burns on the right side of her face and second-degree burns on her right hand; the flames had risen too soon before see descended under the stage. Hamilton’s green face paint was made was copper-based and potentially toxic so they had to remove it quickly with alcohol which of course was excruciatingly painful for the young actress. It took her nearly 2 months to return to the set.
The Lion Wore A Real Lion!
The Lion Man costume was made out of actually lion skin, making him a literal lion man. The costume cost nearly $22,000 and took more than 21 artisans to create it.
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