PG | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.
The film's running time was originally 120 minutes. Producer Mervyn LeRoy realized that at least 20 minutes needed to be deleted to get it down to a manageable running time. Three sneak previews aided in his decision of what to cut. The original film in its entirety was only seen once by an audience in either San Bernardino or Santa Barbara, and it was the only time the famed Jitterbug number was seen by the public. After this preview LeRoy cut the aforementioned Jitterbug number and the Scarecrow's extended dance sequence to "If I Only Had a Brain." A second preview was held in Pomona, where the film ran 112 minutes. After the preview LeRoy cut Dorothy's "Over The Rainbow" reprise, a scene in which the Tin Man turned into a human beehive, and the Emerald City reprise of "Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead," as well as a few smaller scenes and dialog, notably two Kansas scenes in which the Hickory character was building a machine to ward off tornadoes, as well as dozens of threatening lines by the Wicked Witch of the West. By the third preview, held in San Luis Obispo, the film finally was down to its 101-minute running time, where it has remained ever since.
She isn't coming yet, Toto. Did she hurt you? She tried to, didn't she? Come on. We'll go tell Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.
There is no stage hand on set at the end of the Tinman sequence, nor was anyone hanged, nor did they fall out of a tree. The shadowy figure at the back of the set as Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tinman set off down the Yellow Brick Road is a large bird stretching its wings.
The credits say "Photographed in Technicolor", not "Color Sequences by Technicolor", thus making it seem as if the entire film were made in color. It is not known if this was deliberately done to enhance the surprise when the picture turns into full three-strip Technicolor, but it is quite possible. Posters at the time also advertised the film as being in Technicolor, but made no mention of sepia tint or black-and-white. The advertisement for the film's first telecast, however, did say "in color and black-and-white" (the Kansas sequences were shown on TV in black-and-white, not sepia, until the 1990 telecast, when they were restored).
For the 1998 re-release, Warner Bros. handled the distribution of the film for Turner Entertainment Co. As a result, the re-release prints started with Warner's 75th Anniversary logo. The prints also ended with a short set of restoration and sound remixing credits.
$1,211,474 (USA) (27 January 2019)
$2,076,020 (USA) (7 February 2019)