Ahead of our first screening at Film Fest in the City, we're taking you through 10 things you didn't know about The Wizard of Oz.

The Wizard of Oz is screening at Film Fest in the City on Thursday 19 August, at 12 noon. Screenings are FREE and unticketed. Find out more about Film Fest in the City.


1. The 1939 film was the 10th adaptation of the book, and there are now over 50 screen adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s original tale.

2. Due to the film being made in Technicolour, Dorothy’s dress had to be blue and pink gingham, and her shoes were changed from their original silver to the iconic ruby red we all know because MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer wanted to show off the expensive 3-strip film process.

3. The tornado was made by spinning around a 35-foot-long stocking with dust and dirt.

4. Frank Morgan didn’t just play the Wizard. The man behind the curtain can also be seen playing the Carriage Driver, Guard, Gatekeeper and Professor Marvel at different points in the film.

5. The original Tin Man was hospitalised by his makeup. Buddy Ebsen had a severe allergic reaction to the aluminium powder they had been covering his face with and had to be replaced by Jack Haley.

6. Toto the dog made $125 a week when working on the film, whereas Margaret Pellegrini who portrayed one of the Munchkins was only paid $50 a week for her performance.

7. The Tin Man’s oil was actually chocolate syrup. It looked far better on camera than real oil.

8. The Wizard of Oz wasn’t originally a box office hit. When the film was released towards the end of the Great Depression, it was competing with Gone With The Wind and almost break even, although it did go on to win two Oscars.

9. Research by the University of Turin shows that The Wizard of Oz has influenced more films than any other film to date.

10. It is one of the few films featured on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.


Film Fest in the City is presented in partnership with Essential Edinburgh, and supported by Johnnie Walker.