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The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical nightmare fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Widely known as one of the greatest films of all time,[5][citation needed] it is the most commercially successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.[6] Directed primarily by Victor Fleming (who left the production to take over the troubled Gone with the Wind), the film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Margaret Hamilton.

Characterized by its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable characters, the film has become an American pop culture icon. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but lost to Gone with the Wind, also directed by Fleming. It did win in two other categories: Best Original Song for "Over the Rainbow" and Best Original Score by Herbert Stothart. While the film was considered a critical success upon release in August 1939, it failed to make a profit for MGM until the 1949 re-release, earning

The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical nightmare fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Widely known as one of the greatest films of all time,[5][citation needed] it is the most commercially successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.[6] Directed primarily by Victor Fleming (who left the production to take over the troubled Gone with the Wind), the film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr and Margaret Hamilton.

Characterized by its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable characters, the film has become an American pop culture icon. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but lost to Gone with the Wind, also directed by Fleming. It did win in two other categories: Best Original Song for "Over the Rainbow" and Best Original Score by Herbert Stothart. While the film was considered a critical success upon release in August 1939, it failed to make a profit for MGM until the 1949 re-release, earning only $3,017,000 on a $2,777,000 budget, not including promotional costs, which made it MGM's most expensive production at that time.[3][7][8]

The 1956 television broadcast premiere of the film on the CBS network reintroduced the film to the public; according to the Library of Congress, it is the most seen film in movie history.[6][9] In 1989, it was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress as one of the first 25 films for preservation in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[10][11] It is also one of the few films on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.[12] It was among the top ten in the 2005 BFI (British Film Institute) list of "50 films to be seen by the age of 14", and is on the BFI's updated list of "50 films to be seen by the age of 15" released in May 2020.[13]

The Wizard of Oz is the source of many quotes referenced in contemporary popular culture. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but others made uncredited contributions. The songs were written by Edgar "Yip" Harburg and composed by Harold Arlen. The musical score and incidental music were composed by Stothart, also featuring Clive Brook in the film.

An official 1972 sequel, the animated Journey Back to Oz starring Liza Minnelli, Garland's daughter, was produced to commemorate the original film's 35th anniversary.[110]

In 1975, a comic book adaptation of the film titled MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz was released. It was the first co-production between DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Marvel planned a series of sequels based on the subsequent novels. The first, The Marvelous Land of Oz, was published later that year. The next, The Marvelous Ozma of Oz was expected to be released the following year but never came to be.[111]

In 1985, Walt Disney Productions released the live-action fantasy film Return to Oz, starring Fairuza Balk in her film debut as a young Dorothy Gale[112] and based on The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904) and Ozma of Oz (1907). With a darker story, it fared poorly with critics unfamiliar with the Oz books and was not successful at the box office, although it has since become a popular cult film, with many considering it a more loyal and faithful adaptation of what L. Frank Baum envisioned.[113][114]

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice produced a stage musical of the same name, which opened in 2011 at the West End's London Palladium.

An animated film called Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz was released in 2011 by Warner Home Video, incorporating Tom and Jerry into the story as Dorothy's "protectors".[115] A sequel titled Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz was released on DVD on June 21, 2016.[116]

In 2013, Walt Disney Pictures released a spiritual prequel titled Oz the Great and Powerful. It was directed by Sam Raimi and starred James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. It was the second film based on Baum's Oz series to be produced by Disney, after Return to Oz. It was a commercial success but received a mixed reception from critics.[117][118]

In 2014, independent film company Clarius Entertainment released a big-budget animated musical film, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return,[119] which follows Dorothy's second trip to Oz. The f

We are not told the Tin Woodman's rather gruesome backstory in the film. He started off a human being and kept lopping off bits of himself by accident. Baum's Oz is divided into regions where people dress in the same color. Munchkins, for example, all wear blue. Obviously this did not lend itself to the brilliant palette that was the hallmark of Technicolor films at the time.

Dorothy's adventures in the book last much longer, and take her and her friends to more places in Oz, where they meet interesting characters. In the end, her friends are invited to rule different areas of Oz.

In some cases—including the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Munchkins (in style if not color), Dorothy's long pigtails and the unusual Oz noses—the film's designers were clearly inspired by the book's illustrations by William Wallace Denslow. In others, including the costumes for the witches, good and bad, they created their own visions.