So you think you know “The Wizard of Oz”?
Yeah, Toto was really a female dog named Terry. Duh!
Judy Garland had to wear a special (probably painful) corset to disguise her cleavage. Who doesn’t know that? we hear you saying.
And you scoff when someone tries to tell you that a suicidal Munchkin can be seen hanging from a tree. (It was a live exotic bird.)
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So you’re a superfan of the 1939 classic, which was released 75 years ago this month (look for more Oz stories next Sunday). You’re hard to stump. But we’ll try our best.
See how you do on 20-question “Oz” quiz. We figure if you get 15 of 20 correct, you really are a superfan. Sixteen or more? You deserve a star on the Yellow Brick Road. Less than 10 right? If you only had a brain … :)
1. “They wanted __________ for the role,” Judy Garland told a reporter in the 1960s. “But they had to settle for me and tried to make me look as much like __________ as possible. I was fat, had crooked teeth, straight and black hair, and the wrong kind of nose.” Which actress was Garland referring to?
A. Lana Turner
B. Shirley Temple
C. Deanna Durbin
D. Hayley Mills
2. At one point after Dorothy is supposed to be safely tucked into the ruby slippers, she can be seen (very briefly!) wearing her black Kansas shoes. During which scene?
A. When she meets the Scarecrow.
B. When she and the Scarecrow are fighting with the apple trees.
C. In the poppy field.
D. Right before she liquidates the Wicked Witch.
3. True or false? Every time you see Dorothy, you see Judy Garland.
4. What was Ray Bolger’s main complaint about his Scarecrow costume and makeup?
A. His straw kept falling out.
B. His hat kept falling off.
C. It was hard to hear.
D. He’d sweat so much that his face makeup would run.
5. Who was originally cast as the Tin Man? He rehearsed for a month, completed two weeks of filming and can be heard singing on the soundtrack. (Jack Haley was hired to replace this actor.)
A. W.C. Fields
B. Buddy Ebsen
C. Fred MacMurray
D. Mickey Rooney
6. True or false? That first Tin Man does appear in the movie, as the Wicked Witch’s main Winkie guard.
7. Which star got the best reviews?
A. Judy Garland (Dorothy)
B. Ray Bolger (Scarecrow)
C. Jack Haley (Tin Man)
D. Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion)
E. Frank Morgan (multiple roles including the Wizard)
8. Toto was the lowest paid of the major players in “Oz.” Who was the next lowest paid? And who was the highest paid? Your choices are the five actors in Question 7 plus Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch of the West), Billie Burke (Glinda the Good Witch), Charley Grapewin (Uncle Henry) and Clara Bandick (Aunt Em).
9. How old was Garland during most of the filming?
10. Why did the first actress cast as the Wicked Witch, Gale Sondergaard, give up the role before filming started?
A. She came down with a mysterious illness.
B. She refused to work with fire.
C. She was offered a role in “Gone With the Wind.”
D. She was too pretty.
11. “I used to recommend that children under 5 years not be allowed to see (‘The Wizard of Oz’),” one cast member said. “It gives them nightmares.” Who said it?
A. Judy Garland
B. Frank Morgan
C. Billie Burke
D. Margaret Hamilton
12. Which star didn’t live long enough to see “The Wizard of Oz” become an annual TV ritual?
13. Most costumes were made by MGM’s wardrobe department, but a few items were store-bought. Which of these did director Victor Fleming balk at, especially when he saw the price tag?
A. Aunt Em’s apron
B. Glinda’s poufy gown
C. Miss Gulch’s dowdy dress
D. Professor Marvel’s coat
14. True or false? A “Wizard of Oz” film crew traveled to Kansas to capture footage of a twister.
15. Most of what you hear when the Munchkins speak or sing are the voices of other people. (The high-pitched effect came from recording at a slow speed, then playing it back at normal speed.) Which two little people got to use their own voices?
A. The mayor and the coroner
B. The two guys who present Dorothy with flowers
C. Two members of the Lollipop Guild
D. Two members of the Lullabye League
16. King Vidor was one of four directors to work on the film. After the credited director, Fleming, left for “Gone With the Wind,” Vidor finished up “Oz,” shooting the black-and-white Kansas scenes. According to Vidor, what did he film that had rarely been shot before?
A. Live pigs
B. A depiction of a tornado
C. A ballad performed in the film’s first 10 minutes
D. A performer walking while singing a ballad
17. Where was “The Wizard of Oz” shown before its West Coast premiere (on Aug. 15, 1939, at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre)?
A. Sheboygan, Wis.
B. Cape Cod, Mass.
C. Portsmouth, N.H.
18. How many Academy Awards did the movie win at the ceremony on Feb. 29, 1940?
19. In what state will you find a defunct theme park called the Land of Oz? It opened in 1970.
D. North Carolina
20. What puts the “ape” in “apricot”?
A. The flying monkeys
B. The Wicked Witch of the East
C. The Wizard
1. B. The president of MGM’s parent company wanted Temple, but the child megastar’s studio, 20th Century Fox, probably would never have loaned her to MGM. Some MGMers also wondered if she had the pipes for the role. Temple was 101/2 in October 1938, when “Oz” filming got underway.
Incidentally, Terry, the cairn terrier that played Toto, got her start opposite Temple in the 1934 film “Bright Eyes.”
In the L. Frank Baum books Dorothy was depicted with lighter-colored hair, so in early shooting Judy Garland donned a blondish wig and heavy makeup. But short-timer director George Cukor restored Garland to a more natural look. He told her to remember that she was “just a little girl from Kansas.”
Also of note: The “Oz” screenplay was written with comic actor W.C. Fields in mind to play the Wizard, but Fields turned down the part.
2. B. The apple tree scene.
3. False. Judy Garland’s double appears several times in the film — pretty much anytime you see Dorothy but not her face, such as close-ups of the ruby slippers or when Toto is at her feet. Same thing for rear and long shots. When the sepia-toned Dorothy opens the front door after the house lands in Oz, that’s the double. Garland in her Technicolor dress then quickly steps in.
Garland’s time on set was limited because of her age; she was required to spend several hours a day doing schoolwork.
4. C. “As the Scarecrow, I had no ears,” Bolger told a reporter in 1939, “and there were bunches of straw in place of them. … I couldn’t hear a single thing, words or music, and my own voice sounded like somebody talking in a huge empty hall.” He had to have an assistant director cue him.
5. B. Ebsen, who’d later find fame on TV as nouveau riche Jed Clampett on “The Beverly Hillbillies” and as the wizened private eye “Barnaby Jones.” He suffered a near-fatal allergic reaction to the Tin Man’s aluminum powder makeup.
6. False. Although the Winkie guard does look like an older Buddy Ebsen (circa “Beverly Hillbillies”), the guard is actually played by character actor Mitchell Lewis.
But … some Ozphiles say Ebsen can be seen in “Oz,” in long shots as Dorothy’s three friends climb the cliff and then when they don the Winkie guards’ uniforms to enter the witch’s castle. Those were the first scenes filmed.
7. D. Lahr, according to the book “The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion.”
8. Judy Garland, who received the highest billing, was the lowest paid of the (human) principal players. From highest to lowest pay: Ray Bolger and Jack Haley, $3,000 per week; Bert Lahr and Frank Morgan, $2,500; Margaret Hamilton, $1,000; Billie Burke, $766.67; Charley Grapewin and Clara Bandick, $750; Garland, $500; Terry the dog, $125.
9. B. 16.
10. D. Producers originally wanted Sondergaard to play a glamorous, slinky sorceress in the mold of the Evil Queen in Disney’s 1937 animated hit “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” But when they opted for an ugly crone instead, Sondergaard bowed out.
“In those days, I was not about to make myself ugly for any motion picture,” Sondergaard told Aljean Harmetz, author of “The Making of the Wizard of Oz.”
11. D. Hamilton. Before she became an actress, she was a kindergarten teacher.
12. E. Morgan, the Wizard, died in 1949, the year of the first theatrical re-release of “Oz.” That was seven years before its first TV appearance, in November 1956 on CBS. Its second TV broadcast came in 1959, and from then until the 1990s “Oz” was shown annually on network TV (except in 1963, the year JFK was assassinated; “Oz” was shown in late January 1964 instead).
13. A. Aunt Em’s original apron didn’t look right to Fleming — and then he got a look at the price tag: $25. (In 1938-39!) “Here’s a dollar,” Fleming is reported to have told an assistant. “Go down to the five-and-ten-cent store and buy a decent apron.”
14. True, apparently. But they didn’t encounter a cooperative tornado.
“There is evidence to suggest that MGM dispatched a camera crew to Kansas early on, primarily to scout locations that resembled an average Dust Bowl farm while anticipating the off chance that an authentic twister might materialize,” according to “The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion.”
The entire film was shot on MGM soundstages.
15. B, according to Stephen Cox, author of “The Munchkins of Oz.” The first guy says to Dorothy, “We thank you very sweetly, for doing it so neatly.” He’s referring to her dropping a house on the Wicked Witch of the East, of course.
16. D. “Previous to this, when people sang (ballads in movies), they stood still,” Vidor told Harmetz. “I used ‘Over the Rainbow’ to get some rhythmical flow of movement into a ballad.”
17. If you chose A, B or C, you are correct. “Oz” was screened in a handful of cities, mostly shore resorts, between Aug. 11 and Aug. 13, 1939. The East Coast premiere was at the Capitol Theatre in New York on Aug. 17.
18. We’ll count either B or C as correct. The film definitely won two Oscars — for best song (“Over the Rainbow,” which had become a hit single) and best original score. Garland received an honorary Oscar for outstanding juvenile performance, but no movie was specified. “Oz” was one of 10 films nominated for best picture, but this was 1939, after all. “Gone With the Wind” won most of the major awards.
19. D. The park, in Beech Mountain, N.C., was based on Baum’s book, not the movie. Attendance dwindled following a fire in 1976, and the property sat abandoned for years. But every fall it reopens for one weekend; the park’s versions of Dorothy’s farm and the Yellow Brick Road have been restored. For more on this year’s Autumn at Oz festival, Oct. 4-5, go to autumnatoz.com.
20. D. That’s a line from “If I Were King of the Forest,” the Cowardly Lion’s lament in the Emerald City (perhaps the part that bored you as a kid?). “What makes the Sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! … What puts the ‘ape’ in ‘apricot’? What have they got that I ain’t got? Courage!” (Sorry, but lions can’t be kings of the forest. They almost always live out on the savanna.)
TO READ MORE
If you’re a diehard “Oz” fan, you’ll love “The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion” by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, published in 2013. It’s a beautiful book chock-full of high-quality photos.
But if it’s behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt you’re after, it’s hard to top “The Making of the Wizard of Oz” by Aljean Harmetz, who interviewed many of the stars as well as others connected to the movie. The book, first published in 1977, was updated last year.
Other sources for this quiz included the 2001 Turner Classic Movies documentary “Memories of Oz,” found on the three-disc collector’s edition of the film (Warner Home Video, 2005) and articles in The Kansas City Star’s files.