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FASCINATING FACTS
and
RARELY TOLD STORIES
_______________  

Facts Menu :

__________________________________________________________________________

Jitterbug Scene | Tornado Procedure | Before the cutting room floor | Death Certificate

Sywriting | Baum's Pseudonyms | 1939 Movie Premiere Reviews | Hanging

Acadamy Award Competitors for Oz | Woman holding cat | Horse of a different color

__________________________________________________________________________

 

"Surrender Dorothy" Picture

Skywriting

Originally the image above was going to read: "Surrender Dorothy or die WWW". It was later edited to the two words "Surrender Dorothy". (this is also mentioned above).

How it was done: In Aljean Harmetz's book, The Making of the Wizard of Oz, Jack McMaster was the man who created and performed this final scene. Below he describes the procedure:

"I had a glass tank six foot square" ... "The bottom of the tank was glass. The sides were wood. The tank was only three inches deep; and the bottom was covered with an inch and a half of water mixed with calla oil. That was supposed to be the sky. The camera was beneath the tank, shooting up. The water and oil mixture was opaque, so it hid me. The miniature Witch who did the skywriting was three eighths of an inch high, and the broom she was riding was a hypodermic needle. I filled the hypodermic needle with a combination of canned milk and nigrosine dye. I wrote SURRENDER DOROTHY OR DIE upside down and backward in the fluid in the tank, using the needle in place of a pen. I practiced for two months before I did it. My hand wasn't in the tank, but the Witch and the broom needle were. The skywriting seemed to come out of the tail of the Witch's broom. To give the writing the appearance of smoke that was drifting, I had a fifty-gallon drum of water feeding into the tank. I had tinted the water the same milky color as the liquid in the glass tank. The water current was a stream--like an air stream--blowing the letters apart."

 
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BAUM'S PSEUDONYMS
  • L. Frank Baum used several pseudonyms in writing other books.
  • They are:
  • Laura Bancroft - Twinkle and Chubbins, Policeman Blue Jay
  • Edith Van Dyne - Aunt Jane's Nieces, The Flying Girl, Mary Louise
  • Floyd Akers - The Boy Fortune Hunters
  • Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald - The Sam Steele's Adventure
  • John Estes Cooke -Tamawaca Folks
  • Susan Metcalf - Annabel
  • Schuyler Staunton - The Fate of a Crown, Daughters of Destiny
  • Anonymous - The Last Egyptian
  • ***********************************

    1939 MOVIE PREMIERE REVIEWS

  • " 'We're off to see the Wizard--'The words suggest that you bestir yourself and go to see 

  • him yourself. Thousands of young and old converged on Loew's Penn yesterday for that
    delightful purpose...Through trial and error and month on month of toil and sweat, OZ 
    finally emerged, and the results are a near-miracle for the movie industry...definitely a 
    picture to see." Pittsburgh Press, August 17, 1939
  • ___________________________________________________________________
  • "No picture ever has caused such a wholesale tossing of hats into the air...one of the 

  • most artistic achievements of the Hollywood decade." 
    Ed Sullivan, syndicated column, August 19, 1939 
  • ____________________________________________________________________
  • "[Baum's] whimsy has been broadened by antics after the musical-comedy manner 

  • and the interpolation of patter songs in Stothart's excellent score. Magnificent sets 
    and costumes, vivid Technicolor, and every resource of trick photography bolster 
    the competent cast that strikes a happy medium between humor and make-believe.
    The morefanatic Ozophiles may dispute MGM's remodeling of the story, but the 
    average moviegoer - adult or adolescent - will find it novel and richly satisfying to
    the eye." Newsweek, August 21, 1939
  • ____________________________________________________________________
  • "Three generations will see their gayest dreams come true in OZ....Don't miss this

  • movie. You may want to see it every day this week." Kansas City Star, 
    (Jack Moffat), premier week
  • ____________________________________________________________________
  • "Imaginative, fantastic, and whimsical...but behind the colorful effects is social satire 

  • [the way people allow themselves to be humbugged] and personality analysis."
    Sociology and Social Research (Journal of the University of Southern California), 
    November 1939
    *************************************

    ACADEMY AWARD COMPETITORS FOR OZ

  • OZ was nominated in five areas, including:
  • BEST PICTURE, ART DIRECTION, BEST SONG, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE, 

  • SPECIAL EFFECTS
  • The movies in competition included:
  • The Wizard of Oz, Dark Victory, Gone With the Wind, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Love Affair, 

  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, 
    Wuthering Heights, The Rains Came, Man of Conquest, Beau Gest, Captain Fury, 
    Gulliver's Travels, Second Fiddle, Eternally Yours, Golden Boy, Nurse Edith Cavell, 
    Only Angels Have Wings, Topper Takes a Trip, Union Pacific, 
    The Man in the Iron Mask, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
    ___________

    Among the sources used in gathering information: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History of 
    The Wizard of Oz.

    Facts Page: 1 | 2 | 3