The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Widely considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history, it is the best-known and most commercially successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The film was made into a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeremy Sams in 2011. This musical uses the Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg songs from the film and includes some new songs and additional music by Lloyd Webber and additional lyrics by Tim Rice.
The film was directed primarily by Victor Fleming and starred Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe and Clara Blandick, Terry (billed as Toto), and Singer’s Midgets as the Munchkins.
Legendary for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable characters, it has become an icon of American popular culture. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but lost to Gone with the Wind. It did win in two other categories, including Best Original Song for “Over the Rainbow” and Best Original Score by Herbert Stothart.
Based on the book by L. Frank Baum, little Kansas farm girl, Dorothy Gale, and her dog Toto are blown away in a tornado and land in a fairyland named Oz. Here she meets a very unusual cast of characters – the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion, and together they go on a quest to see the Wizard of Oz, each of them seeking what they want most in life. Making their way along the Yellow Brick Road through a series of hair-raising encounters, they arrive at the Emerald City only to be told by the Wizard that they first must kill the Wicked Witch of the West before he will grant their wishes.
They eventually overcome many dangerous challenges and dispose of the witch (although quite by accident), and return only to find that the Wizard is really just a humbug. He craftily addresses everyone’s wish but Dorothy’s, which is to return home to Kansas. So once more Dorothy and her friends set out, this time to find the Good Witch of the South. These last adventures end happily with Dorothy and Toto returning home, thanks to something she had all along.