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75 Years on the Yellow Brick Road: Things You Likely Never Knew About The Wizard Of Oz

Evening Seminar

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Code: 1L0044

You might be aware that the film classic The Wizard of Oz is 75 years old this August. But do you know why Dorothy wears the iconic Ruby Slippers instead of the silver pair L. Frank Baum gave her in the book? Or that F. Scott Fitzgerald wanted to write the screenplay as a vehicle for the Marx Brothers?

Michael Patrick Hearn, the leading authority on The Wizard of Oz, explores these and other little-known facts about the creation of the most beloved Hollywood movie ever made. Hearn was a great friend of Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch herself, and shares behind-the-scene secrets that she and others revealed to him. When editing the screenplay in 1989, he was given free access to the MGM files owned by Turner Entertainment.

Hearn has written for the New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications, and is the author of The Annotated Wizard of Oz. Join him as he follows the Yellow Brick Road back to the land of Oz—and Hollywood—in a lively illustrated program.

Other Connections

Learn how technical wizards made the Emerald City shine even brighter in the most recent restored print of the classic film.

At one point in production, it was planned to have Dorothy and her traveling companions launch into some late-30s swing dancing in a number called “The Jitterbug” as they traveled down the Yellow Brick Road. MGM execs later thought the then-popular style might date the film, so it was excised from the release print. Archival footage shows some of what was left on the cutting room floor.


National Museum of American History
Warner Bros. Theater
Constitution Ave., NW b/w 12th & 14th Streets
Metro: Federal Triangle or Smithsonian