Archivo de la categoría: The Wizard Of Oz

From ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to ‘Wicked’

Wizard of Oz

During all this month, dedicated to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ we have shared stories, emotions and songs. I think it’s a great musical, a beloved one for many reasons, because gives love and hope to many people. Even in the darkest times, you can travel to the colourful land of Oz and feel like home. It’s true that Dorothy, her story and all the wonderful characters on the film have been reinterpreted and used during all these years.

The land of Oz is full of stories, everybody can imagine a new world full of wonderful and not-so-wonderful things. It’s a story that inspires lot of people and brings art to the world. That’s why I see ‘The Wizard of Oz’ as a great film, with a huge legacy. It inspired Gregory Maguire to write his famous book ‘Wicked’, which was adapted on a musical too, one of the most important shows in history, an absolutely referent and a must see to all musical theatre fans.




The revival in London 2011

'The Wizard of Oz' at the West End Live. Picture by Linda Hartley on Flickr

‘The Wizard of Oz’ at the West End Live. Picture by Linda Hartley on Flickr

As I already said enough this month, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ inspired a lot of people. It’s a product that can be readapted many times. In 2011 a new theatrical production was created in the London Palladium. This time with an important composer, sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, also known by ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, you know him well.

The musical was in the London Palladium for more than a year. It included the original songs from the film, but also some new songs created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The show received some good reviews and the public liked it in general. Most of the reviews agreed that the show had great effects. The British actress Danielle Hope was Dorothy Gale. A TV show called ‘Over The Rainbow’ was created to find the best actress for the role.

Did you see this production?


‘The Wizard of Oz’ in the advertisements

Wizard of Oz advert

The Wizard of Oz’ inspired a generation. Lots of people fell in love with the story, the books, the songs and Judy Garland after the film was released. Many years later, most of the people know and remember the film because it’s an icon. The characters or the plot have been used several times in advertisements or in literature and theatre. I found a few adverts inspired in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ that I really enjoy. Do you know any other? Share it with me, I’m always happy to discover new things!


1) Trina Tea

That’s a Spanish advert about a tea brand. They were promoting some new teas with different colours and they got inspired on the yellow brick road from ‘The Wizard of Oz’. On the advert, while listening to a wonderful cover of ‘We’re Off To See The Wizard’, we see lot of people following some circles in different colours. They follow the colour of the tea they like, but of course the customers can change it too. Don’t worry if you don’t understand Spanish, there aren’t dialogues. Just at the end says ‘tea black, tea red, tea green and tea white. Here’s your new soft drink of tea’. Sorry for the quality, I couldn’t find anything better. Enjoy it!


2) Emily Xfinity

That’s one of my favourites. It’s a MUST. You need to watch this advert because it’s really beautiful. Emily is a young girl with vision disabilities, so she explains that ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is one of her favourite films and she explains how she imagines the different characters. The producers created the characters according to her descriptions and you can see how they look like. It’s really moving. There are some more videos of her that I recommend to have a look because she is very young but she has a lot of personality and she explains lots of interesting things about her life and her disability, and also her love for ‘The Wizard of Oz’.


3) M&M’s

The M&M’s were playing with the idea of colour and black and white. In this case, Dorothy just awakes from her dream in Oz and she realises that she met the different M&M’s and she saw them in colour. It’s a mixture of a classic and the modern in one advert. It’s funny to see, I think they had a good idea while producing this.


4) FedEx

A special delivery from FedEx to Oz. The Lollipop Guild have lost their particular voice so they need from FedEx to get some helium balloons to brink their higher voices back. The company took the referent of the film to show their services. The film is popular and the advert is funny, so it works really well.

I hope you enjoyed them like me. Do you like any other? Share it with me!


Four directors for ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Wizard of Oz

Directing ‘The Wizard of Oz’ wasn’t easy at all. It took a long journey to be made after so many problems with producers, actors and directors. But everything was worth it because we can enjoy this amazing movie today. The movie changed the American culture, but it’s true that the producers needed help from different directors to create the final product.

Richard Thorpe directed the film for only two weeks. He was the first director and he was fired because the producer Mervyn LeRoy wasn’t happy with the results. According to him, the film didn’t look like they were expecting. It wasn’t magic and cute like the books. Also, Judy Garland was wearing a blond wig and so much makeup that she didn’t look like an innocent girl from Kansas. He was fired but many years later he was recognised for his job, because he contributed to make ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ a film. He started the journey, that’s why he is important in the history of the movie.

The producers had to look for another director and George Cukor was perfect for it, but he was only available for a few weeks before he had to shoot ‘Gone With The Wind’. He didn’t have enough time to shoot anything, but he made some changes in the production that were important for the final result. He changed Judy Garland’s makeup and also the Scarecrow customs. Also, he suggested a new hairstyle for Margaret Hamilton, playing the Wicked Witch, and that Jack Haley was the best actor to play the Tin Man.

Picture by Insomnia Cured Here on Flickr

Picture by Insomnia Cured Here on Flickr

Once George Cukor leaves, the producers need to look for another director, again. Mervyn LeRoy chooses Victor Fleming, who is really excited to take over. He was happy to direct ‘The Wizard of Oz’ because he wanted to make happy his two daughters. It was the first movie for kids that he directed, but he was so excited to make his little girls enjoy it that he did a great job. Everything was going good, so far, but a few weeks before finishing, he received a phone call from the producers of ‘Gone With The Wind’. They needed him so badly, so he had to go.

Again, the movie didn’t have any director and the producers were struggling to find somebody else, only a few weeks left before finishing. The director King Vidor was happy to work for only two and a half weeks. During this time, he directed most of the scenes in Kansas, including ‘Over The Rainbow’.

Directing ‘The Wizard of Oz’ wasn’t easy at all. Four directors were needed, with longs of changes and opinions, but the producers fought to make it possible. The final product is a great film, with lots of details and ideas from lots of people that make it unique. Victor Fleming has the credits, but lot of people were involved that we can’t forget about them.


Goodbye Judy Garland

Picture by Samantha Decker on Flickr

Picture by Samantha Decker on Flickr

On the 22nd June of 1969, Judy Garland was found dead in the bathroom of their home in Chelsea, London. Many theories appeared at that time. She had tried to commit suicide before, so it was quite possible that she tried again. But also some people thought that she could have dead because of self-overdosage of barbiturates. She was having so many pills for her pains and she was also drinking some alcohol. Her way of life definitely wasn’t healthy at all.

The autopsy declared that Judy Garland’s death was accidental. She had so many barbiturates but in a long period of time, not a lot at the same time. Everybody was sad with the news, because she was a broken toy, an extremely talented artist that was used to be money, but beloved by so many people. Her grave is in New York, in a crypt in the community mausoleum at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale.

Judy Garland died too young, that’s true, she was only 47 years old. But we keep lots of records and movies where we can enjoy her performances. She became an icon, an inspiration for many people from different generations. She left a huge legacy; she is well known for being Liza Minnelli’s mother and for lots of songs and movies. Her memory will be forever, she is immortal for all her talent and so many wonderful characters in lots of films, but specially for the innocent and lovely Dorothy.


Judy’s last films

Barbra Streisand Judy Garland

Judy Garland left MGM in 1950, but that didn’t mean that her career was over. She finished working with lot of stress and making lots of movies every year but she had a lot of talent to share with people who loved her so much. Her personal life wasn’t really good, that’s true, because she had depression, she was getting divorced of Vincente Minnelli and she was getting some money troubles. She started to participate in the Bing Crosby Show – Chesterfield Show, a weekly radio program where she could sing. People used to listen to her on the radio because they loved her voice.

That’s how she arranged a tour across Europe, basically United Kingdom, of course. It was a completely success. All the reviews were great, the theatre owners were amazed with her and the audience adored her. She even felt much better. She had the feeling that she was doing a great show and it was the best way to restore her professional career and personal life. In 1952 she got married again with Sid Luft, her tour manager and arranger and they got 2 kids.

She made another film in 1954, the remake of ‘A Star Is Born’, produced by the Warner Bros. At the beginning, everything was good, she was feeling happy to be working but then, suddenly, everything changed. She was feeling ill again, like the last years in MGM. At the end, the film was a success, very well acclaimed by critics and audience. She was nominated to an Oscar Award for Best Actress but she didn’t win that time, Grace Kelly got the award for ‘The Country Girl’.

After that, she produced a few more films. For ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ (1961) she was nominated again for the Oscars for Best Supporting Actress, but she didn’t win. And also, appeared in ‘A Child Is Waiting’ (1963) and ‘I Could Go On Singing’ (1963), her last movie.

Her last years weren’t easy. She got divorced of Sid Luft too, she had some nervous breakdowns and she even stayed in hospital with hepatitis. She also worked a lot, doing some concerts across the world and participating in several TV shows. But she wasn’t good, her health was getting deteriorated.


The declive in MGM

Judy Garland Get Happy Summer Stock

Judy Garland starts to feel not really good. She is working hard, preparing lots of films and taking care of her daughters. Once she had Liza, she asked MGM to work a bit less to have more time for her baby. They offered him a contract to make 2 films per year only with her husband, but she isn’t happy, she starts to feel ill and she gets lots of days off. Actually, ‘The Pirate’ was the first movie since ‘The Wizard of Oz’ that wasn’t profitable for the MGM. It was too expensive and they had lots of problems with Judy Garland because she couldn’t go to work many days. This film became very popular because all the inconvenient during the production.

In the film, she played Manuela, who is engaged to a richman but she dreams with the legendary pirate Macoco. A singer, Serafin (played by Gene Kelly) is in love with her, so he poses like the pirate trying to impress her. During the shooting, Judy Garland had some nervous breakdown and she even spend some time on the hospital. Her marriage with Vincente Minnelli wasn’t going really good and they had to work together every day, while sometimes they didn’t want to speak to each other.

It was then when Judy Garland tried to kill herself for the first time. In the MGM weren’t too happy with her after that failure. But everything changed when she worked in ‘Easter Parade’, one of the most successful films in MGM with Fred Astaire. But it wasn’t easy too. Judy was taking lots of pills to sleep and to be awake to work. She started to have some addiction to alcohol too. She was in a very difficult time, she wasn’t stable emotionally, and the medication and the alcohol didn’t help.

She was involved in the shooting of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’. The Broadway musical was made a film and she was supposed to be the main actress. This made Garland very nervous, because the role she was about to play was very famous for being performed by Ethel Merman. She felt a lot of pressure. She wasn’t too happy to perform a young girl again, so she wasn’t motivated. Busby Berkeley, the director, pushed her a lot because of that, so she started to arrive late to the sets or simply not go. She was fired and Betty Hutton performed Annie Oakley on the big screen.

She had some more troubles shooting some other films. For example, with ‘Summer Stock’, once it was finished, the director realised that he needed one more scene with her. She didn’t mind to do it, but she looked skinnier than the rest of the film. She was supposed to work with Fred Astaire again in ‘Royal Wedding’ but she didn’t go to work. She had been some more times in hospital and tried to comet suicide again. So, finally Judy Garland left MGM.