Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Wizard of Oz premiered 70 years ogo today

Being The Wizard of Oz fan that I am, I cannot miss this!

MGM's The Wizard of Oz opened 70 years ago today at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Crowds thronged the theater to catch glimpses of Hedy Lamarr, Orson Welles, and other stars who attended the show.

The 101-minute-long film has remained a classic since its release. In 1956, an estimated 45 million people tuned in to watch the movie's debut on television as part of the Ford Star Jubilee. The movie spawned two sequels, including Journey Back to Oz (1974), an animated film featuring the voice of Judy Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli, and Return to Oz (1985). A remake with an African American cast, The Wiz, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, was released in 1978 with music arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones.

The movie is still one of America's top-selling videocassettes and was one of the first 25 films to be put on the National Film Registry, which is reserved for culturally or historically significant movies.

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