June 22, 2014

Review: The Wizard of Oz FAQ

Product Description:
The Wizard of Oz FAQ is a fact-filled celebration of the beloved 1939 fantasy masterpiece starring Judy Garland. Its all here from L. Frank Baum and his Oz novels to the complete background story of the movies conception, development, and shoot, with special attention given to the little-known parade of uncredited directors, casting difficulties, and on-set accidents and gaffes, as well as more than 75 sidebars devoted to key cast members, directors, and other behind-the-scenes personnel. You'll find a wealth of fun facts: How MGM overworked Judy Garland before, during, and after Oz; why director Victor Fleming had his hands full with the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy's other friends; what it was about Toto that really bothered Judy; the physical horrors of filming in Technicolor; the racial Oz gag that was scripted but never shot; when the Wicked Witch was going to be beautiful; why The Wizard of Oz owes a lot to silent-screen star Mary Pickford; the story of deleted scenes, and a full two weeks of shooting that had to be scrapped; why MGM star Mickey Rooney was part of the movies traveling publicity blitz; how the Wicked Witch was literally blown off her broomstick one day; the place where lions, tigers, and bears really do live together; singers you hear but never see; the day MGM fired Judy Garland; and much more. Just follow the yellow brick road!

My Thoughts: 

Thanks to my aunt Nora, my family has always been a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz so I was pretty excited to read this book and it didn't disappoint. The book included lots of well known facts like Margaret Hamilton getting burned and the tin man's makeup being toxic for Buddy Ebsen but I also learned lots of interesting tidbits like the fact that Toto was paid more than the munchkins, Jello was used to color the horses in the Emerald City, Shirley Temple was considered for Dorothy and that there were several different directors for the movie before Victor Fleming finished it. 

Some of the book tended to drag on in parts going on and on about other movies released by MGM around the same time and just an over load of names but overall I enjoyed reading these FAQ and look forward to watching the movie again with this extra knowledge. 

My Recommendation: 
I recommend this book to anyone who loves our cherished American classic, The Wizard of Oz.