Off to Sepia 'The Wizard'

Continued From: Big Weekend > Fab Grabs > More Fab Grabs > Big Romance > Double Header

The first time I projected "The Wizard of Oz" was in 1972 at the original North DeKalb Theatre, near Atlanta. I had heard the stories about the opening reel of the film, which is properly displayed in a sepia tint. The movie transforms to full color at the moment Dorothy enters The Land of Oz.

A ludicrous urban legend insists that color cinematography was invented while this production was before the cameras, about 20 minutes into the screenplay, so the studio decided to shoot the picture in color from where they'd left off. What the heck.

I guess it follows that color was uninvented before they finished, because the last sequence returns to sepia.

Nevertheless, some people have it in their heads the entirety of "The Wizard of Oz" is in color.

I was delighted when a concerned mother found her way to the machine room and asked me why the presentation was "in black-and-white."

"Oh, we thought we'd save a little money," I said. "We'll be turning the color on in a few minutes."

"Well, okay, thank you."

My other favorite trivia regarding "The Wizard of Oz" is the fact crazy MGM executives were prepared to remove Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow" number in order to shorten the Kansas material.


This wonderful scene is only the high point of the show. In fact, my world stops whenever I'm in the vicinity of the song. I gotta watch and listen.

"Over the Rainbow" via YouTube
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