The Wizard of Oz Collectors Edition Box Set
The Hollywood premiere was on August 15, 1939, at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The New York City premiere, held at Loew’s Capitol Theatre on August 17, 1939, was followed by a live performance with Garland and her frequent film co-star Mickey Rooney. They continued to perform there after each screening for a week, extended in Rooney’s case for a second week and in Garland’s to three (with Oz co-stars Ray Bolger and Bert Lahr replacing Rooney for the third and final week). The film opened nationwide on August 25, 1939.
The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Widely considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history, it is the best-known and most commercially successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming (who left production to take over direction on the troubled Gone with the Wind production). It stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, and Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe, and Clara Blandick, Terry (billed as Toto), and Singer’s Midgets as the Munchkins.
Legendary for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and memorable characters, the film has become an icon of American popular culture. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but lost to Gone with the Wind. It did win in two other categories: Best Original Song for “Over the Rainbow” and Best Original Score by Herbert Stothart. While the film was considered a critical success upon release in August 1939, it failed to make a profit for MGM until the 1949 re-release, earning only $3,017,000 on a $2,777,000 budget, not including promotional costs, which made it MGM’s most expensive production at that time.