The Wizard of Oz

50 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Wizard of Oz’

It was a modest box officer winner when it was released on this day back in 1939, but MGM’s grand Technicolor fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz, won the hearts of millions more when it debuted on TV for the first time in 1956. It became an annual tradition for many families to huddle around the telly and watch the tale of a girl and her dog traveling the Yellow Brick Road. We’re honoring the film’s theatrical release with an epic list of facts, many strange but true, that shed light on one of cinema’s most beloved movies. … Read More

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10 of Hollywood’s Most Legendary “Troubled Productions”

This Friday, Paramount unleashes World War Z, the Brad Pitt-fronted zombie apocalypse tale that has been on the receiving end of an inordinate amount of pre-release bad buzz. Stories of third-act rewrites, tension between star and director, shifting release dates, and massive budget and schedule overruns have dominated WWZ’s advance publicity, far more than anything of note about the film itself (which is unfortunate, as it’s a frequently gripping and reasonably intelligent disaster flick). But that’s nothing new in Hollywood; for decades we’ve been fascinated by stories of high-profile productions run amok, and by guessing whether those on-set woes would actually impact the final product. … Read More

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This Is a Thing: The All Little-People Western ‘The Terror of Tiny Town’

Welcome to “This is a Thing,” a monthly feature where your humble film editor will examine a piece of popular culture — a film, an album, a television special, whatever — that I wouldn’t believe existed, had I not laid my own eyes upon it. This month: the stunningly ill-conceived 1938 Western, announced in its opening titles as “The Terror of Tiny Town, with an all-midget cast.” 

The story goes that low-budget producer Jedd Buell was inspired to make his magnum opus by an offhand comment from a subordinate: “If this economy drive keeps on, we’ll be using midgets for actors.” And like that, The Terror of Tiny Town was born. Buell took out ads in newspapers around the nation, offering “Big Salaries for Little People.” He hired 60 actors (averaging 3’8”) to fill the roles of his $100,000 production. … Read More

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Imaginative Ads for Pop Culture’s Most Famous Fictional Products

Few institutions hold the key to our pop culture-obsessed heart like Gallery 1988, the dual-location Los Angeles art gallery that showcases art celebrating our favorite films, music, and TV. The latest exhibit for the Venice Gallery is Product Placement, consisting of imagined artwork for fictional products from all points of the pop culture universe. Join us after the jump for a preview of the show, which opens Saturday and runs through March 30th, including inventive ads for Red Apple cigarettes, Soul Glo hair products, Dapper Dan pomade, and more. … Read More

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The Greatest Movie Endings of All Time

All things must come to an end, but the greatest finales leave a lasting impression. We’ve already explored the best opening scenes in cinema, and now it’s time to dig into a few of film’s greatest movie endings. Not all stories provide audiences with closure, happy resolutions, and loose ends neatly wrapped in a bow. Some of the best tales reveal jaw-dropping truths, narrative twists, and allow questions that go unanswered to linger in our minds. We’ve rounded up some of the most epic film endings past the break. There’s plenty of room to discuss your favorites in the comments, so chime in with your thoughts after clicking through our gallery for more memorable movie goodbyes. Oh, and consider this your big-time spoiler warning. … Read More

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Incredible Sculptures Made from Your Favorite Children’s Books

If you spent hours as a child fantasizing about leaping into the pages — and fictional world! — of your favorite book, then these mind-blowing sculptures spotted by Maria Popova should put a smile on your face. “I still have a connection to Stuart Little and the Borrowers,” explains Kelly Campbell Berry, the Oklahoma-based artist behind the work. “Books, for me, come alive… My book sculptures are my way of showing what the words on the pages create in the imagination of the readers.” Click through to check out a few of her loveliest pieces, and take note: many of them are currently available for purchase in her shop on Etsy. … Read More

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The Movies People Need to Stop Quoting

Earlier this week, while running down the worst performances of some of our favorite actors, we were reminded again of that unfortunate moment back in 2000 where Robert De Niro cashed in the chip of one of his most iconic performances for a cheap laugh in a Rocky & Bullwinkle movie. That’s only one way of looking at it, of course — it could also be argued that everyone else had been quoting Taxi Driver for years, so De Niro was just getting in on the action himself. There is something to be said for the notion that, cinema classic though it might be, we’ve probably all had enough of people taking the opportunity whenever they look in a mirror to do a Bickle-esque smile/smirk and inquire, “You talkin’ to me?”

Taxi Driver is one of many great movies that have been trod upon by the corrupting influence of movie quoting, that unfortunate social phenomenon by which pop culture obsessives, unable to communicate with their own words, end up speaking primarily in dialogue lifted from their favorite films, rendering said dialogue tiresome and unwelcome. We’ve assembled over a dozen movies we’re sick of having quoted back to us, but we’re sure we left some out — and that’s what the comment section is for. Check them out after the jump. … Read More

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Famous Photos Recreated with ‘Star Wars’ Figures

We first noticed Canada-based photographer David Eger’s work on Design Taxi and were instantly charmed by his recreations of iconic photographs, album covers, and movie moments using figures from the Star Wars canon. Most of the images come from his Cloned Photos collection and 365 Days of Clones project — a daily photo series starring several Phase I Clone Troopers from the Grand Army of the Republic. Darth Vader, Princess Leia and other mythical characters from Lucas’ much-loved franchise also make appearances, stepping in for The Beatles’ Abbey Road cover image, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, and more. If you’ve ever wondered what Star Wars figures looked like on the moon or in the boxing ring — floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee — check out Eger’s work past the break. Be sure to visit the artist’s Flickr page for more great photos, and then head to Redbubble to buy your own. … Read More

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