The Making of The Wizard of Oz
“Fantastic.” Gore Vidal, New York Review of Books “Grand.” Ray Bradbury, Los Angeles Times “Definitive.” Salmon Rushdie, The New Yorker “A fluent, incisive and fair history of life in Hollywood during the golden age of films. The author seems to have talked to everyone with knowledge of what went on at MGM in its heyday. . . . Marvelous.” Publishers Weekly From the ten scriptwriters at work to the scandal headlines of Munchkin orgies at the Culver City Hotel to the Witch's (accidental) burning, here is the real story of the making of The Wizard of Oz. This richly detailed re-creation brings alive a major Hollywood studio and reveals, through hundreds of interviews (with cameramen, screenwriters, costume designers, directors, producers, light technicians, and actors), how the factory-like Hollywood system of moviemaking miraculously produced one of the most enduring and best-loved films ever made. We watch it happen--the bright, idiosyncratic, wildly devoted MGM-ers inventing the lines, the songs; flying hordes of monkeys through the sky; growing a poppy field; building the Emerald City (and 60 other sets); designing and sewing the nearly 1,000 costumes; enduring the pressures from the front office; choosing the actors. Here is Oz, a marvelous, unprecedented experience of studio life as it was lived day by day, detail by detail, department by department, at the most powerful and flamboyant studio Hollywood has ever known--at its moment of greatest power. Aljean Harmetz is the author of The Making of Casablanca, On the Road to Tara: The Making of Gone with the Wind, and other books.
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