The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the popular 1902 Broadway musical and the well-known 1939 film adaptation.
The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a cyclone. The novel is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum's writing thirteen additional Oz books. The original book has been in the public domain in the US since 1956.
Baum dedicated the book "to my good friend & comrade, My Wife", Maud Gage Baum. In January 1901, George M. Hill Company, the publisher, completed printing the first edition, which totaled 10,000 copies.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The film stars Judy Garland; Terry the dog, billed as Toto; Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin and Clara Blandick, and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins, with Pat Walshe as leader of the flying monkeys.
Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best-known films and part of American popular culture. It also featured in cinema what may be for the time the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects.
It was not a box office success on its initial release, earning only $3,017,000 on a $2,777,000 budget, despite receiving largely positive reviews. The film was MGM's most expensive production at that time, and did not recoup much of the studio's investment until subsequent re-releases. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture but lost to Gone with the Wind. It did win in two other categories including Best Original Song for "Over the Rainbow." The song was ranked first in two lists: the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs and the Recording Industry Association of America's "365 Songs of the Century".
The 1956 television broadcast of the film re-introduced the film to the public that eventually made it an annual tradition and one of the most known films in cinema history. The film was named the most-viewed motion picture on television syndication by the Library of Congress who also included the film in its National Film Registry in its inaugural year in 1989. Designation on the registry calls for efforts to preserve it for being "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant". It is often ranked on best-movie lists in critics' and public polls. It is the source of many quotes referenced in modern popular culture. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming (who left production to take over direction on the troubled Gone With the Wind production). Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The songs were by Edgar "Yip" Harburg (lyrics) and Harold Arlen (music). The incidental music, based largely on the songs, was composed by Herbert Stothart, with interspersed renderings from classical composers.