Today marks the eightieth anniversary of the premiere of The Wizard of Oz. Based on the best-selling 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the film follows a young girl from Kansas who dreams of getting away only to be brought to the magical Land of Oz, fights an evil witch, and realizes just how good she had it back home.
The film faced a troubled production due to multiple cast changes and director turnovers. Despite this, the film was a colossal smash with fans and critics. It received nearly universal praise. The film was a hit at the box office, though due to the high cost of production it was initially a loss and did not turn a profit until a rerelease ten years later. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won two and was given an honorary award. Though not the first to use the technique, it was lauded for its use of the Technicolor process for the fantasy sequences. It has also claimed the title as the most viewed film in televised syndication.
It has continued to have a significant place in popular culture. It has been ranked among the greatest films ever made and a landmark in cinematic history. The soundtrack, particularly the song Over the Rainbow, has been used in numerous other works. The Ruby Red Slippers, an original concept for the film, have become one of the most iconic movie memorabilia ever. The Walt Disney Company, who did not produce the original film, did make a sequel and prequel to the film that included certain elements that originated in this feature.