The Making of The Wizard of Oz

The Making of The Wizard of Oz
The Making of The Wizard of Oz

The Making of The Wizard of Oz

By Aljean Harmetz, Foreword by Margaret Hamilton


360 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $24.99 (US $24.99) (CA $33.99)

ISBN 9781613748329

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Oct 2013)


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Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the most-watched movie of all time
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.


Praise for the previous edition of The Making of The Wizard of Oz: “Fantastic.” —Gore Vidal, New York Review of Books “There has been a lot written about the making of this remarkable film, but this must stand as the most exhaustive and well-researched to date….An entertaining and fact-filled book.” —Houston Post“Harmetz is not to be taken lightly, and her enjoyable, very informative book is much more than a paean to the 1939 movie.  It is an important work, assembled by a meticulous and accomplished writer….Harmetz’ book is perhaps the definitive story of how a movie was made under the studio system.” —Stanley Eichelbaum, San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle“The Harmetz book is lively and meticulous, comprehensive, important and touching for the Oz faithful, and for all who want to know more about the Hollywood that was.” —Charles Champlin, Times Arts Editor, Los Angeles Times“Harmetz’s …is a book that is a good read about a movie that is a good see, both getting their weight from chaotic, fertile worlds around them.” —Boston Globe“All the marvelous excitement, the craziness, and the miracles that went into making this film classic emerge in a book which creates at the same time a picture of how Hollywood worked.  The author, whose mother worked at MGM in those great old days, writes with the ease of the insider who sees all the faults yet loves the industry for its wonders.” —HB, Books of the Southwest “It is difficult to imagine anyone with an interest in moviemaking special effects, Oz or fantasy in general who would not be avidly engrossed in The Making of the Wizard of Oz.” —Leslie Burleson, El Paso Times “If you find The Wizard of Oz a continuing marvel, this behind-the-scenes account of a Hollywood studio at work isn’t to be missed.” —Seventeen

“A complete joy...I'd definitely recommend The Making of The Wizard of Oz to both the casual fan and true Oz devotee.” —Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Author Biography

Aljean Harmetz is the author of The Making of Casablanca, On the Road to Tara: The Making of Gone with the Wind, Rolling Breaks and Other Movie Business, and a novel, Off the Face of the Earth. She lives in Los Angeles. Margaret Hamilton was an actress best known for her portrayal of the malevolent Miss Almira Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.