One of the oldest classic films ever, it's about Dorothy who lives on a farm with her aunt and uncle. One day, a woman named Almira Gulch comes over to take Dorothy's dog, Toto, to the sheriff, because she thinks he's a menace to the community. After he manages to escape from her bicycle's basket, he and Dorothy run away. Before that, they meet Professor Marvel, and as Dorothy sees her aunt dying in the crystal ball, she runs back home. While that occurs, a twister (er, cyclone) lifts the house up that Dorothy's in, and it lands on the Wicked Witch of the East... in Munchkinland, which is far over the rainbow, changing the screen from Sepia Tone to Color. Dorothy first meets the Good Witch of the North, Glinda. All over the place are tiny people called Munchkins. They thank Dorothy for killing the Wicked Witch... until the other Wicked Witch appears, who's from the West. As she reaches for the ruby slippers that her sister has, they disappear, and are now on Dorothy's feet. Glinda tells Dorothy that in order to find the Wizard of Oz, she must follow the yellow brick road. Along the way, she meets the Scarecrow, who is in need of a brain; the Tin Man, whom the tinsmith forgot to give a heart; and the Cowardly Lion, who has no courage. Before they reach Emerald City, they have to cross a patch of poison flowers that puts them to sleep. Fortunately, they can be wiped out with snow. Before meeting the Wizard, the four are tidied up a bit. Then, the Wicked Witch writes smoking words "SURRENDER DOROTHY" in the sky. The Cowardly Lion disguises himself as king of the forest. And when the four finally meet the Wizard, they are first to prove themselves worthy of granting requests -- by bringing him the Wicked Witch's broomstick. First, they go through the Haunted Forest, and are caught by the Winged Monkeys. They also take Dorothy and Toto away to the Wicked Witch's castle, because she wanted the ruby slippers. But she couldn't touch them, so she had no choice but to make Dorothy stop living. The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion run to rescue her, and the Witch ends up melting after trying to burn the Scarecrow. When they arrive back to Emerald City with the broomstick, the Wizard decides to let them come back tomorrow, but Dorothy wanted to go home now. The Wizard is revealed in his true form, and gives the Scarecrow a diploma, the Cowardly Lion a medal that reads "Courage", and the Tin Man a testimonial. But as for Dorothy -- well, the Wizard has to take her home by a hot-air balloon. It comes loose, and he leaves on his own. Then Glinda arrives, and tells Dorothy to close her eyes, tap her heels three times and think to herself, "There's no place like home."


Character's name Portrayed by
Dorothy Judy Garland
The Wizard Frank Morgan
Hunk/Scarecrow Ray Bolger
Zeke/Cowardly Lion Bert Lahr
Hickory/Tin Man Jack Haley
Glinda (Good Witch of the North) Billie Burke
Miss Gulch (Wicked Witch of the West) Margaret Hamilton
Aunt Em Clara Blandick
Uncle Henry Charley Grapewin
Toto Terry the Dog

In Other Languages

Language Title
Spanish El Mago de Oz
Portuguese O Mágico de Oz
Japanese オズの魔法使
Chinese 綠野仙蹤
Korean 오즈의 마법사
Thai พ่อมดแห่งเมืองออซ

Production timeline

  • January 1938: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the rights to The Wizard of Oz, and Judy Garland was cast to play Dorothy. In addition, Ray Bolger was assigned to play the Tin Woodman, and Buddy Ebsen for the Scarecrow. Shortly afterwards, their roles were switched.
  • February 1938: On February 3, Mervyn LeRoy signed a contract for production of the film, and Samuel Goldwyn agreed to sell the rights to The Wizard of Oz on February 18.
  • April 5, 1938: The first draft of the script was written by Noel Langley.
  • July 25, 1938: Bert Lahr was assigned to play the Cowardly Lion.
  • August 12, 1938: Charley Grapewin was cast for the role of Uncle Henry.
  • September 22, 1938: Frank Morgan was cast to play the Wizard of Oz, and Terry the dog was Toto.
  • October 8, 1938: The final draft of the script was completed, following numerous rewrites during the rest of 1938 and in early 1939.
  • October 10, 1938: Margaret Hamilton was cast for the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • October 21, 1938: Although Buddy Ebsen's vocals for "If I Only Had a Heart" and "We're Off to See the Wizard" survived all the way to home video releases, the actor himself suffered an allergic reaction to the dust in his Tin Woodman makeup. Therefore, he was replaced by Jack Haley.
  • November 3, 1938: Victor Fleming became the permanent director for the film.
  • November 11, 1938: The Munchkinland scene began shooting, which took more than one month to complete, until December 18.
  • December 23, 1938: Margaret Hamilton suffered burns while filming her departure from Munchkinland, and she did not come back until February 11, 1939.
  • March 16, 1939: After a lot of revisions to the final script, which were completed by the end of February, principal filming of The Wizard of Oz was completed on this date.

These facts were revealed online just before the film was re-released in theaters from Warner Bros. Pictures in 1998.

Release timeline

Format Country of origin Date
Original theatrical USA August 25, 1939
First re-issue in theaters USA June 1949
Second re-issue in theaters USA June 17, 1955
Third re-issue in theaters USA 1970-1971
VHS USA October 25, 1980
Laserdisc USA 1982
VHS re-release USA August 1985
VHS South Korea October 6, 1988
VHS UK 1989
VHS (50th Anniversary Edition) USA August 15, 1989
VHS re-release (from 1989 print) USA September 1991
VHS Japan November 22, 1991
VHS re-release UK 1992
Laserdisc re-release with bonus material USA November 17, 1993
VHS re-release with soundtrack USA September 26, 1995
Last VHS re-release by MGM/UA Home Video USA September 10, 1996
VHS re-release Japan October 31, 1996
DVD USA March 25, 1997
Last VHS re-release by MGM/UA Home Video UK 1997
DVD Japan November 1, 1997
Re-issue in theaters by Warner Bros. USA November 6, 1998
DVD/VHS release by Warner Home Video USA October 19, 1999
DVD South Korea February 1, 2000
VHS release by Warner Home Video South Korea April 20, 2000
DVD Latin America 2000
DVD France June 7, 2000
DVD release by Warner Home Video Japan July 14, 2000
DVD Australia September 4, 2000
DVD UK November 5, 2001
DVD (Two-Disc Special Edition) Latin America October 24, 2005
DVD (Two-Disc Special Edition and Three-Disc Collector's Edition) USA October 25, 2005
DVD (Two-Disc Special Edition) UK November 7, 2005
DVD (Two-Disc Special Edition) South Korea November 11, 2005
DVD (Two-Disc Special Edition) Australia November 15, 2005
DVD (Two-Disc Special Edition) France November 23, 2005
DVD (Three-Disc Collector's Edition) Japan November 25, 2005
Blu-ray Disc (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition) USA September 29, 2009
Digital Video USA September 29, 2009
On Netflix USA October 3, 2009
Blu-ray Disc (Sing-Along Edition) Australia October 28, 2009
Blu-ray Disc (Sing-Along Edition) UK November 2, 2009
DVD (Three-Disc Emerald Edition) USA December 1, 2009
Blu-ray Disc Japan December 9, 2009
Blu-ray Disc Brazil March 13, 2010
DVD (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition) USA March 16, 2010
Blu-ray Disc South Korea May 20, 2010
Blu-ray Disc France October 19, 2011
Digital HD USA September 1, 2012
Blu-ray Disc UK April 15, 2013
Trailer for IMAX 3D re-release Worldwide July 1, 2013
IMAX 3D re-release in theaters USA September 20, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Disc (3D/75th Anniversary version) USA October 1, 2013
Blu-ray Disc (3D/75th Anniversary version) Australia/France October 2, 2013
Blu-ray Disc (3D/75th Anniversary version) South Korea October 10, 2013
Blu-ray Disc (3D/75th Anniversary version) Taiwan November 1, 2013
Blu-ray Disc (3D/75th Anniversary version) Brazil November 7, 2013
Blu-ray Disc (3D/75th Anniversary version) Japan November 20, 2013
Blu-ray Disc (3D/75th Anniversary version) UK November 3, 2014

In the order of 120 films released, this film ranks as:

Format Position Release date
Theatrical 1 August 25, 1939
VHS 1 March 4, 1980
DVD 1 March 25, 1997
Blu-ray 19 September 29, 2009

Television broadcast timeline

Broadcast date(s) Channel aired Notes
  • November 3, 1956
  • December 13, 1959
  • February 12, 1967
  • The very first broadcast of this film was also the last installment of the Ford Star Jubilee. It aired at 9:00 p.m.
  • The first annual broadcast of The Wizard of Oz occurred on December 13, 1959, when the film was shown as a stand-alone TV special back then. The 1959 broadcast's host was Red Skelton (1913-1997) from The Red Skelton Show. On December 11, 1960, the movie was hosted by Richard Boone (1917-1981) from Have Gun, Will Travel. On December 10, 1961 and December 9, 1962, it was hosted by Dick Van Dyke (1925-) from The Dick Van Dyke Show.
  • The film did not air in 1963. One possible reason is former President John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22 of that year. The host for the broadcasts from January 26, 1964 to February 12, 1967 was Danny Kaye (1913-1987) from The Danny Kaye Show.
April 20, 1968–March 30, 1975 NBC Laramie peacock
  • In the late 1960s, commercial time was increased on all channels in the United States, and since then, the film was presented with its original opening and closing credits, starting with its first NBC broadcast on April 20, 1968. In addition, a few unimportant scenes were cut to make room for the required commercial time.
  • The film began broadcasting at 7 p.m. from 1968 to 1977. When the movie was set to broadcast on February 24, 1974, it was delayed by 30 minutes due to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst.
  • March 14, 1976
  • March 19, 1989
  • February 20, 1990
  • March 19, 1991
  • November 27, 1991
  • February 26, 1993
  • November 11, 1993
  • November 23, 1994
  • May 10, 1996
  • May 8, 1998
  • Starting in 1978, the film began broadcasting at 8 p.m.
  • The first known closed-captioned broadcast of the film occurred on March 1, 1985. Also starting with this broadcast, the film was shown time-compressed rather than having unimportant scenes cut. Today, the film is still shown time-compressed on cable networks, due to the increased commercial time of all programs in any channel.
  • The March 6, 1987 re-broadcast was the last time the early-1980s bumpers were used within all broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz.
  • On February 24, 1988, the film aired at 8:30 p.m. due to a Presidential news conference.
  • The Kansas sequences were again shown in sepia tone as of the 1990 broadcast. After the film was a documentary called "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic", which aired at 10 p.m., and later on certain PBS stations on June 9 and December 5, 1993.
  • The film was shown completely unedited on CBS as of the March 19, 1991 re-broadcast, thus extending the running time by seven or more minutes. The soundtrack was remastered in stereo using the CBS StereoSound system. A commercial for Home Alone (1990) aired during the March 1991 re-broadcast.
  • The year 1991 marked the first time the film ever aired twice in the same year.
  • On the last broadcast of The Wizard of Oz on CBS in 1998, it was also the first and only time ever it was given a TV-G rating on that channel. One of the commercials aired during this broadcast was of the threatrical release of Mulan (June 19, 1998).
  • November 21, 1999
  • November 28, 2002–present (most recently on November 27, 2016)
TBS Superstation logo 1999
TBS logo 2005
TBS 2015 Transparent
  • First time ever the film was shown on a cable network. Again, the film ended up time-compressed before the broadcast. Today, the film now airs on cable television still time-compressed, and takes up 2 hours and 15 minutes of broadcast time.
  • July 3, 2000
  • July 3, 2010
  • February 12, 2011
  • June 10, 2012
  • April 22, 2013
  • April 9, 2016
  • October 22, 2016
  • March 24, 2017
TCM 1994
TCM 2009
  • The 2000 broadcast of The Wizard of Oz on TCM marked the first time ever the film was shown without commercials.
  • Spirited Away aired after The Wizard of Oz on the June 3, 2007 broadcast.
  • The June 10, 2012 broadcast aired as a 90th birthday tribute to Judy Garland.
November 19, 2000–present (most recently on December 14, 2016) TNT logo 2003
TNT logo 2008
TNT Logo
  • November 2000 marked the first time ever the film was shown twice on the same month.
  • The film never aired on TNT in 2007.
  • November 24, 2002
  • December 23, 2003
  • December 19, 2004
  • December 18, 2005
The WB logo The Wizard of Oz was broadcast on The WB at 7:00 p.m. annually for four years, until the network became defunct and were renamed to The CW Network.
  • April 23, 2011
  • March 24, 2012
  • March 30, 2013
  • April 19, 2014
Cartoon Network 2010

Home video timeline

Main article: Home video timeline for The Wizard of Oz


The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz on DVD

The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition on DVD

The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary

Wizard of Oz




The Wizard of Oz 3D 75th Anniversary - Official Trailer

The Wizard of Oz 3D 75th Anniversary - Official Trailer

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