The Wizard of Oz, 1939

Director

Victor Fleming

Cast

visit the film locations

Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Stay at: the Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232 (tel: 310.558.9400)

Take: the Sony Pictures Studio Tour, daily Monday through Friday from Sony Pictures Plaza, Culver City (tel: 310.244.8687)


Kansas

Visit: Kansas

Visit: Dorothy’s House and Land Of Oz, 567 East Cedar Street, Liberal, KS 67901 (tel: 620.624.7624)


Trivia

The opening flashback scene of Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More deliberately recalls the farmyard set from The Wizard Of Oz.

John Lahr, the son of Cowardly Lion Bert Lahr, went on to edit the diaries of playwright Joe Orton, and was played by Wallace Shawn in Stephen FrearsPrick Up Your Ears.

The Wizard Of Oz location: Sony Pictures Plaza, Madison Street, Culver City

The Wizard Of Oz location: visit the filming site in Culver City: Sony Pictures Plaza, Madison Street, Culver City

No, Toto, we really are not in Kansas anymore. There’s no location filming outside Los Angeles for one of the most-loved musical fantasies of all time, which was filmed entirely on stages at MGM’s Culver City studio, 10202 Washington Boulevard, Culver City.

The studio lives on as Sony Pictures and, for you dedicated fans and completists, the Tornado filmed on Stage 14; the cornfield and apple orchard on 15, 25 and 26; Munchkinland was built on Stage 27; and the Poppy field on the (then new) Stage 29.

You can visit the studios as part of the Sony Pictures Studio Tour, which departs from the huge new Sony Pictures Plaza, Madison Street at Washington Boulevard in Culver City.

Most of the 124 small people who played the Munchkins stayed just over the road at the historic Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Boulevard, though the legend of their dubious exploits seem to be based on Judy Garland’s dodgy recollection, elaborated with plenty of lurid detail over the years. The hotel was featured in 1981’s Under The Rainbow, a fictionalised version of the shenanigans, with Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher.

1997 saw a reunion of surviving Munchkins at the hotel – there was a group photo on display in the lobby when I visited. The Culver Hotel – once owned by John Wayne – still occupies the flatiron-style building, but has naturally been thoroughly renovated.

Despite having no real connection with filming, the state of Kansas cannily styles itself ‘The Land of Aahs!’. If you’re in the town of Liberal, Kansas, you may want to check out Dorothy’s House and Land Of Oz (which houses among other things the actual model of the home used in the tornado scene), at 567 East Cedar Street, Liberal.




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