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It was 80 years ago today that a cyclone whisked Dorothy from her drab, sepia tone life in Kansas to the Technicolor land of little people, bewitched poppy fields and flying monkeys. You may know the story well, but here are a few things about “The Wizard of Oz” that might take you by surprise.

MGM

  • Judy Garland had a difficult time shaking the giggles after the Lion burst into tears when Dorothy smacked him for scaring Toto. After numerous takes, you can spot her holding back a grin in what made it to the big screen.

    MGM

  • Continuity issues arose during filming, including one that slipped through the cracks and made it into the final film. We’re talking about Dorothy’s hair length in the scene where she first encounters the Scarecrow. It’s short, it’s long, it’s short again.

    MGM

  • The purple, red and yellow Horse of a Different Color was created with a Jell-O-based tint that wouldn’t be harmful to the animals. You can spot the purple horse trying to lick it off its chops.

    MGM

  • Margaret Pellegrini was only 16 years old when she played one of the Flowerpot Munchkins. She told a Glendale news station that she was paid $50 a week, which was less than what Toto made. “He got $125 a week!”

    MGM

  • The Cowardly Lion’s costume weighed almost 100 pounds and was made with real lion pelts. His hefty tail was attached to a square block inside the Lion’s backside.” You can see it as he and the Tin Man scale the cliff to the Witch’s castle.

    MGM

  • Toto — whose real name was Terry — was a little on the jittery side when it came to the special effects. You can see the terrier take off running when the Tin Man gave his hat a honk during his dance number.

    MGM

  • Victor Fleming — who also directed “Gone With the Wind” the same year — had little patience for fun on the set. When Garland could stop laughing during a scene, Fleming slapped her and ordered her to “Go in there and work.”

    MGM

  • The Lion needed courage, but judging by the lyrics to “King of the Forrest,” he could probably use a brain, too. In it, he sings “What makes the Sphinx the Seventh Wonder?” The thing is, the Sphinx isn’t one of the Seven Wonder’s of the World.

    MGM

  • Actress Clara Blandick will always be best remembered as Auntie Em. Sadly, Blandick took her own life with an overdose of sleeping pills and a plastic bag pulled tightly over her head.

    MGM

  • When the Wicked Witch vanished from Munchkinland in a cloud of red smoke and a burst of flames, her portrayer, Margaret Hamilton, was badly burned as she dropped through the trap door. Her green makeup was not fireproof.

    MGM

  • Here are a few bloopers, wardrobe malfunctions and behind-the-scenes secrets of the film that made Judy Garland a star

    It was 80 years ago today that a cyclone whisked Dorothy from her drab, sepia tone life in Kansas to the Technicolor land of little people, bewitched poppy fields and flying monkeys. You may know the story well, but here are a few things about “The Wizard of Oz” that might take you by surprise.

    Sharon Waxman