On This Day: The Wizard of Oz debuts in 1939

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Judy Garland, right, and Billie Burke pose in character for the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Burke portrayed Glinda the Good Witch and Garland was Dorothy in the classic movie. (AP Photo/file)

This weekend marks 79 years since one of the most popular films of all time was released in theaters.

On August 25, 1939, The Wizard of Oz opened in theaters around the United States. 

The film is based on the children’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” It follows a young girl named Dorothy and her dog Toto as they journey to meet the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City after being hit by a tornado in Kansas. During her journey, Dorothy meets and befriends the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

The movie, starring Judy Garland, was modestly successful at the box office. It was nominated for several Academy Awards in 1940 and won Best Music: Original Score and Best Music: Original Song for “Over the Rainbow.”

The film’s popularity skyrocketed in 1956 when the movie first aired on television. It’s now considered one of the greatest films in cinematic history and is widely referenced in pop culture.

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