The 1939 film The Wizard of Oz is one of the most iconic films of all time. It launched Garland into the throes of major movie stardom. Though the film made Garland’s career, it also ruined her life. The Wizard of Oz was a gorgeous, Technicolor film, but there was undeniable darkness on set. From crippling addiction and devastating assault to injury and ever near-death experiences, behind the scenes of Oz will change your perspective on the classic film.
It’s hard to imagine The Wizard of Oz without iconic actress Judy Garland, but she almost didn’t play Dorothy.
2Victor Fleming Slapped Judy Garland on Set
Yes, it’s true. Victor Fleming slapped Judy Garland on set. To make things worse, the actress was just 16 years old at the time of the film’s shooting. Talk about totally inappropriate! It happened when director Victor Fleming ran into a bit of trouble during the scene where Dorothy slaps the Cowardly Lion. Apparently, Garland just couldn’t stop laughing. At this point in Garland’s career, she was less of a massive movie star and more of a teenage girl; she had never been in a production of this scale.
According to producer Pandro S. Berman, after Garland’s unshakeable case of the giggles was well under way, Fleming pulled her aside, slapped her and then told her to get back to work. That’s one way to rip the smile right off of a teenage girl’s face.
The movie is blamed for ruining Judy Garland’s life. Read on to find out how.